One of the sectors that saw huge spike in usage was undoubtedly ecommerce, logistics and fintech companies.
Buy now pay later is one such fintech solutions which is disrupting banking sector especially credit cards.
What is Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)?
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), as the name suggests, is a micro-credit instrument.
It’s function is similar to credit card, that I allows consumer purchases just as a credit card.
BNPL users get to split their eligible online or offline purchases, i.e. purchases made with partnering merchants, into zero-to-low interest instalments or repay the total dues at a later date within the repayment cycle at no interest charges, according to the terms and conditions of the BNPL service provider.
For example, if you buy something in a store or online, you may be offered the buy now, pay later option at checkout.
If you get approved, you usually make a small down payment at the checkout.
You would then pay off the remaining balance in a series of interest-free instalments.
Why so much noise for “Buy Now Pay Later”?
Pandemic has changed the way we shop or our buying behaviour,
Convenience is the buzz word and if it comes with easy credit facility then it becomes a trend. (in urdu we say,sone pe suhaga, means cherry on top of the cake)
Global e-commerce transactions totalled $4.6 trillion last year, up 19 per cent from 2019, a report from Worldpay says.
BNPL accounted for 2.1 per cent or about $97 billion of that sum. (source: worldpay)
So, when you are talking about a trillion dollars sector, then it gets all the attention it needs in the marketplace.
There are a number of BNPL players vying for a share of the Middle East market, including Spotii, Postpay, Cashew, Tabby and Tamara. Australia’s Zip, a global BNPL platform, bought Spotii for $16.25 million in May this year.
Learn how to develop your Influencer Marketing Plan, Click here.
Why Millennials are in love with Buy Now Pay later (BNPL)?
Millennials hate conventional banking.
They are not interested in high interest rates on cards, and recurring fees.
Convenience of easy on-boarding. (Hassle free documentation of BNPL attracts them).
BNPL service providers often use new-age mechanisms to evaluate the creditworthiness of an applicant; thus, the customer onboarding process is usually fast and convenient with zero documentation requirements or joining charges.
The entire process is digitally enabled through internet-connected mobile devices or apps.
Upon approval, a BNPL service provider issues a line of credit based on its assessment of the user’s creditworthiness and income.
After signing up, users can visit a partnering merchant application, website or offline store (in some cases), add the desired items to the shopping cart, and select their BNPL provider’s payment option at ‘check out’ to buy the selected items in a secure one-tap manner.
Users can then convert their dues into zero-to-low interest EMIs, according to the terms and conditions of their BNPL service provider.
These BNPL companies are operating like mini banking institutions wherein they incentivize the purchase with cash backs, extended credit facility etc.
How does BNPL operate?
“Why wait for tomorrow when you can have your favorite gadget or dress today at equated monthly installments, which are interest free”
BNPL player’s services or model help countless customers, especially the ones who have just started working, to better manage their expenses by allowing them at least a few weeks to make the repayments.
BNPL services, thus, are rewarding spending tools for those who are yet to recover from the many financial shocks of the pandemic-induced lockdowns or are outside the credit card ecosystem.
Word of Caution- Buy now pay later
Customers must keep in mind that a BNPL facility is still a loan that needs to be repaid in full on time to avoid penalties and an adverse impact on their credit scores.
Since the sector is in its developing stage, following are some challenges.
Customer and Merchant acquisition
Getting both customers and merchants to come online with BNPL player is one such challenge, however BNPL players are identifying themselves as more of the omnichannel solution providers to the retailers in order to mitigate the risks involved.
Returns can be an issue, too.
If you return an item, it can take substantial time and effort to have the BNPL credit provider acknowledge the return.
You may still be obligated to pay your installments till the issue is resolved
How does the BNPL players make money?
At the outset, the financial looks similar to that of credit card company.
Net take rate represents the commission charged to merchants (Take rate) minus payment processing fees that the BNPL company pays.
Debt financing cost corresponds to the interest BNPL providers pay banks for liquidity (to provide loans to their customers). Debt management cost equals the credit check costs plus payment collection costs minus late fee payments collected from customers.
