How Rena Kutz, Kitchenware manufacturer, transformed their Online Retail business with Browntape

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The Rena Kutz Group has been a trusted name in the home and kitchen appliances industry for the past 50 years. They have been producing the finest stainless steel kitchen accessories like kitchenware, utensils, cutlery and a series of unique kitchen aids for professional hoteliers/caterers. Their brands have been globally recognized and are regularly exported to the global markets in regions like Europe, Singapore, Kuwait, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, USA and UK.

The key points to the success of Rena Kutz can be attributed to the meticulous care with which their products are fabricated, using the finest raw materials, engineering techniques and skilled manpower. Products are only shipped after thorough quality checks and customer satisfaction is considered to be the prime goal.

When a company with a legacy like this decides to foray into the world of online sales, they need to be very careful. The online market can be quite fickle as compared to the offline one, and one mistake can easily be magnified.

Rena Kutz partnered with Browntape to improve their hold on the online market and the results were quickly visible. This case study looks at the advantages that Rena Kutz had while entering the market, the challenges it faced, and how it overcame those challenges to establish itself as a major player in the online retail market with the help of Browntape.

Key Advantages of Rena Kutz

Rena Kutz entered the online market with a few important advantages over many other sellers. A few of them are:

  1. Established brand name
  2. Over 50 years experience in the industry
  3. Existing manufacturing and storage units
  4. Experience in shipping abroad
  5. Access to superior raw material, technology and manpower

Overcoming Challenges

With these assets, Rena Kutz was ready to take on the world of online retail. But online retail is a different ballgame, and the company soon realized that. The initial issues began with the different requirements of different marketplaces. Each online retail channel requires sellers to verify themselves, and each uses a different format to do so. Once the registration is done, comes the question of listing, cataloging and selling on each one of them. Again, each marketplace operates differently, which means that, for a seller with the means to provide for multiple marketplaces at the same time, the real headache is to co-ordinate between each of them.

This is a common problem with established brands entering the online retail space for the first time. They do have the manpower and the operational prowess to produce, but they can be lacking in the technical know-how of the online marketplace. Many large enterprises fail to make a mark on the online retail space due to this issue.

Teaming up with Browntape

Sensing that they required expert assistance, Rena Kutz recruited Browntape to help manage their online sales. Browntape has years of industry experience and knowledge about the working of the online market. Its team of experts quickly assessed the situation and streamlined the online sales procedure for Rena Kutz.

These three are the most important ways in which Browntape offered concrete assistance to Rena Kutz.

  1. Integrating online sales channel data

  2. Optimizing logistics using automation 

  3. Bridging the gap between consumer and seller

  1. Integrating online sales channel data. By simplifying various operational processes and integrating sales data from all the subscribed sales channels, the response time to issues like low inventory was drastically reduced.
  2. Optimizing logistics using automation. Using tools such as automated printing of invoices and shipping labels, Browntape managed to streamline various processes without having to recruit more manpower and lowering costs.
  3. Bridging the gap between consumer and seller. Browntape created and managed easy access lines of communication between the seller and the consumer, backing it up with technologies like courier tracking to make sure that customer grievances were made first priority and solved efficiently.
Sales of Rena Kutz after tying up with Browntape

Sales of Rena Kutz in the past four months

Ashish Shah, the Director of Rena Kutz, feels that ecommerce is here to stay in India and all the manufacturers have to be present in the online space.

“Today’s consumer has the benefit of getting things at home without wasting on time and conveyance to go to the shops. Browntape is an excellent service provider to help your products be out there and be visible on all marketplaces at the lowest cost.”

Results

Today, Rena Kutz is one of the top sellers in all online marketplaces it has its presence in. More importantly, it has taken to online sales like a fish to water.

Abhishek Malu, Category Manager at Browntape handling Rena Kutz says,

“When the client places his trust on us, the onus is on us to use our knowledge and give our inputs pertaining to price, SKUs etc. Productive outcomes are the result of mutual trust; efficient growth is the result of the right product listed right and priced apt such that it gets maximum visibility.”

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 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.

Working capital assistance from online marketplaces: What are your options?

The Indian online marketplace has become a battleground for some big names. With e-retail and m-retail growing at an astounding rate, the Indian e-commerce industry is all set to hit the $100 billion mark by 2020. A few names stand out with respect to online retail, in terms of their sheer market size and growth rate. These are Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. According to a 2014 report by Morgan-Stanley, these three players have shot ahead of the competition. In 2014, Flipkart led with a whopping 44% market share, Snapdeal followed with 32% while Amazon was at number 3 with a 15% market share.

