Known for bringing fresh fashion off London runways, KOOVS.com has been known for their technology forward approach. Be it for their easy user interface on both the website and mobile application or their customer engagement strategies across platforms including campaigns like #StayHomeWithKOOVS and #KOOVSXYOU.
From safety measures been undertaken owing to the covid-19 pandemic to how to keep oneself engaged and fashion forward during these times, KOOVS has been engaging with their customers with the help of technology. Turner shares more light on same..
Can you shed light on the journey of your company? Also, shed light on your current footprint?
Koovs is an ecommerce and technology company and was established to provide the latest, young western fashion via easy to use, engaging and relevant technology to aspirationaltech savvy 20-somethings in India.
Our mobile-first strategy has focused primarily on providing the latest fashion and lifestyle content, social media engagement and the best end to end customer experience, wherever they are and through whatever device they choose.
How do you see the exit of Chinese fashion players like Romwe, Shein amongst others. Do you think it is an opportunity for Indian companies to fill the gap of affordable online shopping platforms?
The face of retail is changing accelerated by Covid-19,including structural and political interventions. To survive and thrive retailers need to embrace ecommerce to compete, expand and reach new customers. This is an opportunity for every brand not just to fill the gap but to grow the overall market.
Coronavirus has weakened consumer sentiments; therefore, there is a surge in value shopping. What kind of shopping trends you have observed since unlock1.0? When do you see premium shopping touching back to pre covid level?
The market has changed in terms of structure, participants and consumer sentiments. Demand for non-essential categories seems to disproportionately suffer in the short term,resulting in offers and promotions. However, the pandemic has also been the impetus for new shoppers to go online for the first time and not only for the early adopter categories like fashion and electronics, but also for essentials like home and groceries. These customers are seeing the convenience and are converting to ecommerce as a trusted and easy way to shop. And for those savvy online shoppers a recent survey conducted among Koovs customers shows that 88% said they will continue and shop even more online than before.
Which were your uptick categories just after lockdown gets over? What were your strategies to stay relevant in the new normalcy?
Our strategy was to keep customers engaged in our brand through content and social media, even when they couldn’t buy from us. At the same time, we have been developing our technology and platform as a service for retailers and manufacturers who now have an imperative to launch their brand online or significantly up their game in ecommerce. So, post lockdown, our fashion sales have initially been driven by promotions and offers, but we have also engaged with a number of brands to help them get online and launch their own apps.
Today online retail has become very vast and we are seeing the emergence of concepts like live retail, community commerce, social commerce, live streams amongst others. Being an online player yourself, how are you looking to expand the reach of the brand to cater even wider audience?
Yes – ecommerce has grown, but it’s not as vast as you might think – less than 5% of retail in India was online in 2019 (Technopak), so there is huge scope for growth.
The most critical step for retailersand brands is to get online with an effective and scalable ecommerce platform and app that is easy to use and seamless for consumers, and can integrate with their legacy IT systems toprovide them with easy to use business tools that put them in control.
The market for ecommerce is still nascent and most consumers are only just adopting and getting confident with online shopping. What is important is the ease of navigation and search, choice of products and offers and above all building confidence that when they click and buy, the products will be delivered to promise.
How important is it for a fashion retail brand to have its shopping app?
It is vital and not only for fashion. For Koovs 70-75% 0f browsing comes via the app and over 80% of purchases. Customers need to be able to engage with you, whatever their preferred device – and in India this will primarily be their mobile/smartphone.
What kind of experiences do you offer through your app? Tell us about some of the additional features that you have incorporated to make the app more valuable?
Koovs app is the primary tool for consumer browsing, sales and engagement through content. It drives not only access to the products, but also provides the screen in the hand of customers for tailored promotions, exciting fashion and lifestyle content, and contact through social media. More than anything the app is fast and efficient, making it easy for customers to experience our brand.
When did you launch your shopping app? What inspired the launch of the app (since there already are a number of e-marketplaces in the likes of Myntra, Amazon, Ajio, etc. which have majority of brands onboard; how is it different from selling on these apps)? What went into launching the app?
As a technology-driven, mobile-first company, the Koovs app has always gone hand in hand with the ecommerce platform – both were first launched in 2014 and we have continued to develop the platform and technology since.
An e-marketplace is a horizontal business model, providing a place to sell many brands and categories of product, from socks to spoons and gadgets to glasses, often driven by discounting. Koovs focuses on western fashion and lifestyle content aimed at the 20-something tech savvy Indian consumer.