Provision for debt impairment is the weighted average percentage of loans that are not paid back (i.e., bad debt)
GMV refers to Gross Merchandising Value, the sum of all payments conducted on the BNPL platform.
Marketing and sales expenses are the expenses incurred as BNPL providers acquire and onboard both merchants and customers to their platform.
General and administrative expenses include team salaries, technology, and other infrastructure costs.
Let’s take an example: Suppose your net take rate is 5% (assuming merchants pay you 6% and you pay 1% in payment processing fees). If you pay 1% interest on your loan, and it costs you 1% to manage consumer loans, the percentage of your non-performing loans can’t exceed 3%; otherwise, you lose money.
Profitability for BNPL or for that matter with any tech firms is based on
Scalability – acquire more customers and merchants.
Incentivize the purchases especially up-selling using BNPL product.
Negotiate better terms with both Merchants and Banks (for debt financing cost).
Access more data on customer’s spending and build a separate data insight report for the merchants to buy and take benefit.
Buy now pay later – a boon for ecommerce sites.
Reduce cart abandonment rate.
This is the main challenge for any ecommerce site is to reduce the cart abandonment as over 40% traffic that comes on to the site, leaves the cart without click on the “Buy now” tab.
Improves the basket size by means of upselling. Hence your average transaction value increases along with the average transaction quantity.
Ecommerce retailer gets their full payment while their customer enjoys installment plans. This helps in customer retention and build trust.
Lower customer acquisition cost- Increase in sales for the same amount of efforts done in getting the online traffic through marketing efforts.
Attracts first time buyers with the installment option at the time of check-out.
Recently, I completed a program on retail transformation from one of India’s Premier B-school (IIM-B), and during the course, we undertook several case studies like Threadless and big basket, Webvan, and stitch fix.
Stitch fix is one of my favorites as I relate myself to the fashion & beauty world.
I am writing this article to help my readers and retail fraternity members to take learnings from the real-life case of Stitch fix and learn as to how Katrina lake (founder of stitch fix) transformed her business model.
What is the stitch fix model?
The Basic idea with which stitch fix started was of providing a Personal styling fashion experience and provide customers a personalized fashion outfit, all at a subscription fee model.
Stitch fix selects and mails clothes, shoes, and accessories to its clients based on an extensive style survey (i.e. data).
The better the “stylist” selects the clothing, the more money Stitch Fix makes.
Basically, it is like Netflix of the fashion world.
(Similar to how Netflix suggests programs on your viewing behavior or patterns).
Since its business model is based on predicting the styling that will suit their customer’s preferences hence it became obsessed with Data analytics and understanding their customer’s fashion sense and preferences.
Challenge is “Getting the style and outfit right for the subscriber every time”.
Learn how Rent a Runway is on its way to becoming the Netflix of fashion, click here.
Data is oil – Stitch fix “tinder for clothing”
As part of their Style Shuffle—a “Swipe right” type of “Tinder for clothing”— Stitch fix has found a way to reach beyond the feedback they’d get from customers through buying alone.
By letting customers swipe through different styles in their entire collection, they amass tonnes of data that helps them better understand the customer, as well as age and demographic trends shaping the fashion industry.
More the customer spends time swiping the garments, is leaving a digital cookie which is then analyzed towards his or her liking for the fashion garment.
The model is very addictive as Tinder since you are shown garments that a professional stylist has shortlisted for you.
Data points on their customer’s preferences make stitch fix’s proposition more profitable.
Stitch Fix makes money on clothing sold more so than subscription fees.
The more clothing from one box that fits or flatters, the more profits they will make.
Why Stitch fix is successful?
Stitch fix changed the paradigm
Stitch fix is not fashion but a “tech company which deals in fashion”.
Instead of fighting head-on with physical fashion retailers and eCommerce companies, stitch fix has created a blue ocean strategy for them by finding their niche in data analytics.
They share the data points with the designers who in turn ensure that their garments are made in line with their customer’s preferences and likings.
“Feedback” is the main crux that stitch fix has provided to designers who never knew about their designs and creations sales movement.
