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Coronavirus impact: Tupperware India taps social media for selling its products

In the first three months of the current calendar, the company has grown 15 percent. But due to the COVID-19 challenges, Chhabra said the company has lowered growth expectations by December-end to 10 percent.

June 17, 2020 / 05:42 PM IST

Tupperware India, a premium household and kitchenware brand known for direct sales over the last 24 years through its 70,000 women sellers, is now tapping the social media route to retail its products.

With COVID-19 came the challenge of restrictions around physical mobility and social distancing, and the company has found a way to deal with it.

Looking at the need of the hour and dynamically evolving consumer requirements, the brand is adopting a multi-channel approach to serve latent demand.

Tupperware India has launched a social selling channel via its newly launched web store.

In an interview with Moneycontrol, Deepak Chhabra, Managing Director, Tupperware India, said, “In these times of social distancing, all industry reports hint at increased adopting of social media during and post COVID-19. Consumer behaviour is bound to change, and it is time for brands to change or evolve accordingly.”

He pointed out that in the absence of physical meetings, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and video platforms are replacing traditional meet-and-greets by offering wider reach to engage with existing and potential customers, irrespective of where the direct sellers are physically stationed.

“Around 79 percent of salespeople, who use social media as a selling tool, outperform, those who don’t use struggle,” Chhabra said.

He said the newly launched social selling platform will enable swift and direct deliveries to the customers and earnings or commissions will be credited to the direct sellers digitally.

Until COVID-19 hit the country, direct sellers sold Tupperware India products through their contacts, visiting houses or societies and/or social gatherings.

In May, Tupperware completed its 24th year in India. The brand has a strong global legacy, yet has been known for its highly customised and localised efforts in India.

It has over empowered two million women by helping them start their entrepreneurial journey and also manufactured in India way before ‘Make in India’ or ‘Vocal for local’ like phrases were coined.

Tupperware has designed customised training modules for its direct sellers to adopt the new way of engaging with the consumer. But was quick to add that the social selling model is an extension and not a replacement of the physical meet and greets which Tupperware is traditionally known for.

The added advantage of social selling is its zero-investment initiation model, in-built convenience and efforts being saved in terms of time and other similar resources.

The newly launched webstore is in line with the brand’s harmonised multi-channel sales approach including direct selling, exclusive brand outlets and e-tail.

Along with listing the entire range of Tupperware products, it will host product utility and demonstration videos, quick and easy food recipes, and elaborate product information.

Designed on a ‘mobile first’ approach for an optimal experience on smartphone screens, Chhabra said the platform will offer superlative interface to dynamic and digitally savvy consumers who are always on the move.

In due course of time, the brand intends to undertake 360-degree integration of the multiple sales channels and offer a seamless experience to its consumers where they can experience the product at one channel, evaluate options on another, place order via a third medium and return or exchange on the fourth.

Over the last six to eight months, Tupperware India launched over 100 exclusive retail stores across various cities and towns and entered the e-commerce marketplaces and retained and harboured the direct selling channel alongside.

Tupperwear India reopened about 40 percent of its retail outlets spread across 17 cities in the first phase of Unlock 1.0 . The company has launched 55 retail outlets across India after adopting a multi-channel approach, switching from a direct selling model.

But, due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, e-tail outlets were closed and Tupperware was only functioning digitally through marketplaces and its own brand webstore.

The government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The company, which follows the calendar year for considering its financial results, expects 10 percent growth in revenue over last year.

In the first three months of the current calendar, the company has grown 15 percent. But due to the COVID-19 challenges, Chhabra said the company has lowered growth expectations by December-end to 10 percent.

Himadri Buch
Himadri Buch
first published: Jun 17, 2020 05:42 pm