Using the ‘video-assist’ feature, the customer can view the product from his/her home.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has left customers scared and they prefer to avoid any personal visits to stores to buy electronics. To deal with this situation, Godrej Appliances has launched a programme that enables its 25,000 trade partners to reach out to customers digitally.
This means a customer can virtually visit a store selling Godrej Appliances. Using video assistant tools, live demonstrations are offered to the customer by personnel present at the store at the time.
Customers can take decisions to buy based on demonstrations of the appliance as well as product specifications given digitally to the customers.
In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice President – Godrej Appliances said the company analysed why sales were not picking up despite pent-up demand.
“We understood from our analysis that customers want products but have concerns about visiting stores and buying products amidst the virus outbreak. Hence, we decided that our sellers should be able to sell and demonstrate products digitally to customers,” he added.
Nandi explained that using the ‘video-assist’ feature, the customer can view the product from his/her home. The store manager is able to give a live demonstration of the appliance to the buyer using video.
Apart from assisting the trade partners to come aboard on Google My Business, the brand is enabling offline retailers to build a digital presence by creating a Facebook Business Page for each of them. This page will be like an electronic version of the actual store.
The brand targets each of its 25,000 offline retailers’ network to have a Facebook Business Page by the end of June 2020. Nandi said so far almost 2,300 partners have this presence.
For customers, this will help them access product information and allow them to purchase a Godrej appliance from their familiar local retailers. All the Godrej Exclusive brand outlets and bulk of the preferred retailer partners and Godrej Green AC Hubs have already been made live on Facebook with their shop pages. This allows them to link up with consumers through WhatsApp also to discuss, negotiate and conclude the sale.
“Electronic payment systems, as well as financing options for customers, have been made available online. Through word-of-mouth, several trade partners are also eager to come on board through this initiative,” said Nandi.
Godrej Appliances has tied up with merchant platform, Pine Labs’ ePOS to facilitate multiple modes to the payment for customers. The company has also partnered with payment & EMI technology platform Benow, which acts as an easy digital payment medium for customers and retailers.
The firm has also registered its exclusive outlets on e-commerce platforms like Amazon. Nandi said through this, Amazon is able to reach customers in tier 3/4 cities and exclusive brand outlets have been able to get online business.
Nandi said the appliance maker has sold almost 500 products so far through the help of live video demonstrations. Godrej Appliances is a part of Godrej & Boyce.
From May 18, stores in green zones (except malls, shopping complexes) were allowed to be open across India. This meant that stores selling electronic goods could be opened. However, appliance stores are taking a cautious approach because of a worker shortage and the risk of infection.
Not all traders have been familiar with digital selling. To ensure that they are able to engage with customers effectively, Nandi said that the company is also an online trade engagement programme.
“We have covered almost 5,000 trade partners explaining to them the changing dynamics of the industry, rapidly evolving consumer behaviour and how they need to prepare themselves,” he added.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.