Now with stitch fix, they feel engaged with the customers.
With enormous data points, Stitch Fix is able to see not just products people buy, but products they want to buy.
That’s why I give them the credit for changing the paradigm completely.
Whereas traditional fashion brands are either competing on prices or eCommerce companies on the fastest deliveries, Stitch fix has found their niche is providing personalized fashion experiences to their subscribers.
Their commitment towards their “why” (purpose) is so strong that the founders chose to start the company in the Silicon Valley (being a tech hub) rather than moving to New York City (fashion capital).
They had clarity on the core strengths of their business right from the start.
Learn 10 growth hacks for eCommerce business, click here.
Algorithms & Data analytics coupled with Human stylists – Recipe for success.
They aim to bring personal styling to the masses, using data and machine learning to deliver personalization at a mass scale.
Watch the video on why stitch fix clothes have better sizes and fits.
From filing a lengthy questionnaire when customers sign up – evaluating factors like lifestyle, body type, and most-wanted items ;
Stitch Fix’s ‘Style Shuffle’ feature on its app and website allows it to amass huge amounts of data.
Building robust communication channels with subscribers
On receiving the box containing five clothing and accessory items, the customer gets a sense of belongingness as they’ve provided their preferences and selected by the stylists, just for you.
Customers provide feedback after each shipment since they know that their feedback will help stitch fix deliver more garments that they want to buy and not what stitch fix wants to sell to them.
It’s two-way communication.
Want to learn the basics of category management in 5 mins, click here.
Combing the art of discovery and convenience
The fun of discovering the most sought-after garments, that are personalized and customized as per your body type/fit is beyond capturing in the form of words.
Getting your fashion quotient boosted through personal stylists gives a confidence-boosting to the subscribers which remain loyal to the brand since their self-esteem & social needs are getting fulfilled at the convenience of their homes.
In an interview, Katrina Lake, founder once said,
“Our business model is simple: We send you clothing and accessories we think you’ll like; you keep the items you want and send the others back.
We leverage data science to deliver personalization at scale, transcending traditional brick-and-mortar and e-commerce retail experiences.
Customers enjoy having an expert stylist do the shopping for them and appreciate the convenience and simplicity of the service”
I believe this statement from the founder summarizes the brand’s purpose.
References; HBR case study – case study reprint 2018 (IIM-B) , CMO network, Guy Raz book-how I built this.
About the author:
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in the beauty, fashion, and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. He has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. Ritesh specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management, and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
Challenges being posed by OTT platforms on Movie theatres.
Being a movie lover, I have always been curious about the economics behind this wonderland of Cinema and its magic.
My curiosity was at its peak when I watched a new film starring Bollywood shahenshah Amitabh Bachan’s release on Amazon Prime “Gulabo sitabo” last month.
What is the meaning of OTT?
OTT means Over the top and media like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5 are all part of OTT platforms.
Post watching the new release on OTT platform, the first question that came to my mind,
“How can a movie producer make money by releasing his asset on over-the-top (OTT) platform prior to its theatre release”?
As per the industry sources, more producers are now ready to follow the OTT route.
It’s also speculated that several films, including Akshay Kumar’s Laxmi Bomb and Karan Johar’s Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl, are in advanced stages of digital deals.
This throws a few questions for brainstorming.
How Theatre owners can retrieve the value of their physical assets i.e. movie theatre?
What will be the future of people employed with exhibitors? And associated sectors like Malls etc wherein cinema halls are crowd pullers?
Can a virus (covid19) create havoc across the world’s economy including retail, tourism, aviation, entertainment sectors?
Questions are too many to answer but let’s understand the business of Movies and its future.
OTT vs Movie Theatre – The magic of Big screens
Theatres provide experiential experience to moviegoers.
Imagine a Bollywood Blockbuster movie like Bahubali, which swept the nation in viewership getting released on OTT platforms, would have killed the mega opus production values, CG works (animations), screenplay, etc.
The theatrical experience is irreplaceable.
The films that are planning to move to OTT were made for theatrical viewing. They cannot be watched on your phone to get the complete impact of sound effects, VFX, story, etc.
