How Natural Printing teamed up with Browntape to streamline operations and increase profits

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Natural Printing Pvt. Ltd. (NPPL or Natural Printing) is the brainchild of two friends, Mayank Bhatia and Shephali Mittal, over a casual conversation and a cup of tea. Soon enough, they took up the idea and started pursuing it seriously, with a little help from their friends.

Natural Printing first made its foray in the business world by creating chic, customized corporate gifts for MNCs. Inspired by the rising ecommerce wave, they decided to change their approach and start selling their products online in 2013. The two categories that Mayank and Shephali decided to focus on were bags and personal care. They created two brands for each category – Bendly and Hill Fresh. Now they are planning to enter other product categories by establishing new brands.

Natural Printing teamed up with Browntape during their online entrepreneurial journey. This case study is an account of the various challenges faced by the Natural Printing team, and how they overcame them to become one of the top sellers in their categories with the help of Browntape.

Transitioning from Corporate to Online Sales: Challenges

Establishing a brand in the online retail market from the ground up is no easy task. NPPL started off as an exclusive caterer of corporate gifts for various multinational companies. They established their business by nurturing a network of friends and acquaintances and growing it. But there were some stark disadvantages to the corporate market.

  • The orders came at irregular intervals.
  • Even with large volume orders, payment would always be an issue.
  • There was very little scope in terms of growing a brand.

After two years in the field, Mayank and Shephali started feeling a stagnation in the market and a need to explore uncharted territories of the online world. But this would take a lot of planning.

They were also aware of the differences between the two markets:

  • While the corporate market worked on a made-to-order basis, the online retail market required you to have a stocked warehouse all the time due to the anticipated steady flow of orders.

  • Creating listings, registering to various online retail channels and smoothing out operational bottlenecks were the next concern.

NPPL started focusing on two labels – Bendly in the bags category and Hill Fresh in the personal care category. The assistance provided by various online retail channels that they subscribed to turned out to be very helpful. After setting up and settling down in the business, the next challenge appeared – that of business expansion. Although the two brands were experiencing steady sales, the company was looking for further growth in the online retail market. Lack of funds and intellectual manpower were the main reasons for this stagnancy.

Teaming up with Browntape

The online retail market is tough because one needs to always be on top of the day-to-day operations, customer grievances, returns, logistics, etc. This leaves very little room to plan for business expansion issues like entering into new categories and creating new labels. There are two ways in which this problem can be addressed. The first is to hire an employee base and train them to handle the daily operations.

A simpler way is to tie up with an ecommerce solutions provider and let them take over the menial tasks. This is where Browntape came to NPPL’s rescue.

While looking for ecommerce experts to associate with, NPPL found that Browntape had an edge over the competition since they provided support in listings.

What pleasantly surprised them was that Browntape’s team of experts was ready to take over operational areas like onboarding to new marketplaces, listing products, reputation management, handling customer queries, creating invoices, and many more. As a result, Mayank and Shephali were free to do tasks that really mattered in the long run, from managing the brand identities of their labels to expanding into new marketplaces.

“So business has grown with certain speed with support provided by Browntape and we are looking forward to touch new heights with them,” Mayank beams.

Results

The results of this business decision are quite tangible. Since January, sales have increased by a steady 30% each quarter. In fact, sales in the current quarter have already surpassed the figures in the January/March quarter.

NPPL dec-feb edited

Natural Printing’s sales soared in February 2015 after tying up with Browntape.

Apart from that, Amazon has awarded “No.1 seller in messenger bags” to Bendly. This is as much a result of the trendy and vibrant designs as that of the successful collaboration between NPPL and Browntape.

Vijin Nair, Category Manager for NPPL, Browntape says, “A success story in our industry can be ensured only with the perfect combination of product and presentation. We combined NPPL’s value-for-money products with the best customer service and well-defined brand promotion strategies to take it to greater heights.”

Do you want your story to be the next Browntape success story? Contact Browntape today and we’ll be happy to help you multiply your online sales.

Online selling requires a dedicated team and continuous efforts to see effective results. A good team and seamless set of processes are a must for smooth operations. Browntape Enterprise Services understands this and helps retailers to take their retail business online. Once on board, Browntape will handle all the daily operations while the retailers can focus on quality and variety of their products.

