E-commerce | Representative image (PC-Shutterstock)
Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and retail companies are launching exclusive brands on their direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels as they try to onboard more consumers.
Department store chain Shoppers Stop has launched over 100 exclusive brands on its online channel. FMCG company Emami has introduced products such as Kesh King Ayurvedic Onion Oil and Shampoo and Navratna Gold Ayurvedic Cool Oil on its D2C platform ZanduCare.com.
“We want to give some exclusivity to our e-commerce platform as we think this can help make the channel popular among consumers,” said Mohan Goenka, Director, Emami.
Both the companies plan to introduce more brands and products, which will not be available in offline stores and other e-commerce marketplaces, going ahead.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has made traditional retail and FMCG businesses, which relied heavily on offline channels for sales, rethink strategies. Over the past year, several companies in these segments have hopped on to the D2C bandwagon. FMCG major Marico launched Saffola Stores last year. Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo had also introduced it e-store in the country.
Brands can’t ignore other channels: Analysts
According to Goenka, Emami’s D2C platform clocks a business of Rs 2-2.5 crore every month, and about 55,000-60,000 consumers buy from the portal every month. The company has so far collected data of 42 lakh consumers from its D2C channel and wants to leverage this data and launch exclusive products.
The company is also changing its pricing strategy for its D2C platforms and is introducing products at premium pricing, given that most consumers on the channel are from Tier 1 cities.
Shoppers Stop is also adopting a similar strategy and launching private labels as well as partner brands on its website and app, which are not available in its stores or other e-commerce marketplaces.
Venu Nair, MD and CEO, Shoppers Stop, while addressing investors during a post-earnings call said that the company plans to launch more products and brands exclusively on its D2C platform across categories. Its D2C channel witnessed an average daily traffic of 300,000 currently, Nair informed.
Industry experts, however, are of opinion that brands will have to eventually launch these products on other channels, too, for growth.
“Though these companies will be able to build customer loyalty and improve margins over time, they need to leverage other online platforms too for growth,” says Ankur Pahwa, Partner and National Leader, E-commerce and Consumer Internet, EY India.