Amid closed doors of malls and shops in the pandemic, the Indian retail sector is undergoing a massive transformation to digital. It is said that old habits die hard. Despite the rise of virtual consumerism, Indians still prefer touch and feel shopping. There have been several such instances where consumers have received a different product variant than the viewed image on the e-commerce site, and sometimes receiving damaged products makes the customer go through the pain of refunds and returning the item, therefore, creating a rough online shopping experience and eventually eroding the customer trust in virtual shopping. This is paving the way for retail companies to provide a ‘phygital experience’ to their shoppers. 335Bazaar, a Delhi-based start-up has introduced a unique omnichannel approach that combines the convenience of online shopping with the touch and feel of an element of offline shopping.
What is 335Bazaar?
Founded in August 2020 by Poornima Vardhan, 335Bazaar follows a direct factory-to-consumer model that offers products at affordable prices. It allows shoppers the flexibility to shop from both online and offline stores.
What problems does 335Bazaar solve?
Shopping virtually at times leaves the customers dissatisfied since they are not able to try the product. In the case of apparel, the customer does not know how it will look on themselves virtually. Unlike retail brands, it converts unbranded neighbourhood lifestyle stores into 335bazaar experience centres, thus following the omnichannel-hyperlocal retail model. With the emergence of the mall culture in India, small neighbourhood apparel stores have felt neglected. With 335Bazaar, the small-to medium-sized stores sign up as micro-warehouses that fulfill the online orders within 6-8 hours, whereas 335Bazaar handles inventory management, supply chain, logistics, demand aggregation, analytics, and discovery of stores to increase sales and footfalls. Both the stores and the influencers earn their share of commission from the sales. Currently, it has two stores in Bhogal and Madhu Vihar in Delhi and wants to add another 100 stores within 6 months across all neighbourhood markets in Delhi.
335Bazaar uses a data-driven process to avoid inventory wastage. It produces products for an estimated number of buyers. It has partnered with contract manufacturers where products are produced based on the demand.
A data-driven process to avoid inventory wastage
335Bazaar uses a data-driven process to avoid inventory wastage. It produces products for an estimated number of buyers. It has partnered with contract manufacturers where products are produced based on the demand. For instance, say, the consumers proximate to 335Bazaar stores have shown search interest in ‘skirts’ or ‘crop tops’, the supply chain will place orders looking at the demand. In a short span, 335Bazaar is witnessing repeat businesses and business volumes up to 6 times on its platform.
Ways in which consumers can purchase from 335Bazaar?
There are four ways by which customers can shop from 335Bazaar:
- Livestream Shopping: Creates an entertaining shopping experience with the influencers, where they talk about products that customers can order directly from the live broadcast.
- Video Shopping: Creates an interactive shopping experience that gives consumers an idea to understand the length of the dress or sleeves of apparel.
- BOPIS (Buy Online Pick-up In-Store): In this channel, the customer places the order online and picks it from the store. This reduces crowding in stores for preventive measures.
- Offline mode: It provides consumers the touch-and-feel experience with the product they want to buy.
What Lies Ahead for the retail sector in delivering a Phygital experience?
According to a report from Ernst & Young, 77 percent of Indian consumers have chosen to purchase from a brand that offers a personalised experience. Leveraging consumer data enables retail brands to engage in a one-to-one relationship with shoppers. Also, with a phygital experience, the retail brands create a seamless shopping experience where customers can order anywhere, pick up orders in stores or get them delivered, etc. Reaping the benefits of personalised and relevant content a retail brand can have access to consumer touchpoints and channels.