How did Browntape multiply 60-year old Renka’s online sales in just 6 months?

Rahul Renka

Established in 1958, Rosy Hosiery Mills (RHM) has been in the business of manufacturing and exporting a number of products including fabric, garments, home furnishing, baby products and accessories. Their products are designed n tune with global style and colour trends, and have been well received by customers over the years. On the manufacturing front, they produce about 3,000 kgs of fabric/6,000 pieces per day.

Tryst with E-commerce

Over the years, RHM went from being just a manufacturer to brand Renka, known for women’s clothing, but sold only in the local markets. With almost 60 years in existence and three generations, the family decided to take the leap into ecommerce and enter the world of online retail. In the second half of 2014, Renka was listed on online marketplaces like Amazon and Snapdeal. But they failed to click and they could not complete the expected sales target. However, in October their sales started picking up and they their revenue multiplied in just three months! Today, Renka is among the top online sellers of winter apparel. How did that happen? Browntape!

Renka’s sales picked up after Browntape started managing their ecommerce operations

Renka’s sales picked up after Browntape started managing their ecommerce operations

Manufacturing – Renka’s advantage

  1. Profit margins not compromised- Being a manufacturer, the biggest advantage Renka had was the absence of middlemen, this helping to ease the cost factor. Without cutting down on profit margins, they could price products such that sustainability wouldn’t have to be compromised.
  2. Bulk products – As they were producing products in bulk, a stock-out situation never happened. Each design had 40-50 pieces in different sizes and colours.

Why did it fail to take off in the online space immediately?

Timing! When RHM started selling online, it was not the time people were buying winter items. Hence the traction was low. But the key while selling online is to keep selling after analysing the factors involved and making sure the right elements are applied at the right time.

How Browntape uplifted online brand Renka

A quick study of the brand revealed the following about Renka:

  • Styles and designs in tune with industry trends
  • Competitive prices
  • Stringent quality checks
  • Capacious warehouse

Capitalising on cues from Renka’s existing retail channel, Browntape formulated their online sales strategy:

  • Strategic timing

Different products sell better at different times of the year. A diary or a journal may sell more in December or January, while a normal notebook may sell more in May or June. Sales of gold jewellery picks up during Dhanteras, which is considered auspicious for buying gold jewellery. And so on. From October, customers would start checking out winter wear and Browntape accordingly advised Renka to churn out a larger quantity of products in different sizes and colours. So when sales started picking up, Renka was ready to fulfil the incoming demand without disappointing customers for which they received good reviews.

  • Consistent quality

Again, being a manufacturer, Renka could ensure one of the most crucial aspects was on track – product quality. Even one bad product can hamper the reputation of a brand (we know how social media is customers’ favourite to vent out or share opinions), thus leading to drop in traction.

  • Daily operations

Right from cataloguing to listing to order processing to inventory management was handled by the Browntape team, thus freeing Renka team from the headache of monitoring marketplaces and sales. All they had to do was pack products according to the orders received and send them out to customers.

  • Good seller rating

Seller rating on a marketplace is testimony of the seller’s products and performance. With Browntape’s seamless daily operations, Renka was able to fulfil all orders on time thus keeping customers happy and inviting positive reviews. With consistent good reviews, Renka’s rating ranked higher and impressed more customers.

  • Participation in online sales

Marketplaces have different deals and offers at different times, it becomes a tedious task to monitor and keep track of these. Browntape did this for Renka and decided on the right offers to participate in so that products would catch the eyeballs of the right customers.

Do you want your story to be the next Browntape success story? Contact Browntape today and we’ll  be happy to help you multiply your online sales.

Online selling requires a dedicated team and continuous efforts to see effective results. A good team and seamless set of processes are a must for smooth operations. Browntape Enterprise Services understands this and helps retailers to take their retail business online. Once on board, Browntape will handle all the daily operations while the retailers can focus on quality and variety of their products.

