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EP #47: Customer Engagement and Retention Lessons From India’s eCommerce leader, Fynd

About this Podcast

The E-commerce industry has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the change in customer behavior. With customers shopping online to satisfy their shopping needs, brands have had to cater to their customer’s needs by delivering personalized experiences across channels. Fynd is India’s largest offline-to-online (O2O) omnichannel platform that works with brands & retailers to sell products across different online & offline channels beyond the store. Customers can buy these products on Fynd’s website or the app or other prominent marketplaces like Amazon, Myntra, Tata CLiQ, Ajio, Flipkart and Google. To understand how Fynd aims to reach out to a wider user base by collaborating with us to achieve a high notification delivery rate through Netcore’s Smart Push technology, we caught up with Puneet Sachdev, Lead & Product Growth Manager at Fynd.   Puneet highlights the following:

  • The genesis & growth story of Fynd, as one of the major players in India’s e-commerce industry
  • How the e-commerce industry is combating the challenges posed by COVID-19
  • How brands are leveraging the power of digital platforms to improve customer engagement & retention
  • Why customer retention is the new acquisition
  • Fynd’s vision of engaging with a wider user base & how Netcore’s Smart Push technology can enable them in achieving it through its high notification delivery rate
  • Key focus areas for e-commerce marketers to scale in a post COVID-19 world

Tune in to learn how e-commerce brands are directly engaging with customers across different channels through personalization to accelerate growth!

Episode Transcripts

Akanksha(Host): Hi guys, welcome to yet another Super insightful episode of MarTechno beat, especially curated podcast series powered by Netcore. Here’s where you learn about the Cutting Edge insights as well as the basic amazing Technologies, which are coming up from leading marketers, product Champions, and Market influencers on all things weird growth acquisition retention or personalization. I am your host for today Akanksha Sharma and a special guest today who’s joining us is Puneet  Sachdev. Welcome to Puneet.

Puneet (Guest): Hey Akanksha.

Akanksha: Puneet thank you so much for giving us your time.

Puneet: Thanks a lot for having me on your platform. Thanks a lot.

Akanksha: Great. So, I mean just to set a context Puneet, you know, being the lead and product growth marketers and shop since retail technology, you know fynd today is India’s largest offline to online-only Channel platform working with Brands and retailers to enable their stew inventory’s to be, you know, accessible across different offline and online channels. Puneet, today when you say the entire world going digital firstly I’d like to congratulate you for your upcoming anniversary. And I think our readers would love to know more about it. In fact, you know with your experience coming from Genesis as well as the growth story for Fynd.

Puneet: Sure. Thanks a lot, Akanksha. So I can say yes we do have a fifth anniversary, which is we are celebrating on 20th, that’s just tomorrow and we have been in Inception since 2015 somewhere around the same time. Yes, obviously October we started off as an omnichannel partner. We were trying to reach out to brands who have their stores whether it may be malls or it may be in high streets and all those pieces and get these stores to sell their inventory online. So this was our primary objective where we started from when we say that why shouldn’t they get extra sales? And this is where your platform fynd.com keeping to Inception and it’s now like almost six years. Now, we have around 22 million less customers who are attached to our portal as of now and we have kind of expanded this portfolio to multiple other businesses. Now whoever comes on a platform can not only just sell to customers and customers they can also sell to the retailers in tier 2 tier 3 cities, they can sell their products on third-party platforms like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, and all other things as well. So as I mentioned yes, this is something which we are going to look at where the technology is going to play a key role in building the Commerce side of it and this is where Fynd as an omnichannel partner comes into this.

Akanksha: Great and I mean Puneet as you just mentioned, today you’re talking about Brands like Ajio, Myntra, and what not. The entire e-commerce industry today I mean and I think it’s high time we address the elephant in the room or rather. I say the world covid-19, you know, and how do you think has Fynd Embrace that or let so the entire eCommerce, you know the industry is combating that challenge and you know, if you would want to add how is that being also taken as an opportunity, in this case, this time?

