Ecommerce founder questions

About Your Business

 

  1. Hello! Who are you and what Ecommerce business did you start?

We are online home décor and luxury gift selling a variety of styles and products, from intricate bone-inlay to beautifully crafted copper drinkware, mango wood and marble collections

 

  1. What is your Ecommerce business model? (Drop shipping, D2C, sourcing/ white labeling, aggregating?).

Our Ecommerce business model is D2C

 

  1. How many products line up you have?

We have approximately 70 active unique products

 

  1. Take us through the process of starting and launching the business?

Given the pandemic situation globally and with consumer shopping shifting from physical in-store to ecommerce, we were keen to launch our website. Given too many complications like IT infrastructure, developers, payment integration and most importantly website security, it was never an easy task to launch a website. We were keen to working with renowned and experience software developers who were thorough with their work. This is when we came across Emerge Digital who introduced us to the Shopify platform and made the launch of our website extremely effortless.

 

  1. Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Attracting and retaining customers is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. There are several pieces that play an important role in attracting customers. First and foremost, you need to have an attractive product line along with attractive pricing. Next comes product photography – great product with poor photography will never attract customers. Thereafter, you need to market your product/ website – find a marketing agency or partner with key local players with a humongous customer base. The final piece to complete this jigsaw puzzle is customer engagement – it is important to continuously engage with customers through social media channels or running promotional offers/ discounts – Be creative with your posts and promotions.

One advice I’d like to give everyone is to kick-off efforts on SEO optimization at the earliest as this can do wonders to your business.

 

  1. How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We are doing unexpectedly well. We have had 3000 visitors odd visitors in less 90 days of our launch with a substantial amount of purchases made since launch

 

About Your Story

 

  1. What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

People say sometimes things come together and the dots just connect to make you take crazy leaps.
Reena Badani, a cultural admirer, was driven by the idea of creating environments to help people in their own journeys be it as a daughter, a life partner or an entrepreneur. The journey began during her travel to Rajasthan, a state in northern India, known for its history, rich culture and scenic locations. It was during this visit when Reena fell in love with the art and craftsmanship of handmade and inlaid products in small artisan’s factories.
While many believed that craftmanship in India was in decline due to the general apathy found in today’s society, Reena always admired India as an ocean of talent with a tremendous opportunity to scale. Her aim was simple: bring together art and nature in its organic form by creating a line of affordable luxury homeware collection that have a soul and are for eternity, which places a strong emphasis on:
a) exquisite craftsmanship paying homage to the rich stories that exist behind every object and,
b) top-notch quality

It was this oomph and passion that inspired Reena in founding La Panache, an affordable modern way of living and looking at the world with elegance.

 

  1. Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Absolutely. While we are still learning everyday through consumer behavior, one important factor leading to growth of your business is SEO optimization – this really boosts traffic to your site and increases conversion probability. If anyone advices you to invest in influencer marketing or any sort of paid social media, don’t fall into that trap – you’ll bleed a lot of you money – while you may see a massive increase in traffic, you may not see substantial conversion rate.
One interesting behaviour we noticed is with newsletter popup with promotion/ discount codes – While this is effective, the more effective way of attracting customers to buy discounted items is to have a fixed top banner on your website with the discounted offers. See if you can publish contact details – this gains customers trust.

 

Management

 

  1. What platform/tools do you use for your Ecommerce business?

Shopify, Mailchimp – email newsletters, Easyship – an aggregator for domestic/ international shipment

 

Customers demographics

 

  1. Who are your ideal customers?

Customer Age group 25 – 55, 85-90% of our customers are female visitors/ buyers looking for home décor ideas either for personal use or gifting

 

  1. What geographics do you serve?

While our major customer base is from Singapore, we serve customers worldwide

 

Digital Marketing

 

  1. How are you using digital marketing for your Online Store?

Mainly through email marketing and posting our products twice or thrice a week on Facebook or Instagram. We are also aiming for content creating via a blog

 

  1. What Platform/ strategy/ channel is giving you the most results?

Facebook, Instagram and closed whatsapp groups (these are our existing customers who have agreed to receive new product / discount announcements on a more frequent basis)

 

Wrapping Up

 

  1. 14. Advice for new Ecommerce entrepreneurs who want to be successful at running an ecommerce store?

Don’t try to get a perfect website or try to customer build one. Start with minimum investment before building on your infrastructure. I highly recommend Shopify given it covers all the features you need and if you have to paid for additional features, it’s cost-effective to begin with.

Your primary focus should be customer experience. If you’re planning to leverage Shopify platform for your website, be sure to thoroughly assess the themes you’ll be purchasing – does it have the right features for your customers, check if the registration to check out process is seamless with minimum numbers of clicks.

Provide convenience of payment options (don’t restrict to just Master, Visa or Amex – see what works best in your jurisdiction). Be innovative – offer instalment solutions; customers (esp. Millennials) love instillments as far as it is at no extra cost. This will help your sales graph trend upwards.

Be active in promoting your products through social media as well as keep sending newsletters to keep customers appraised of what’s new – this is an extremely cost-effective way to manage customer engagement.

 

  1. Where can we go to learn more about your store (Links)?

Visit us at www.lapanacheonline.com

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