Track Your Remittance: New Browntape feature

The best part about selling online on multiple channels is getting the rewards – payment. But payment procedures on e commerce sites are not as easy as they sound. A large company like Flipkart sells around 10 products per minute, and on a good sales day, makes more than Rs.600 crores in a day. Moving this big a capital around is not a joke, especially because it has to be distributed between a large number of sellers after deducting commissions, costs, taxes, etc. individually. Online sites then have a simpler method to follow through with these transactions – remittance cycles.

As a seller, you have a remittance cycle of generally 15 to 30 days. At the end of every cycle, you get paid for all the products you sold within that cycle. Sellers generally have to sign up with the website’s preferred payment gateway (Flipkart – PayZippy, Amazon – PayPal, etc.). We previously made an exhaustive list of all payment gateways that you can subscribe to in India. The payment gateways have their own convenience fees that they charge you for using them. This would generally be different from the website commission charged to you. Apart from that, you may also be penalised for not complying with certain company policy. Your final remittance at the end of the cycle reflects the net amount you receive after deducting all these aspects.

Browntape’s Track Your Remittance Feature

Although it all sounds well and good with the remittance policy, there can be an alarming lack of transparency in the actual transaction. Payment gateway convenience fees change with the time period and the amount to be transferred. Penalty policy changes from website to website. There may also be the issue of cashback or withheld payments.

If you are an online seller subscribing to multiple channels, it can be quite a difficult task to sift through all the transactions and keep a track of your exact remittance for every website, especially because the remittance cycles for each website would vary.

This is where Browntape’s Track Your Remittance feature comes in handy.

What Does it Do?

Track Your Remittance feature from Browntape gives you the complete breakdown of your remittance at the end of each individual cycle for every sales channel that you subscribe to on your dashboard. This breakdown is easy to analyse and is stored, per cycle, into your Browntape account, for easy access and reference. You are notified at the end of every cycle for each of your channels and the capital is reflected in your net profits, which you can analyse according to your convenience. This means that your money is transferred to you with complete transparency.

Browntape is the only multi channel order management system in India that offers a detailed breakdown of the remittance cycle. For more information about this feature and other queries, get in touch with Browntape and try our 30-day free trial. We are India’s leading order management solutions providers, and we are always happy to help.

How Browntape Simplifies the Order Processing Procedures for All Your Online Marketplaces

It’s a question most of us don’t bother to ask. It’s like asking how the plumber turns the water on, or the IT guy fixes your computer. We know that Browntape has the capacity to integrate numerous online and offline marketplaces, including your brick-and-mortar store. But it’s definitely good to know what goes on under the hood.

Since each of your sales channels is different, the specific mechanisms and architecture employed to integrate them into your Browntape dashboard also vary slightly. For example, some stores offer shipping assistance and some don’t. Some platforms are purely dedicated to online money transfer and merchant payments, while others act as online mega malls. These differences, small and big, are reflected in their integrations with Browntape.

So it’s good to know the overview of how these integrations work, and what each of them provide, to make the most of all your online and offline investments. This is exactly what we are going to do in this post.

Online Platform Integrations with Browntape: A Closer Look

  • Amazon

Browntape offers a comprehensive and seamless integration with Amazon. Here, you can import your orders from Amazon into the delightfully simple Browntape interface, which is auto synced regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on new information. Apart from that, you can forward product shipping information to Amazon to speed up the fulfillment process. Additionally, your Amazon customer feedback is directly imported to your Browntape dashboard making it easy for you to keep an eye on your performance. All data is secure and yours to use, download and analyze.

  • eBay

The online marketplace giant eBay is also not a problem for Browntape users. Auto sync your incoming eBay orders on the Browntape dashboard and watch your net inventory auto update to reflect order processing. Receive feedback from your customers and instantly reply right through the Browntape interface. All the relevant shipping information like shipping id, tracking info and other notes can be sent directly to eBay through the interface.

  • PayPal

eBay’s money transfer subsidiary PayPal can also be linked to Browntape. Record all your online transactions done using PayPal and watch them systematically being stored on Browntape. Notes and communication posted along with the transaction can also be seamlessly integrated to your dashboard.

  • Magento

Magento is a highly influential open source e-commerce content management system, and it integrates deeply with Browntape. Not only can you smoothly run all the tasks that Magento is capable of, like order and shipping management, through Browntape, but it gives you the additional power to interact with your customers through auto generated emails and keep an eye on a centralized inventory.

