Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a sudden lockdown, and measures like social distancing compelled people to stay at home and shop online. This shift in consumer behavior resulted in a surge in the D2C sector.
D2C e-commerce is a digital business model where product manufacturers can sell their products directly to consumers through their websites without relying on intermediaries. This way, they don't have to rely on traditional stores for marketing and selling. Additionally, D2C allows brands to connect with their customers directly, establish long-term relationships, and understand their pros and cons.
One such brand is Bewakoof which has grown from Rs 30,000 to Rs 250 crore in just nine years. The brand uses technology to disrupt the entire process of brand creation and management from design, manufacturing sourcing supply chain, refill, inventory management, warehousing, distribution, demand creation, and establishing emotional quotient with the digitally native hyper consuming Indians.
The brand, which disrupted the D2C space, always wanted to be an inspirational brand for young consumers.
Prabhkiran Singh, CEO, and Founder, Bewakoof while speaking at a webinar #EmpoweringD2C in collaboration with Shipway states, “Our purpose at Bewakoof is to add lightheartedness to life. We do it by adding expressions to our products, by making shopping experiences more fun, and by making content which is funny and entertains our audience.”
“Initially, when we started, we started out of necessity, we didn't have the CAPEX to open stores. We didn't have a powerful brand, which the modern trade or general trade would have accepted. And back then, the internet and e-commerce had just started picking up. So, we decided to place our bets on the D2C channel because it gave us the advantage to be online, we could start the business with very little capital, we were in direct touch with the consumer, we could make our product experience and brand connect much better, and also cut down middlemen.”
As more online shoppers emerge from Tier II and III cities, the youth fashion brand has enabled the expressions and content in regional languages (Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu, and Gujarati) across the range of the products.
To build a healthy relationship with the consumers, Bewakoof has always tried to stay closer to its consumers and always listen to what consumers say.
“Our conviction on the product-market fit and what the consumer needs was always high, but having said that, there have been many low points in the journey. Initially, it was a big struggle to get that acceptance and earn the belief of the investors, and at the same time as it was a new industry, winning the trust of the consumers was equally challenging,” asserts Singh.
“For us, the biggest challenge is that the problem statement is different at different levels. At present, the challenge is how do we crack into the big league and touch Rs 2,500 -3,000 crore and that's the thing that we are solving right now,” he adds.
Betting Big on Social Media
Bewakoof has an organic following of 6.1 million followers - 1.6 million on Instagram and 4.5 million on Facebook. The contemporary quirky content has been instrumental in building this following for the brand.
“We are working with more than 250 influencers on content creation and promotion across the influencers’ handles, Bewakoof’s social media handles, and for the Bewakoof portal,” Singh states.
Bewakoof is an online-first brand. The entire range of products is available on Bewakoof.com. Recently, the brand has also gone live on top marketplaces like Amazon.in, Flipkart, Myntra, etc. They plan to list their products across other major online marketplaces like Tata Cliq and Nykaa in the next 6 months.
“Till last year, we were only selling on the Bewakoof portal and that was our only channel. And this year, we have started distribution on all the online marketplaces. We have plans to do international market research also in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, we are starting with that. We feel the Middle East is going to be very interesting with a lot of Indian audiences over there,” he states.
“Apart from this, our focus is a lot on digital distribution this year. At present, we are not really thinking about offline right now. But maybe in 1-2 years once things stabilize with the pandemic we might think about it,” he adds.