Puneet: Yes, you rightly mentioned in the end that this was actually an opportunity for us. So if you look at the situation back in March, it was somewhere around the 24th of March if I’m not wrong when the lockdown came into place, to be really Frank the first month and a half was a bit chaotic for the entire e-commerce industry because even the e-commerce goods were not allowed to move but as in when that started easing out, it actually became an opportunity for offline brands to divert the attention of their customer towards these properties, these internet properties and still continue getting saved without even having to open their physical stores. And this is something to be really Frank helped us as an omnichannel partner for them also to kind of scale up our own business. So what we did is we told, we went back to the brands and we said that okay, we have already partnered with a lot of stores a lot of store grinds and we already have In-store Solutions, which are which we are catering to. Now using the same story in wintry we were actually selling the store products online and on third-party platforms like Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, and all those places. So the brand stores were actually able to get new series even despite the opening of the actual physical store for the in customers. 

Akanksha: I mean for that part, that sort of worked out all in your favor, and in fact now coming to the trend we’re all going digital people will actually prefer everything online and this ad just adds up to your benefit. Right?

Puneet: Right, right exactly. See, just to add to that I’d like one of the key factors as a digital presence for a brand is also having his or her own website. Every brand wants to have its own identity. So this is something which was also part of a suit and do mention if I, if I could take names there is there are a couple of large players like Bath and Body Works, like super dry these days actually went ahead with their own websites on a platform as well and did massively well in terms of numbers in terms of what kind of attract action they were able to generate during the Covid times as well.

Akanksha: Exactly, and I think when everything goes online, and of course this has been from times in ages now, it’s not just about acquisition. It becomes very important that you keep on engaging with your users. You make sure that your loyal users are getting retained and you know, you are just walking up towards making With literally the coolest out of your audience base. 

Puneet: I completely agree that like a customer at the end of the day is God. So, yes, you obviously need to take care of it.

Akanksha: Perfectly, so I mean that like literally moves us to next that how do you think you know today, of course, smart Tech, of course, is one of them, you know, omnichannel marketing automation platforms and that even from where I’m coming, but do you think and How much do you think our digital platforms are helping you improve your customer engagement and retention and how have you been able to you know leverage that technology into your entire?

Puneet: To be really Frank, in the offline Market what we call nudges is something which is very scattered, in a very unorganized nature when you have to kind of reach out to a person in the offline world you have a very broad level of communications with them mean be or television made me a newspaper or a holding and all those things but when you come to the internet and when you come to the internet first companies like ours, these nudges are extremely specific to a  user it will be going to a level saying that okay, you are browsing this thing you have added your card. Would you like to check it out if we give you this offer? So the moon-directed the communication is the more directed the approach toward that customer is. The customer is able to feel that correlation with the brand and hence the better the conversions are so what I truly believe is all of this is just about not just filling up the funnel, but how well do you juice out the fun until the last step, That is the conversion in that is the scene. It is not just getting the eyeballs but these digital tools actually help you get more conversions of whatever eyeballs you are getting.

Akanksha: Exactly. I mean getting your users to your platform is one thing but actually showing them what they want maybe let’s say by personalization actually giving them that value on the asset becomes very important as a marketer and as a brand as you rightly mentioned. So Puneet if we say that you also, you know a high believer in the fact and you know, the norm that the customer retention today is our new acquisition are we saying that acquisition is not just one thing that the marketers need to focus on but literally retention is becoming more important the market.

Puneet: Obviously, obviously, that is something which is not just today. It has always held true when you look at the customer acquisition cost. Like that was not so much key dominant in the offline world, but in the online world whenever you are even evaluating a start-up you just asked what is your cache and what is your average lifetime value and all those things. So customer cost is anyways a very high cost for any of the e-commerce companies to the kind you think if. So one of the crucial factors which kind of defines a brand success or a hotel success is how happy do you keep your current customers and how good you are retention numbers are and if you have a high retention number, these are the people who then become your Patron, who then becomes the flag bearer of your platform and then the get other people into the loop as well so this is like a cyclic structure. If you keep one part of the family happy all the other part of the family automatically starts getting pulled towards your platform.