Naturally, these three players are doing everything within their power to one-up each other in the market. This might be some mildly interesting Twitter banter between Flipkart and Amazon, or the coinciding sales that these companies partake in (case in point, the upcoming Amazon sale from 10th to 12th August and the Snapdeal sale from 10th to 16th.) One more area where these three are heavily competing is capital financing for their sellers. Since this is a really important issue for most sellers who subscribe on these marketplaces, we are dedicating this article towards discussing the nuances of the capital financing plans offered by these three.

Flipkart Vs Amazon Vs Snapdeal: Capital Financing

Let us first understand the importance of capital financing. One of the biggest advantages of online retail is the low working capital required to start up. Although this might be true, a seller might be in need of capital to expand their business as they grow. Capital financing is a good way for online marketplaces to assist sellers in business expansion. Each of our three competitors offers comprehensive capital financing plans. Let us look at them individually.

Flipkart

Flipkart has partnered with five financial institutions including Axis Bank, Capital Float, LendingKart and Bajaj Finserv Ltd. to offer financing services to its sellers. Sellers can get loans of amounts starting from Rs. 1 Lakhs to Rs. 2 Crore. The interest rates for the loans are between 11.99% and 12.99% and do not require sellers to put up collaterals. Although all sellers can apply for a loan through this service, Flipkart will choose which sellers to award the loans to. These are line of credit type loans with a 12-month tenure.

Snapdeal

Snapdeal managed to raise over Rs.50 crore through its Capital Assist program. To do this, they have partnered with over 12 banks and NBFCs including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Religare and L&T Finance. Snapdeal has clearly defined eligibility criteria and selection procedures for its sellers, although applications are open for all sellers.  Tying up with Tata Capital, Snapdeal offers loans starting from Rs.5 Lakhs to Rs.2 Crore at competitive rates and flexible tenures.

Amazon India

Amazon has also recognized that credit is the key factor when it comes to the Indian market. Recently, it introduced its loan program for sellers in 8 countries including India. These short-term working capital loans are offered to selected sellers on an invite-only basis. Amazon cites the high failure rate of small businesses in India and China as the reason behind this strategy. The loans will range from $1,000 to $600,000 (Rs.64, 000 to Rs. 3.8 Crore approximately) and will be offered for a tenure of six months. Amazon plans to make money through the interest on the loans and sale commissions.

This is what we have on capital funding for sellers. To know more, get in touch with Browntape. We are always happy to help!

How to Choose the Right Marketplace for Your Products

Once you decide that you want to sell online, the first question that you have to answer is where. There are a lot of options. You can either go for one or more of the innumerable sales channels that make up the online retail horizon, or fly solo and open up your own online store. Also, if you do go for the sales channels option, which ones do you subscribe to? And how many of them? These are tough decisions, and we are here to help you with them.

Let’s understand first what an online marketplace offers you. An online marketplace is your virtual store – your customers will be able to browse through your products here and make purchases. What online sales channels do is they assist you in this process in the following ways –

  1. They let you create product catalogs and list them on their virtual real estate
  2. They provide you with a customer base
  3. They act as middlemen during the transaction
  4. They assist you with the logistics part of the process

In return, they take a certain percentage commission from each sale. You also have to adhere to their rules and policies, and they have the power to penalise you if you don’t. Essentially, the store might be yours, but it’s their mall. As opposed to this, having your own online store gives you back your sovereignty in the virtual world. Let us look at the pros and cons a little more deeply.

How to Choose Where to Sell Online

  • Analyze Your Product

If you are just a retailer, it does not make much sense for you to open your own online store, especially in popular product categories like electronics and apparel. These are high volume markets, with a massive demand and a supply that just barely matches it. As opposed to that, if you are a manufacturer too, or are selling a niche product, you can really develop your brand from ground up in the online world. Subscribe to a marketplace which is popular for selling products in your category.

  • Logistics Support

Think about logistics before subscribing to marketplaces. If a particular sales channel is inept in providing logistical assistance around the area where your warehouses are situated, you will be in a tight spot. If you plan to start your own marketplace, study logistics providers carefully. We have already written extensively about logistics providers here and here.

  • Marketplace Popularity

Sales channels like Amazon and Flipkart are pretty much synonymous to online retail in today’s market. The top few sales channels generally are the consumers’ first choice when it comes to shopping online. Subscribing with one or more of them means you get access to that big a customer base. Having your own online store means starting from scratch.

  • Competition

The other side of the coin is the immense competition that one finds on these huge online sales channels. There are multiple sellers jostling together for the same product, differentiated only by little things like product descriptions, photographs and seller ratings. It sure is a tough market.

