Select Page

    Reading time: About 6 minutes

    If we think about businesses that experienced a tremendous increase in demand during the Covid-19 crisis, the first thing which comes to our mind is the online grocery business. Even the stores which were not selling groceries online started using this channel.

    Online grocery sales will see more than 300% growth by the year 2023 according to a study by Acosta. This study was done before the lockdown so this figure is only likely to increase more than the study suggests.

    According to a study by RedSeer, currently, India’s grocery market size is over USD 500 billion out of which only 0.2% is online. This is the reason why many big players are trying to get into this market like Jio coming up with JioMart or Amazon with Amazon Pantry along with other specialized online players like BigBasket and Grofers.

    Many businesses these days are using digital marketing campaigns to reach out to their customers basically for 3 reasons: audience outreach, cost-efficiency, and campaign flexibility provided by digital marketing. Most of the customers are available on the internet these days which makes it a better platform for businesses to target them. Digital marketing campaigns are cost-effective in comparison to traditional marketing techniques and give better results too. It gives you the power to target a specific group of people or a segment according to their demographics and psychographic characteristics. This makes campaigns more relevant and increases the chances of conversion and hence helps you generate more business. The third and most important reason is flexibility. When it comes to traditional marketing techniques, once you come up with a campaign, you cannot go back or change the contents of your graphics or content. But when it comes to digital marketing, there is always a scope of modifying or changing the content. Digital marketing analytics tools show the real-time performance of the metrics defined by us and hence we can see what is working and what is not and accordingly the campaigns can be improvised real-time. This makes digital marketing campaigns agile.

    Let us now discuss how digital marketing can help you in growing your online grocery business.

    Promotional Campaigns via Digital Marketing

    Most of the players in the online grocery business are trying to create a pull by developing promotional campaigns such as promo code discounts, loyalty points, purchase-based discounts, free delivery, etc. Such campaigns promoted via digital marketing help in increasing the traffic to your website and possibly generate more footfall and sales.

    Moreover, with the cost-effectiveness of digital marketing over the conventional marketing methods, the benefits can be passed on to customers in the form of discounts and offers, providing a competitive edge over competitors who have not yet shifted to digital marketing. By digitizing the promotional offers/discounts, a personalized experience can be delivered to customers.

    Social media marketing can be a great tool for promoting attractive festive and seasonal offers when grocery purchases experience a spike.

    We have already witnessed how companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart Flipkart, Grofers, etc. leverage digital marketing to promote their yearly sale events.

    Promoting Cross-Selling, Up-Selling and Bundling via Digital Marketing

    Bundling is when similar or complementary goods are packaged and sold together at a discounted price. This way you can sell more products at promotional prices making a huge difference in sales and an increase in the perceived value of the items for the customers.

    Combining bundling with up-selling or a cross-selling, you can add more value to your offerings. For example, if a customer is searching for a healthy breakfast option on your website and opts for oats, you can cross-sell him a bundle with better options like oats plus protein bars and use promotional pricing.  Customers need not visit the store to get to know about such bundled offers. With digital marketing, such offers can be easily communicated to the target audience with a graphic post on social media handles or even a text message.

    Digital Marketing to Promote own/private Label Brands with Higher Margins

    Selling own/private label brands at pricing lesser than that of other FMCG brands is one of the successful strategies used by many online grocery businesses.

    Selling through a private label can give you better margins as it eliminates a huge chunk of marketing, distribution, and other costs associated with merchandising products of big FMCG brands. Also, the demand for decent private label items has increased as they give customers more or less the same value and importantly, at a lesser cost.

    According to a study, about 84% of customers shopping at Wal-Mart purchase private label products. With wider margins, such products can also be used under the EDLP model (Everyday Low Prices).  According to Nielsen, private label store brands were growing three times faster than the big national brands by Q4 2017.

    While developing digital marketing campaigns, promoting private label and high-margin products (under the brand name of your online grocery business) will help in increasing the brand awareness of your online grocery store.

