Delhi-based e-retail brand, Jaypore has carved out a niche in the segment of lifestyle retailing, showcasing the best of Indian crafts and heritage. From shifting the limelight on local artisans and craftsmen of India, this ecommerce portal is discovering designs that blends beautifully with Indian aesthetics coupled with hints of contemporary notes. Formulated by Puneet Chawla, Shilpa Sharma, AartiJesrani and DeapUbhi, Jaypore’s USP lies in exhibiting unique products that ranges from clothes, home décor, jewelry, vintage products and more.
Jaypore addresses lifestyle sensibilities of women who are liberal, aspiring, and have astrong sense of aesthetic value that stems deeply from the beauty of Indian culture and legacy.
Puneet Chawla, Co-founder and CEOat Jaypore talks about strategies that helped Jaypore scale up and how!
What marketing strategies did you employ to scale up Jaypore?
In the early days, social media was our only channel. We didn’t really use it for advertising, but we would put a lot of interesting and engaging content. We started our Facebook page even before we launched our iPad app and website. As a consequence of this, we started getting a lot of followers and fans who we interacted with. We successfully created a community on Facebook. Later when we launched the website, we already had substantial audience who later became customers.
How did you get your first 1000 customers?
Like I mentioned, social media played a huge part. We also personally messaged our fans on Facebook, especially when we had new collections. We engaged with them constantly. Apart from that, it was also some old-school hustle. I would join discussion fora and boards on Rediff. I’d reach out to Indian communities living abroad. Then we’d write to them about the company and our new collections, and tell them it was an opportunity for them to connect with their roots.
During the initial stage, what industry hurdles did you face, and how did you overcome them?
Shipping abroad was a huge challenge. There was just too much red-tape. The duties, the taxation structures of individual countries and returns were a big problem.
How did you leverage the power of social media and new-age content marketing to scale up your brand?
Social media played a major role in building our brand. Acquiring customers through social media organically in those days was honestly the tougher way to get a customer. But I believe, customers acquired that way remain way more loyal than customers acquired through incentivisation.
The e-retail space is witnessing intense competition of late. How do you plan to stand out?
We are the only ones in the online space looking to build a brand not a marketplace. We showcase works of artisans, craftspeople, designers but the most important aspect is that we decide not only which brands to feature but also what products. So in a sense we curate not only the vendor but also curate what the vendor is going to put up. This makes it different from all other marketplaces, which very often decide who will feature on their site, but not necessarily what they feature. So while we have plethora of sellers and products, we have the additional specialty of curation, which is what makes us different from the rest, which other bigger players will find harder to disrupt with sheer scale and money.
We also have our own line of products (which is the Jaypore private label) that currently has apparel, personal care and home products, but is going to grow. This creates a moat around our business because though we have excellent vendors, we can’t stop those vendors from selling on other sites. The private label remains exclusive to us.
For budding startups in the same arena, what marketing advice would you give?
I’d strongly advise everyone to get an active presence on social media. Honestly, that’s not an option anymore. And as we evolve, the role social media plays is just going to become more important. In case of mass media, you can’t necessarily control who sees you. I may put up a hoarding or publish an ad in a newspaper. Everyone who passes by the hoarding will see it and everyone who subscribes to the newspaper will see the ad – irrespective of whether they are my target audience or not. In case of social media, especially a medium like Facebook, you can zero in on the right audience if you have the clarity. So that’s a huge advantage.