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Founders Insights Into Disruptive Retail Strategies In recent years, Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brands have emerged as a defining trend in the retail industry disrupting traditional retail paradigms. Born from the internet boom, these brands offer D2C sales channels that prioritize customer experience and data-driven decision-making.

By Entrepreneur Staff

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D2C brands thrive by quickly adapting to market trends, maintaining Founders Insights into Disruptive Retail Strategies, an authentic social media presence, and emphasizing transparency. The companies prioritize customer experience, leverage technology, and tailor offerings based on data insights.

In a recent summit of IREC X D2C 2024, held in April, multiple co-founders and managers sat together in a panel discussion on the disruption of hybrid and retail strategy in 2024.

Digital-first brand transitioning into offline space

"So we started digitally. The first kind of started on marketplaces because that's the lowest cost channel to kind of get early feedback about your product. The feedback was quite positive because our claim to fame was microdel underwear, which we were not sure whether the Indian men wanted. We tested by marketplaces and fast forward two years is when we realize that okay we have got decent traction digitally now let's expand into offline as well," said Siddhartha Gondola, Co-founder & CSO of XYXX apparels.

Siddhartha stated that in their case the company was very clear that they wanted to be where the consumer is and continued the focus on distribution as well. Fast forward to today, Siddhartha revealed that they currently retail at around 18,000 stores across the country.

Product experience in omni channel

Drawing experience from his own company, Varun Sharma, co-founder and CEO, Fabled Pets and GNV Commodities spoke out about how pet parents are usually very involved in the products that they purchase for their pets. Varun continued that a pet parent will go online and check the reputation of a product of the brand, as well as, go to the neighborhood-friendly pet store, and call up their vet.

"I'll give you an example, we created this brand called Fabled Pet Food and this same brand; all we did was translate the same things into Spanish and right now we are in South America. It doesn't depend upon where we are speaking or which channel are we speaking to as long as our message is clear I think that kind of solves 90% of the things," added Varun.

In this sense, a single customer has access to all these touchpoints. From an omni-channel perspective, as long as the company or brand is clear of what it stands for it is not difficult to achieve success.

Navigating physical stores

Amit Mohta, Joint Managing Director, Elemental talked about how the company started about ten years ago and the last ten years they have built more than 67,000 stores across India and around the globe.

"What we understand is that when brands try to come from any channel they would like all their stores to have the same look and feel, same experience the customer has to have and in a way we were a disruptor in this space. When you talk about retail store furniture I think half of the people did not know what it is. So we came, we tried to organize the space and help the brands," explained Amit.

Brand building journey of BeYoung

Shivani Soni, Founder, BeYoung stated that when the company started they were launched as a digital-first company. Thus, BeYoung wanted to penetrate tier two, three, and four cities as there was no digitally activated brand already established. The company focused digitally on these cities before COVID-19 BeYoung launched a few stores.

"Till last year we have achieved around 200 crore GMV, that is through our brand. We were not on any marketplace, we were not on offline platforms - EBOs (Exclusive Brand Outlets) MBOs (Multi Brand Outlets) and now going forward we are planning to go for MBO, EBOs, and marketplaces also. So this is what the journey has been like," explained Shivani.

Adding to what Shivani said, Siddhartha pointed out that BeYoung was one of the inspirations behind them creating a bundle on the company website. The entire ecosystem, in a way, helps a company figure out how to navigate its own path.

Omni channel strategies

Mayur Solanki, founder & CEO of Dragon Hill opened up by stating that the company started, unlike most of the panelists present, as a purely offline brand. "Unfortunately, when we launched within three months Covid19 hit. We were already spread across about 150 stores and during COVID and post-covid, as everybody focused more on online and digital, we also started that journey. We've done pretty well. I'm not saying we are still an offline-dominated brand but as we move forward we're going to focus on d2c and the combination of physical retail stores of Dragon Hill along with online."

Mayur continued that with the technology available omni channel will not be a difficult job since the company has strong distribution and connection with all the top franchises of the country. However, he feels that consistency of product delivery to the different consumers of the country is what the company is pushing for.

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff

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