  • Brand Image

Subscribing to an online sales channel doesn’t give you much room in terms of growth. Here, people don’t buy products from ‘seller123’; they buy products from Flipkart or Amazon. You are reduced to a nameless provisioner. This is bad because this way, you cannot grow your brand image. On the other hand, on a dedicated store, you can carefully tailor your brand image by harnessing the power of social media. Amazon recently started allowing sellers to use their dedicated website to funnel transactions through their Amazon accounts. This way, you get all the benefits of subscribing to an online store while preserving your brand image.

  • Subscription Cost

Different sales channels have different subscription costs and commission plans. In return, they also offer different essential and optional services. It is better to shortlist a few channels and then carefully go through their specific plans to choose the ones that you want to go for.

For any more information about sales channels and online retail in general, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce solutions experts, and we are always happy to help!

Tier 2, 3 Cities as Potential Markets for Online Retail

India’s online retail market can be subdivided into two parts in terms of the geography – the so called tier 1 cities, which include the metropolises and the highly developed industrial and cultural hubs and the tier 2 and 3 cities which include the so called developing regions around the country.

The disparity between these two parts is pretty blatant – tier 1 cities are prioritized in terms of most amenities, they are valued more within a state since they contribute more to the economy and thus they also tend to be more glamorous. In fact, until recently it was thought that the online retail business wouldn’t have much support outside the tier 1 cities. Turns out this is a gross misconception. Although it is true that the online retail business has a huge market in tier 1 cities, the contribution of tier 2 and 3 cities can scarcely be ignored.

Why Should You Focus on Tier 2, 3 Cities for Online Retail?

  • United They Stand

As of the 2011 census, there are 8 tier 1 cities in India – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. As compared to these, there are as many as 3,133 tier 2 and 3 cities and more than 1,233 rural hubs. While one third of India’s 1.2 billion population lives in tier 1 through 4 cities, only 8% of these reside in tier 1 cities. This means that, an online seller cannot ignore the combined volume of the more than 4,500 cities and hubs that make up the rest of India.

  • Mobile Power

Mobile technology is revolutionizing the tier 2 and 3 markets, according to this Forrester report. Half the shoppers in tier 3 cities are already on mobile, as compared to the one third from tier 1 cities. Cheaper smartphone technology and the growing range of connectivity in Indian towns seem to be the root cause of these figures, and an online retailer must not ignore them. In fact, the m-commerce market in India is slated to reach $19 billion by 2019.

  • Women are the Dominant Force

The same Forrester report further asserts that women are the driving force in tier 2 and 3 online retail markets. In fact, they spend more than twice as much money online as men from the same geographical markets do. This is an important piece of information for online retailers to consider while building a sales and marketing strategy.

  • Indian Online Retail Market Geography

According to this Accel Report, the top three markets for online retail in India are –

  1. Delhi-NCR
  2. Karnataka
  3. Maharashtra

Similarly, the markets with very little e-commerce presence are –

  1. Bihar
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. Chhattisgarh
  • New Buyers

In 2011, the cities of Pune and Ahmedabad were upgraded to receive the tier 1 status. As more and more cities develop, their markets will grow. In fact, many tier 2 and 3 cities are growing at an unprecedented rate. It has been estimated that 70% people from tier 1 and 2 cities who do not currently make online purchases will do so in the next 12 months. As services like internet become more and more available to newer areas around India, tier 2 and 3 markets – unsaturated by over competition and having room to breathe, are the real markets to watch out for.

To know more about tier 2 and 3 markets, or in case of queries, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce solution experts and we are always happy to help!

Hottest Product Categories in Indian Online Retail

Online retail profits have been leapfrogging for the past few years in India. Especially with the advent of cheap smartphone technology and the enthusiasm online retail platforms have provided in terms of m-commerce, online sales have truly skyrocketed. The first question every prospective online retailer has in mind is – ‘What do I sell?’ There are differing answers to this question, depending upon various perspectives.

One way is to figure out the most popular product to sell and enter the extremely competitive market. Since a large market base is divided by many suppliers, you are bound to get a small share, but the opportunity for growth is slow. The other way is to create a market base using a niche product. This article makes a good case for this strategy. Also check out Chris Anderson’s Long Tail Phenomenon, which describes this course of action, is detail.

The point is, whichever way you go, you do need to know about the current demand trends in the market. These trends can directly affect you, or they can affect you through a secondary market basis. But it is important to know. Therefore we are providing information about the Indian online retail market in this post, and its current demand trends and hottest product categories. Let’s take a look.

