Gaurav Mangla of Pickrr on how to swiftly navigate through the high volume of orders
D2C brands face the challenge of dealing with huge order volumes along with increased expectations of delivering a seamless post-purchase experience. Gaurav Mangala of Pickrr shares his views on the importance of post-purchase experience and how brands can level up.
With the market projection of reaching $60 billion by the end of 2027, the D2C landscape in India continues to demonstrate exemplary growth. As brands tread on the path of success and prosperity, customers believe there is a need for online D2C brands to improve the post-purchase experience.
A report by Accenture states that only 17 percent of customers think that companies care about their post-purchase experience. Similarly, a survey by Support.com states that 40 percent of customers think post-purchase experience makes their brand experience more memorable.
While brands were navigating the recent festive rush, focussing on a positive post-purchase experience became even more significant to retain and create a loyal customer base. In an interview with YourStory, Gaurav Mangla, CEO and Co-founder,shares his perspective to delve deep into the subject.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
YourStory [YS]: As a key logistics enabler with experience of working with some of the most successful D2C brands, how do you think the D2C landscape has evolved over the years?
Gaurav Mangla [GM]: We have seen the D2C ecosystem come a long way, the pandemic being one of the major growth drivers. As of 2022, there are approximately 800 D2C brands with a market standing of$12 billion and is expected to reach $60 billion with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 40 percent by the end of 2027. The landscape has also grown in terms of funding with more than $1.4 billion across 160+ funding deals.
With each passing day, a new technology comes into play and with the advancements in technology coupled with increased internet penetration has undeniably played a vital role. There has been an explosion in the number of consumers from Tier II and III markets. D2C brands are looking at an exponential growth opportunity by tapping into underserved sections in these markets. We have had first-hand experience of working with these emerging brands and we have seen how the startups are going all out in ensuring a positive end-to-end experience. From integrating faster deliveries to adapting to multiple modes of payments, brands are ensuring a seamless experience at every single touch point. It is a market where the future looks extremely bright.
YS: From what was considered just a part of the overall consumer experience strategy is now a separate vertical for brands to focus on. What are your views on the increased spotlight on post-purchase experience?
GM: Brands now understand that their job does not end at selling the product. Following up, ensuring that the customer remains satisfied is equally important for businesses to grow and scale. A positive post-purchase experience indicates whether a customer will return to repeat the purchase, or how likely they are to recommend the product or service to their friends and family. It further helps in strengthening the customer-brand relationship which can be leveraged to launch new products, understand feedback, analyse needs/expectations and more.
What according to you are some of the crucial strategies that brands need to focus on to unlock a great post-purchase experience? And how can brands leverage technology to ensure a smooth experience?
GM: If estimates are to be believed, then India will have 1.3 billion plus smartphones and internet users by 2030. This accounts for a huge market opportunity and calls for brands to tap into it with maximum efficiency.
Apart from finding the product market fit, brands need to optimise fulfilment services to add value to their business. Focusing on same day/ next day deliveries, easy returns and refunds, COD and offering quick customer support can help ensure a smooth post-purchase experience.
With footprints across the country via its fulfilment centres, a company can address the above challenges of quick delivery, returns etc.
At Pickrr, we work with multiple brands that deal in confectionaries, gifting items and so on. For them, sending packages to the customers within a few days is important due to its short shelf life. Brands like Good Glamm group, Whole truth foods, Minimalist, Dhani healthcare etc. use our SDD and NDD services to offer a seamless delivery experience.
We recently introduced a feature integration called Pickrr connect (Order Confirmation and Address Verification for the customers) that sends a notification to customers even before the order is packed. Brands can also verify the customer’s address before the shipping processes start. This feature combined with other VAS services can help sellers reduce RTOs by upto 40 percent. This helps build trust.
A new Value Added Service called “Secure Shipments” helps brands from facing losses by damaged or lost packages.
YS: What are some of the key elements that brands should focus on to deal with the increase in purchase orders?
GM: It is interesting to note that in 2021, the gross sales of D2C brands have increased by 60 percent during the festive season, resulting in $7 billion worth of sales. The brands were also able to accelerate their customer conversion rate by 70 percent.
Massive order surges can result in multiple challenges such as warehouse shortage, lack of transit facilities, resource unavailability, delayed deliveries etc. Brands need to streamline logistics and shipping operations to be able to deliver a smooth post-purchase experience even during the festive rush.
We believe it is pertinent for brands to use predictive tech to be able to deal with huge order volumes. Here’s how:
01. Plan your inventory to avoid stockouts.
02. Use route optimisation tools integrated with APIs to enable faster deliveries.
03. Provide free shipping to customers to encourage repeat purchases and brand loyalty.
04. Leverage advanced analytics to predict user behaviour and predict potential order returns.
05. Offer services like real-time tracking, easy return/ exchange procedures, and estimated delivery dates.
YS: What is the role of enablers in helping brands improve their customer experience journey?
GM: Hyper personalisation is one of the main reasons why consumers prefer to shop from D2C brands today; even if it means choosing small homegrown brands over legacy players. As an enabler, we aim to help brands deliver a desired personalised experience to their customers. From the time they make a purchase to tracking and receiving the order and helping consumers with all sorts of grievances is how we at Pickrr approach customer satisfaction. Our tech-enabled solutions have proven to be effective in enhancing the end-to-end customer purchase journey. With the level of our scale at Pickrr, we aim to achieve EBITDA breakeven and target the revenue of $50 Million ARR by March 2023.
Innovation is at the heart of Pickkr’s culture and we plan on continuing to build cutting-edge solutions and spearhead growth for D2C brands.
YS: What are some of the trends and elements that will power the growth of D2C brands in the future?
GM: High domestic consumer expenditure and consumption market are signalling that consumer spending will reach $4 trillion by the end of 2030. Consumer spending on categories such as food, housing, apparel, transport and communication, and personal care is also expected to increase by ~2X by 2030. As consumers splurge more on D2C channels, trends like BNPL, omnichannel, and hyper-personalisation will be the key accelerators in the future.
The BNPL model is expected to witness wider use across industries as the number of fintechs driving these services continue to grow. More and more brands will look into exploring multiple channels of sales including both online and offline. Also, data will play a crucial role in driving hyper-personalised experience.
The key is to incorporate state-of-the-art tech tools that can power the growth of D2C brands in the future.