  • Shopify

For Indian ecommerce giant Shopify, Browntape offers some key features. You can auto sync orders, manage a centralized inventory, print shipping labels and send and receive feedback to your customers.

  • Tradus

Adding Tradus to your list of online platforms is as easy as adding your Tradus username and password to your Browntape account. Print shipping labels in bulk, manage orders and study your sales using the comprehensive analytics dashboard that Browntape offers.

  • ShopClues

ShopClues is another big player in the Indian e-commerce sector that can be easily synced and managed through Browntape just by feeding in your username and password. With this you get the full range of services that Browntape offers, like easy order management, centralized inventory, shipping labels and analytics.

  • Brick-and-Mortar Store

Finally, who can forget your offline store? Beautifully syncing your online and offline orders is one of the USPs of Browntape. You can use the Browntape interface as your primary storekeeping mechanism, by punching in orders as you receive them. Apart from that, you can also upload bulk orders from your offline warehouse through CSV and rest assured that your changes in the centralized inventory are accounted for.

Apart from the above channels, Browntape is on its way to integrate many other prominent platforms very soon. With continuous research, development and revisions, you get regular updates and newer features that make your job so much easier.

For more info, get in touch with Browntape, and sign up for our 30-day free trial. We are always happy to help!

How were Diwali Sales for Online Marketplace Sellers?

Expectations were high this Diwali season for both online marketplaces and the sellers selling on these platforms. With promises of ‘the best’ offers to customers, some were quite a success while some like Flipkart had to face the brunt of many.

Who reached the expected sales figures? Or who achieved part of their targets?

At Browntape we saw some interesting data to share.

A survey by Assocham predicted a 350% growth in online sales in India this Diwali season. Aside from the convenience of online shopping, consumers are more inclined towards it now due to the unbeatable discounts and abundance of choices at their fingertips. In the past year, many clothing, accessories and footwear brands have made their entry in the ecommerce space to be accessible to customers from all parts of the country.

Promotional offers by online marketplaces

Snapdeal was already reaping in benefits with the Bigg Boss, hugely popular with the masses. Probably of the highest duration, the Snapdeal Diwali sale was on from Sept 15th to Oct 25th. The sale, coupled with the rigorous marketing campaign (including multiple TV ads featuring major TV and cinema artistes) brought in a 100% surge in sales.

Flipkart wanted to make history with its Big Billion Day on October 6th, but all that came out of it was the flak from all sides and the question in everyone’s minds- Who actually gained from the Big Billion Day?

Amazon played it safe; whether it was because of Flipkart’s debacle we can’t be sure. Amazon’s Diwali Bumper Sale was kickstarted with a disclaimer on its ads that offers would be valid on select products and brands only, and that too while stocks lasted.

How much did online sellers gain with Diwali sales?

Based on the orders received by Browntape’s sellers on the days leading to Diwali, sales picked up on the days leading to Diwali, with highest sales recorded just 2-3 days before Diwali.

Interestingly, Flipkart seems to have attracted maximum sales despite the Big Billion Day disaster. Is that an indication that Flipkart bounced back from it with better offers and better control on stock?

Amazon had its Diwali Dhamaka sale from October 8-16th, when it reportedly had a two-fold surge in its traffic on the first day itself. Flipkart generated ten-fold traffic for its Diwali sale. Flipkart has established itself as a brand synonymous with deals and discounts

Who burst the bubble?

While we did not face any issue with our packages to customers, many etailers and customers were miffed with the problem of delayed deliveries this Diwali season. Yet another indication of the need for logistic companies to scale up and match up to the growth of ecommerce, many packages were left piled up in warehouses.

Many customers even refused to accept deliveries as their packages reached later than the intended date or Diwali. The sellers lost out in this mess-up by the logistic companies. Would the sales figures have been more if the deliveries were on track? Maybe yes.

Most etailers were of the opinion that their sales were particularly good this season and they did not have to face confiscation or taxation issues, unlike previous instances.

Selling Online – Should you open your own store or sell on marketplaces?

Published by Browntape on iamwire.