Demand Trends in the Indian Online Retail Market in 2015

Market Description

The total turnover of the e-commerce market in India is supposed to hit $16 billion in 2016. Of this, nearly 31% belongs to online retail and 61% belongs to the travel industry while the rest can be chalked up to wholesale and other services. According to the data gathered by Accel India, the number of internet users in India will grow to more than 400 million by 2016. Of these, more than 60% generally frequent e-commerce websites. The conversion rate from visitors to buyers is expected to jump to 2.9% from 2.7% in 2013. This means that the gross turnover due to online retail will exceed $8.5 billion in 2016.

Hot Product Categories

According to a study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, or IAMAI, mobile phones and their accessories are the highest selling items on online retail websites like Flipkart and Snapdeal. The online retail industry, growing at the rate of more than 33% currently, favours various product categories in the following order –

  1. Mobile phones and accessories: Mobile phones and accessories hold a 41% market share with sales worth around Rs. 9,936 crore.
  2. Apparel, footwear, etc.: Personal items like apparel, footwear and other accessories come second in the race for the most popular online retail category. They cover around 20% of the market with sales upwards of Rs. 4,699 crore.
  3. Consumer Durables: Consumer durables like kitchen appliances and other accessories account for 14% of the online retail market. The sales in this category have been worth Rs. 3,404 crore.
  4. Laptops/notebooks/other electronic items: Laptops and other electronic items consist of 10% of the market with sales up to Rs. 2,780 crore
  5. Home furnishings: Home furnishings show sales of Rs. 1,059 crore
  6. Books: Books have garnered sales of Rs. 648 crore.

These are some of the sales figures for the year 2014-15. We hope these will help you in your strategy to sell on online platforms.

For any help or queries, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading online retail solutions experts and we are always happy to help!

Want to sell overseas? Here’s 5 online marketplaces to explore!

India has one of the fastest growing e-commerce industries in the world, in terms of both supply and demand. With the total turnover of the Indian e-commerce market slated to cross $16 billion in 2015, its growth can only be described as meteoric. But it is no wonder that an entrepreneur would look at the overseas market for sales. Overseas markets offer some obvious benefits over the Indian e-commerce market. Firstly, the rate of exchange makes a huge difference when it comes to profit markups. Secondly, a product may find itself in a refreshingly unique position in an overseas market as compared to the oversaturation it might face in the domestic one.

The Indian e-commerce market is starting to realize the importance of this foreign investment. Of course, a lot of strategizing is required before making the decision to enter a foreign market. Doing so prematurely may be disastrous for your business. The important factors to consider before entering an overseas market are the trade routes, rates of exchange, recognizing potential markets, shipping costs, customs and taxes, etc. Once you have done these calculations and zeroed in on a potentially lucrative market, you can look for ways to enter it. There are many ways to enter the overseas markets. Having your own website is probably the easiest, although you would have to put in a lot of effort in branding and marketing it for a foreign customer base.

There are a few Indian online marketplaces that let you sell your products overseas. We have compiled a list of the top 5 such marketplaces.

Marketplaces that let You Sell Overseas

  1. Amazon

Amazon.in recently started allowing its third party sellers to sell their products overseas. Amazon is especially tapping the market for ethnic apparel, handcrafted items, shoes, yoga books, etc. for its US and UK customers. As of May 2015, when the service began, over 200 sellers had already started using it to sell their products on the global market. Amazon is especially looking at the 25 million Indians who live outside India as a viable target market.

  1. eBay

eBay India also provides the service of letting its third party sellers sell their products overseas In fact in 2012, eBay rallied so that its online sellers with international sales would get an ‘exporter’ status, thus giving them various tax and customs exemptions. Selling internationally with eBay is quite easy, and the company provides a range of tools and tips for sellers wanting to do so.

  1.  Alibaba

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba also facilitates Indian vendors to sell their wares on the global market. In fact, the number of Indian listings on Alibaba is second only to China. For its Indian venture, Alibaba has partnered with ICICI bank and the Indian logistics provider Mypacco.com.

  1. Etsy

The go to site for everything handmade also lists Indian sellers. Although this is just a one way street – Etsy does not deliver in India. Indian handcrafted products, though, are a hit on the platform, as witnessed by sellers like Everything Indian and Anek. Etsy does not provide shipping and logistics services for its Indian sellers, so these responsibilities have to be borne by the vendors themselves.

  1. Craftsvilla

Craftsvilla is another Indian company that lets you list your products on the global market. Craftsvilla has already garnered a reputation in India and abroad for its tasteful and authentic handcrafted products. To be an internationally listed seller on Craftsvilla, you need to complete the VillaPay seller registration on their website.

These are some of the top online platforms that let Indian vendors sell their products on the global market. To know more about individual procedures or for any other queries, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce solutions providers and we are always happy to help!