Tupperware is a US-based brand, headquartered in Orlando. It is present in India for the past 25 years. Tupperware was earlier considered as a kitchenware brand but it is transitioning from kitchenware to homeware brand as it is adding lot more product categories beyond the kitchen.
“We support women empowerment. All our partners are women and we have been doing this for the last 25 years. Also, 90 percent of our products are made in India, and in fact, we export to around 13 plus countries from our manufacturing plant in Dehradun,” states Deepak Chhabra, Managing Director, Tupperware India.
Getting Ready for Omnichannel Retail
The retail business became almost zero overnight in the first wave of COVID. During the first month of the lockdown, Tupperware became busy on how it can digitally start selling and connect the sellers digitally with the consumers. In lieu of this, the brand launched its exclusive web store. Through this web store, the brand has also introduced Social Selling channel.
“We have built this social platform with advanced technologies which manages customer purchase patterns, intelligently suggest products according to their next best action and other benefits as well. We gave our sales team the tools to interact digitally on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, video platforms, etc. Every direct seller (DS) gets an URL, which they can circulate among their peer group on social platforms. Once clicked, the URL takes buyers to the company’s web store. All the product offerings and promotions are linked to this URL and customers can choose, select and buy. We delivered directly to the customers and the salesforce got paid based on the sale. This way, our sales force got continuity of business without going out physically and the decisions made are based on insights generated from the digital platform and analysis,” Chhabra emphasizes.
“We integrated our stores and direct sellers with our web store, with the help of three solutions. The first one is TAB, a tech solution. Through this, if consumers wish to purchase our product that is not available in the store, they can click the TAB and go through our entire offering and order there itself. The second tool that we used is Social Selling. With this, our store manager shares a unique link with the consumers, which helps them to land on our web store and make their purchases. Another solution that we provided is Quick Sell, a solution for WhatsApp commerce. We have a huge consumer database and when stores were closed and consumers still wanted to purchase, our franchisees and direct sellers started sending links through Quick Sell to all their consumer bases. Through this link, consumers can see the entire catalog pricing and conclude the transaction on WhatsApp itself,” Chhabra further adds.
Tupperware became one of the first brands to strengthen its Direct Selling channel through Social Selling during the first wave of COVID.
Training the Franchisee Partners
The biggest worry that Tupperware’s franchisees had during the COVID was that if the customer knows there is a web store where they can buy anything at a click of a button, then the store might lose the customer permanently in the future.
“Due to these apprehensions, we launched training programs for our franchisees. We explained to them that the touch and feel the experience that is provided by a store would never come from a web store but during this situation, it is essential for your business continuity to launch via web store; you will get commission or profit via the web store,” Chhabra asserts.
Delivering Same Experience Across All Touchpoints
Tupperware works in various categories and there is a standardized fitting initiative across all channels whether it is stores, direct selling, marketplaces, or its website. The key products are highlighted at the same time at all the channels to give them visibility.
“90 percent of Tupperware products are available across the country but about 10 percent are based on the regional preferences. For instance, South works more on bulk storage so they need larger storage, similarly East needs more serving, so these 10 percent are unique by region based on consumption pattern,” Chhabra says.
Providing Perfect Consumer Experience
The COVID has fastened up the omnichannel entry for Tupperware. And if you really want to make your brand omnichannel, you have to have the same price and same experience.
“Going omnichannel helped in business continuity for our stores. I think that was the biggest benefit and utilization of omnichannel. Omnichannel made business continuity for our brand and made product availability convenient for our consumer,” Chhabra avers.
“Apart from this, we have a subscription model called Tupclub, a cardless loyalty program. Consumers can give their mobile numbers and email ids and they can register. On every purchase, the consumer gets 2 percent value influence points, which they can use whenever they feel like from any store,” Chhabra adds.
Tupperware also has a referral program, which is unique to the brand. It’s like if you recommend some customer and that customer comes to the store and purchases, you get 10 percent equivalent points of the purchase the customer made. That also gives a lot of footfall without advertising.
“We have an in-house content creation set up to ensure the same message goes across all platforms. The brand’s active social media presence and a niche network of influencers boost this support system. Further, exclusive retail stores have an active digital presence to ensure easy discoverability,” asserts Vivek Chaturvedi, Brand Marketing Head, Tupperware India.
“We have made digital an integral part of Tupperware's marketing strategy, over 80 percent of our marketing efforts are online. We utilize digital tools. We are also quite active on modern social selling platforms like WhatsApp. We have also partnered with Swiggy Genie, Dunzo for express delivery of products once ordered through our stores,” Chaturvedi adds.
The brand is also relying heavily on performance and influencer marketing.
Collaborating with Tech Partners
Tupperware being a global company uses a mix of local and global solutions to provide the best experience to its customers and salesforce. This includes leveraging tech solutions from giants like Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, etc. to local partners like ETP, BrownTape, Clarisity, etc. to completely outsource/ custom solutions. Its partners in its journey to becoming a true omnichannel company have matched the agility that is needed to meet its business needs.
For Warehousing & Inventory Management Tupperware uses Oracle ERP solutions coupled with 3rd party WMS system adopted by its 3PL partner Nippon. The complete process from procurement, manufacturing, QA, warehousing, and distribution is fully integrated with all its sales channels, be it direct selling, retail stores, e-commerce, e-tailing, B2B, or social selling.