In the e-commerce space, there are a very few products that are not sold online today. From grocery to sexual wellness, it’s all there in the online selling space with consumers getting to pick from a number of options. “Should you sell online?” seems to be a question of the past now. What’s more relevant now is, “Should you open your own store or sell on 3rd-party marketplaces?”

In our journey up till now at Browntape Technologies  we have come across several sellers facing the same dilemma, although the strategy for each seller could vary depending on the merchant’s needs, below are some points that remain same while taking the decision of where to sell.

Where do consumers shop?

The first step in online selling is of course deciding what you want to sell. Once you have zeroed in on the product or products, the real question needs an answer – Where do your target consumers shop?

We heard how the marketplaces did well during Diwali with some achieving never-seen-before sales. Is that only during festival times or do consumers generally prefer to shop on marketplaces?

Currently, all the major marketplaces are well positioned in the Indian consumers’ minds. Best deals on books and electronics are associated with Flipkart and Amazon, while Myntra is on top of consumers’ minds for clothes and accessories. Snapdeal is considered as a winner for discounted products.

One of the main reasons for consumers’ preference for marketplaces is the credibility and trust factor. Although online shopping is popular with the masses now, many are still skeptical about shopping from unknown sites.

Why you should consider selling through an online 3rd-party marketplace?

  1. Consumers trust marketplaces

Consumers never say they bought something from seller A or seller B, they only say they bought it off Amazon or Flipkart. Sure, consumers are aware that they are actually dealing with a third-party when buying from an online marketplace, but they expect sellers and products to be verified by the marketplaces. They have the assurance that if something goes wrong, the marketplace will take the responsibility of sorting it for them.

Marketplaces in turn have worked towards getting consumers’ trust by providing return and refund policies, protecting against bad sellers, etc. Depending on the platform, there are different policies to keep track of sellers’ performance and products. They reserve the right to reject a seller at any point if found to be a fraud.

  1. Loyalty from consumers

Online marketplaces have established themselves so well in consumers’ minds now that when they think of purchasing something, they first go to their preferred platform before checking on others. Even if they find what they are looking for in an independent e-store, they would probably still go back to their favourite marketplace and buy it from there only anyway.

  1. Save on marketing costs

Online marketplaces are like online shopping malls where footfalls are already happening (in terms of online traffic). They are shelling out millions of dollars to market themselves, so you would not have to invest anything from your pocket for marketing your products. They try to stay on top of their game with constant tweaking to their SEO, social media, advertising, affiliations, loyalty programs and a lot more. So in some way or other, they will find their way into consumers’ minds and attract them. Moreover, they charge you only when you sell anything through them. It’s a win-win.

  1. No hassles of setting up payment gateways

All marketplaces have their own payment gateways in place so wont have to worry about setting it up as you would have to in case of setting up your own store. All the sales that you make on the marketplaces, the payments for those are transferred directly into the seller’s bank account. Its always better to reconcile the payments though to make sure that all payments are made.

  1. Logistics are taken care of

Most marketplaces have tie ups with multiple logistics companies like FedEx, DTDC, Bluedart, Aramex, Delhivery, etc to provide shipping services. When a seller signs up with them, they will already have the option to use the marketplace’s logistics partners. This is a big boon since setting up and managing individual tie ups with multiple shipping companies is very cumbersome and time consuming.

So all these sum up to the fact that online sellers just need to list and sell, and they don’t need to –

  • win trust, as consumers already trust the marketplaces.

  • encourage loyalty with additional programs or offers, as consumers already have their loyalties towards marketplaces.

  • spend in marketing costs as marketplaces are already doing it to attract consumers to their platforms.

  • setup payment gateways

  • manage logistics and shipping companies

When should you consider setting up your own online store?

Selling on your own online store is not an extension of the same online selling process; it is a completely different ball game.

  1. Unique Products – Your own brand

If you have a unique product that you want to develop as a brand, then an online store makes sense. Developing and building your own brand is not possible in an online marketplace beyond a certain extent. But you should take the leap only if you are ready to shell out the kind of investment that would be needed to actually achieve that level of brand recall in consumers’ minds.