Akanksha: Definitely, and even I’m in for that matter I mean to do very rightly mentioned that you know, that keeping the entire family has meant a lot and as a marketer you very rightly put that but also, Puneet let me talk about this entire family so I mean reach becomes one of the most important factors, right? If you have the X number of puzzle pretty as you mentioned, your millions of user base how much of that user base is able to reach out to also becomes very important which brings me to one of the most important factors that is deliverability of the fact that how much of your user base is able to reach out to today. Right? And I mean, I’d like to point out the fact that today, let’s say phone becoming one of the most important and becoming one of the most important channels brings us to a topic of how much is fine and you know, your brand leveraging and understanding the deliverability device Vice modifications that are you know, not just Is that are getting the What Indian market they know is very heavily dominated by the Chinese apps, right? So, how do you think and of course there is smartech smart push which is today of, you know, becoming one of our collaborations with you in which we would be helping you increase your notification delivery rates? So what is your vision towards that and in fact, I’d love to know your thoughts about that.

Puneet: Sure so Akanksha as you very rightly, we discussed in the first part of this discussion itself that it is not just about filling the funnel. It is also about making the best out of that funnel. Right? And the ground reality right now is the Indian market is full of these Chinese manufacturers and OEM players in the country. It is very important to understand the deliverability of the push notifications, which we are doing. So there are two factors which we are looking at, number one is how contextual your push is and what is the deliverability of your push? And this is where which I guess is not just us but most of the e-commerce players or any of the internet app player suffer from and you see a lot of things happening, a lot of people saying that okay, Why does me only will to reach out to 40% of my audience 60% of my audience and so on and so forth and this is a very legitimate concern and this is why we had also come to Netcore earlier this month saying that okay. These are the very specific issues which we are facing. Our deliverability rates are not that great and we want to be able to reach out to the maximum part of the funnel which we are currently having in our system. So for me, I have read great expectations for this from the product smart push technology, which you guys have build up from scratch within your company itself. And yes, we are about to go live in a couple of days’ time. So I’m really pumped up and really hope to see very good deliverability numbers here and maybe sometime soon. We will be reaching out again to you or maybe reaching out to everyone in our newsletters and in our blocks talking about how this actually helps us scale our deliverability rates and scale our conversions at the end of the day.

Akanksha: We’ll actually make sure that you know actually stay there and reach out to their desired results and make sure that we give you a very satisfactory outcome. So Puneet of course, so we obviously talked about the entire notifications getting delivered you reaching out to your user’s attention being the actual important Matrix that we are tracking today. What do you think as a market that is the key Focus areas, Let’s say in e-commerce as an industry to scale post-covid-19? I mean, of course, covid came for you as an opportunity, but what are the areas, and what are the pain points? In fact, I would say your key KPIs which you would be looking at to make sure that you’re able to scale this in the most beautiful manner.

Puneet: Akanksha, so I have a very straight approach here. It’s all about efficiency in everything you do. So there are multiple steps that any e-commerce company has made start from your marketing promotions as from the visibility to get the customers on board to have them engaged with your platform conversions and to end deliverability as well. So for an e-commerce company, at least I can say that the last part that is the believability of the product itself also plays a crucial role and there is a lot of drops that e-commerce companies see there as well. So what I have learned over the years is it’s all about the efficiency in all the steps which you do. It’s about efficiency in how cheaper or how optimally you get people on good, how optimally you are able to convert them, and how high your deliverability rates are at the end of the day. So for me, it’s a very simple formula, whatever you are doing. Whatever the part of the funnel you Brooke pick up you need to be much more efficient than what you were maybe a period before. So the only thing we need to focus on is efficiency at each and every step of the firm. 

Akanksha: Definitely. Puneet you very rightly in a very simplified manner, but in the most important manner showed that after every step ideally is to learn from what you’ve done and Find out the best possible way to improve that rather understanding your performance, your dashboard learning and getting the insights to make sure that you’re better the next day and I think that is some really great Insight in fact, very simply put but that’s something that basically something we all to achieve and do to make anything better. So that sort of brings us to the end of our little conversation today Puneet. I love to say that it is a very insightful conversation. The inputs in fact the insights that we got about Fynd as well as its various other approaches and vision was wonderful. So, thank you so much Puneet for your time today.

Puneet: Thanks a lot. Thanks, Akanksha for having me, and thanks a lot everyone for listening and if you are still here, and it’s still 20th, you still have the sale on you can go and enjoy the birthday party of Fynd.

Akanksha: Congratulations again Puneet for that, and I hope this turns out to be the most amazing anniversary up till now and just keeps on getting better and better. 

Puneet: Thanks. 

Akanksha: Thank you to everyone listening to us. Thank you. 

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