    Promoting Delivery Services via Digital Marketing

    While most of the players in the eCommerce business promise a two-day delivery, for online grocery stores, this might not be the case. Customers might expect same-day delivery, ideally within hours of ordering. This makes the delivery services a key differentiator for online grocery businesses.

    Due to the on-going Covid-19 lockdown, the demand for home delivery of groceries has drastically increased. With an increased number of players in the market, competition has also increased. It is a good time for online grocery businesses to leverage digital marketing to expand their customer base. Digital marketing campaigns highlighting home delivery service feature will attract new customers who are not shopping from outside because of distancing and other safety precautions.

    Leverage Social Media Marketing

    Having social media handles for an online grocery store will enable its customers to interact with the business, to share their reviews and feedback, and to communicate with other customers. This communication helps in building a base for customer relationship and can be a window to valuable insights and recommendations. Delighted and loyal customers also help in word of mouth promotion. In the long-run, social media marketing can help online grocery stores in customer retention.

    We can see a lot of social media marketing campaigns running on Facebook or Instagram as they attract an audience with broad interests and can be very beneficial for online grocery businesses to get leads or generate more sales.  There are a lot of platforms that can be used for developing social media campaigns. Some of them are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, etc.

    Mobile Applications (apps) as a tool for Digital Marketing

    Ecommerce mobile applications have become a one-place control centre for customers from where they can search for products, place/cancel orders, make payments, track delivery, etc. At the same time, these mobile apps can also be used for digital marketing.

    Mobile apps ensure visibility of a brand to its customers (installed on their phones); a critical objective of digital marketing. These apps also help businesses remain connected with their customers all the time which means that customers can be informed about offers, promotions, new products/services, reminders, CTAs etc.

    For an online grocery store, using its mobile app as a tool for digital marketing could mean a lot in generating more business. For instance, an online grocery store that wants to promote its improvised home delivery service could easily communicate the same to its customers (who have the app installed) within a matter of minutes. On the other side, interested customers can place their orders within minutes over the app.

    Push Subscription-based Offers via Digital Marketing

    Subscription-based models have worked wonders for many e-grocers. The benefit it provides is that it makes routine-shopping easier for customers. With bundling, attractive pricing, and home delivery, a lot of customers’ needs get fulfilled at one go. Marketing subscription offers digitally gives customers the advantage of doing the pre-purchase assessment sitting at home. During physically visiting a store customers are less likely to go beyond their shopping list.

    Moving into the future, digital marketing will be an inseparable component of the online grocery store business plan. Whether in-house or with the help of retail grocery consultants or with digital marketing outsourcing online grocery businesses will have to leverage digital marketing for improved sustainability and growth.

     

    PROCESS AUTOMATION

    The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.

    In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.

    Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.

    Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.

    YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.

    VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY

    No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.

    Photography includes the following steps:

    • Cataloguing your products
    • Cataloguing your images
    • Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
    • Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.

    Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.

    These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.

    Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.

    This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.

    IT INTEGRATION

    Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.

    YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.

    IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.

    This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.

    Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.

    WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING

    • How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
    • Where should your Warehouse be located?
    • Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
    • Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
    • Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
    • How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
    • How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
    • How much space do I require for warehouse?
    • I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.

     

    At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.

    We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.

    Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.

    UI & UX DESIGNING

    This Step involves 03 distinct parts:

    Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:

    From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business

    Part 2: UX Designing:

    “UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.

    UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.

    “As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”

    An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.

    Part 3: UI Designing:

    UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.

    A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.

    The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.

    If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.

    At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!

    SAMPLING & PRODUCTION

    This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.

    In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.

    Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.

    Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.

    Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.

    Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.

    Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.

    Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.

    PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING

    Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.

    Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:

    • In-house Design Team
    • Freelance Designers
    • Outsourced Design Team
    • Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)

    At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.

    These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.

    If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.

    Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.

    BRANDING

    Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.

    Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.

    It is an integral part to attract the target audience.

    ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s

    Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.

    SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.

    At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.

    CRITICAL PATHWAY

    Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.

    CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.

    CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.

    At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.

    BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN

    Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.

    Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.

    Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.

    YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.

    MARKET RESEARCH

    Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.