So you have control over your brand and your content, as opposed to a marketplace where you have to stick to the marketplace regulations and formats to have them going up.

  1. Your own customer base

This is probably the biggest advantage of having your own online store. When a consumer buys from you, you get all details and he becomes your customer. Now you can decide how you want to target him and attract him to come back to you for more, as opposed to a marketplace where you don’t have control over details of your customers.

  1. Control promotions and deals

You can promote your products with whatever deal or offer you wish and push them to your target audience. Whereas, in a marketplace you are one among the many running the marketplace deal trying to get customers’ attention. When you have excess inventory, you can run a deal on your own store to clear and sell them; whereas in a marketplace you don’t have control over the timings of promotions.

Profit Margins

Initial set-up costs for your own store would work out higher than marketplaces. However, marketplaces work on a commission model, meaning a part of your sales figure would always have to be given back. Whereas, in your own store, once you have set up, everything that comes after that is yours.

Maybe you should ask these questions before deciding on your own online store or online marketplace –

  • Do you have that kind of capital to invest in setting up your own store?

  • Is your product/products that unique that customers will flock to your store ignoring all the major marketplaces?

  • Will you get that kind of volume in sales to get your return on investment?

  • Do you have the expertise and team to establish your brand and market to your target audience?

If your answer to all the above is no, maybe you should start selling or continue selling on marketplaces and work your way towards setting up your own store. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us.

Is Your Online Retail Business Healthy?

So you started with an idea to try online retail and today you are an e-commerce businessman. People buy products from you everyday, through your website or an online sales channel that you subscribe to. As you spend more and more time on the online marketplace, your venture starts growing in a complicated manner.

Consider a business to be like a large machine, made up of smaller parts that link together to run it as a whole. These parts can be the warehouse, logistics, marketing, product supply, order management, etc. It is your job to make sure that each of these parts function healthily and in tandem with each other, which results in a steadily growing business.

Of course, there are external factors to consider too – market fluctuations, demand scarcity, competition, etc. These are factors you can’t control, but can only be ready for. So how to measure if your online retail business is healthy and growing? What metrics to focus on? Let’s look at it further in this article.

How to Check if Your Business is Healthy

  1. Short Term Metrics (less than a year)

  • Sales Productivity

Sales productivity metrics is typically the first thing you would check to see if your business is running smoothly. Good sales means good business. One can analyse sales performance by looking at the market share, product pricing comparisons with the competition, sales data on a particular channel and across all channels. A sales dashboard can come in handy during this process.

  • Operating Cost Productivity

Operating costs include the resources allocated in all operational processes of the company. These include product packaging and delivery, server and website costs, rent, warehouse costs, etc. The idea is to check whether maximum efficiency is maintained while allocating operational costs and to weed out leakage of resources.

  • Capital Productivity

Your online retail business is working on a capital. This includes your property, equipment, workshop (if you are a manufacturer), inventory, receivables, payables, etc. Here you will encounter whether you are using your company working capital in the most productive manner.

  1. Medium Term Metrics (one to five years)

  • Commercial Health

Commercial health is a marker for your sustenance and improvement over the years as an online seller. You can quantify your commercial health through metrics like brand recognition, customer satisfaction and regulatory risk. These factors directly contribute to the well being of your organization.

  • Cost Structure Health

Cost structure health metrics analyze a company’s ability as compared to its competitors and manage its costs over the next 3-5 years. This is a way of looking into the future to extrapolate realistically the costs that the business would incur and plan them accordingly

  • Assets Health

Within one to five years of existence, your business will have accumulated a few assets, both physical and online. From workshops and warehouses to domains and brand names, this is where you check how well you have developed and maintained your assets.

  1. Long Term Metrics (More than 5 years)

  • Long Term Strategic Health

While analyzing your journey as an online business owner in the long term, you need to check whether you have accurately identified and exploited new areas of growth. Have you incorporated new sales channels? Identified new potential markets? Expanded geographically? Built a mobile application for your product? These are the questions that you will answer while analyzing your online retail business health in the long run.

These are some basic factors that you need to be looking at while analyzing your business’s well being. For any more information or in case of queries, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading multi-channel e-commerce solution providers and we are always happy to help!