“Traditionally, Tupperware has been a direct selling company where its salesforce used to be the face to its consumers and this is one area where the company has heavily invested in terms of deploying its energies, budgets, and resources. We have partnered with ND Commerce to run our web store, using Magento leveraging the latest tech and UI / UX. SocialKonnekt support us as its partner to ensure that it keeps the website alive to not just provide information to the world-class products and life-changing opportunity but to also help customers join it or buy Tupperware,” says Amit Jain, IT Head, Tupperware India
Apart from this, Tupperware has about 90+ stores in the country now. It has leveraged digital and has equipped its store owners to sell digitally. The brand takes orders from customers, leveraging social media tools, and also does home delivery. Its Point of Sales system ETP not just tracks the billing and manage promotions but also helps it to run the loyalty, referral programs, which customers can use for their benefit. The brand’s Tab app in stores keeps the consumer engaged in finding the best products along with the features. A new addition is a QuickSell app which digitizes the catalog and helps them take online orders.
Data Analytics: The Game Changer
The biggest data source for Tupperware is POS as it captures complete detail, complete transactions, what a customer bought, did they buy on discount, and did they buy a premium product or a massive product. That’s one tool where the brand can bucket the customer into various buckets based on their actual purchase history.
“Secondly, we do have a loyalty program. It gives the duration for which the customer has been with us, frequency of purchase, what they purchased, and during what time they purchased. Then we have a feedback system on our tab. Anybody can give us feedback by scanning a QR code at the store,” Chhabra further explains.
Impact of Omnichannel Strategy
Initially, when the stores were closed, 100 percent of the business of Tupperware was coming from digital tools and omnichannel. Even when the stores were open, 50 percent of its business is coming from omnichannel because people were shying away from coming out of homes.
“This would not have happened if we didn’t go omnichannel and gave our customers a lot of options to purchase from rather than visiting the store. Our 50 percent of the total business is coming from the omnichannel,” asserts Chhabra.
The brand is also selling on the leading marketplaces, including Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm, Tata Cliq, and Snapdeal. It also sells through its web store and this web store is linked to its omnichannel initiatives. Tupperware’s online business contributes 12 percent of its total sales.
“The online purchasing is becoming strong, people habits are changing and once COVID settles down, the online purchase pattern is going to improve and grow further. I personally feel this 12 percent online share will go to 20 percent next year,” Chhabra shares.
“I think, going forward, omnichannel is the way ahead. If you selling only through your stores, then you are letting go of a part of customers that are tech-savvy and want to shop at their own convenience. So when you go omnichannel and give them the option to purchase your brand online, you are expanding your consumer base and building the brand value,” Chhabra adds.
Going ahead, the brand is planning to expand to 500 more stores in the next three years. It is also expanding with few more online players like Big Basket, Grofers, and similar other portals.
Despite the increased awareness of sustainability among people in general, much of the plastic is still falling out of the “recycling chain”. The e-commerce industry which is heavily dependent on plastic packaging in its supply chain has a huge potential to raise sustainability standards by many points.
In fact, greater participation by private stakeholders and other members of the value chain is crucial to building a holistic, circular plastic ecosystem to reduce plastic leakage into nature, according to a case study developed in collaboration with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature India) India and India’s top e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Mahesh Pratap Singh, Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, Flipkart said, “As a homegrown e-commerce organisation, the Flipkart Group is committed to building a sustainable business while playing the role of a catalyst in the creation of a thriving sustainable ecosystem. We are excited to have achieved a milestone of eliminating 100 percent single-use plastic packaging in our supply chain in a short span of time and look to aggressively work towards pushing the goal for our sellers and brand partners. We’ve also committed to sourcing from environmentally sustainable sources by working with various partners and becoming a proactive force for a better good."
Flipkart shared that its approach towards Sustainable Packaging relies on four pillars: Engage, Innovation, Capacity Building and Compliance.
Reportedly, Flipkart Group companies, including e-commerce marketplace Flipkart and leading fashion destination Myntra have eliminated 100 percent single-use plastic packaging in their own supply chain by working with several stakeholders across traceability, plastic reduction and brands and universities to name a few. It is also working towards adopting circularity in its plastics value chain in collaboration with sellers and brand partners.
E-commerce ecosystem can rely on this model and build their organization that aids in fulfilling the sustainability targets.
Varun Aggarwal, Associate Director - Sustainable Business at WWF India said, “A coordinated approach between e-commerce companies and all the other stakeholders in the plastics value chain is crucial to attaining a circular economy for plastics , Flipkart has a large secondary packaging footprint, making plastic waste management a key lever in its commitment to sustainability. The best practices adopted by Flipkart can be replicated by players in the same space to contribute to the mitigation of plastic waste”.
The study further mentions that companies need to customize interventions to influence consumer behavior and collaborate for improving and innovating the existing collection and recovery infrastructure and grow it further. Market leaders need to set up goals for their supply chain who wish to similarly engage and bring about a better plastics waste response to ultimately contribute towards a circular plastics economy and greater good of the society.
Through this case study, WWF has highlighted the need for active participation by the private stakeholders to ensure a holistic, circular plastic ecosystem to reduce plastic leakage into nature. As a leading digital platform engaging in online commerce of goods and services, Flipkart has a large secondary packaging footprint, making plastic waste management a key lever in its commitment to sustainability.
Some of the next steps identified include data-based goal setting to ensure a data-driven approach to waste management and regularly track the impact of alternatives, creating an ecosystem view of the entire waste management journey for packaging. It also includes creating a state-by-state playbook for training and working with sellers partners across different states to optimally implement the transition to sustainable packaging solutions. The best practices adopted by Flipkart can be replicated by other players in the same space for greater uptake to contribute to the mitigation of plastic waste and move towards a more circular system in e-commerce packaging.
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