OTT vs Movie theatre – OTT provides a captive audience to small budget films
For small films with less saleable names, OTT guarantees a wider audience.
They can also save on print and advertising costs. Storytelling can come out much better in non-commercial films or experimental films.
OTT vs Movie Theatre- Covid19 grips cinema lovers
People across the world will still be cautious for the whole of 2020 and they will increasingly embrace digital entertainment modes.
Personally, I conducted a small poll on Linkedin.com and 70% of the respondents voted for their preference of watching a new release on their OTT platforms. Truly, covid19 has impacted the media consumption habits and preferences of the consumers.
Most of the big banner films have delayed their releases to the last quarter of the year 2020.
OTT vs Movie theatres: Content war
The theatrical-OTT rift is felt across the supply chain.
Film promotions have shrunk from lavish affairs to webinars and telephonic interviews.
Overall, film producers have to rethink their content;
“Is it meant for audiences that enjoy watching movies at the comfort of their homes or is it a suspense thriller with jaw-dropping effects”, then it is definitely meant for theatrical release.
“The content of the movie should dictate the medium of its release.”
Competition from OTT (over the Top) platforms is not new for theatres as they have seen worst times & challenges during VCRs, VCDs, DVDs & piracy days.
The truth is that we all enjoy going to the theatres which is something that will never change.
Irrespective of whichever medium is the winner, according to me, watching a film in a theatre is an ultimate experience and I don’t think people will ever stop doing that?
It is an experience; it is like a family outing for many of us.
Usually, a portion of theater ticket sales goes to theater owners, with the production house and distributor getting the remaining money.
The percentage of revenues an exhibitor (theatre owner) gets depends on the contract for each film. Many contracts are intended to help a theater hedge against films that flop at the box office.
That means the exhibitors cover their losses by gaining higher margins from the hit movies.
Overseas rights, off late, has become the major source of revenue for the production houses as well as exhibitors.
Bollywood movie, Dangal did more business in China than in India. (In India too, it was a blockbuster though).
It all started with Star Wars. Since the George Lucas sci-fi saga began back in 1977, the franchise has made billions in revenue from toys alone, not to mention licensing income from other third-party companies. In 2015, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” brought in $700 million in retail sales.
Satellite & Music rights
Movie recovers its costs even prior to its release (at least for the production houses), through the selling of satellite and music rights.
And now, we have rights for OTT platforms to add to these revenue streams.
Not to forget, the inflight cinema entertainment rights are another channel that is now gaining popularity.
(Hoping aviation industry recovers post covid19 sooner).
The brands enjoy additional visibility to influence the viewer’s preferences and behaviors.
Magic of movies and big screens shall always remain and will leave its lasting impression on the generations to come.
Time shall only decide which medium shall emerge a winner i.e. OTT platforms or theatrical experience.
Being a movie lover, this article is my attempt to demystify the business of movies and gain new insights into the world of commercial movies.
Hope you will find it useful and entertaining.
Watch the interview of the filmmaker SS Rajamouli (Director of the movie, Bahubali) wonderfully summarizing the current debate of OTT vs Theatre.
About the author:
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion, and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. He has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. Ritesh specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
Today brands and retailers are using travel retail for building their brands by targeting a much-focused audience.
Travel retail or duty-free retailing or airport retail are the terminologies used by modern retailers for this emerging business channel.
My article narrates some of my experiences acquired by spearheading travel retail operations and sharing some trends which I foresee emerging in 2020.
Travel retail will become the way customers shop in the future. One of the reasons is that it’s tax-free.
A number of airport retailers are increasingly looking into customer experience surveys to get a better understanding of travelers’ spending habits.
Travel retail – A modern face of retail – My perspectives.
I got exposed to travel retail in 2017 when I was assigned the responsibility for initiating and launching a new business channel for brands handled by me as a retail practitioner.
As I got involved in business expansion pitching to various duty frees category managers and leasing spaces at prominent airports, I found that this business has the potential to overshadow the existing malls or traditional retail.
What is fueling growth to travel retail business?
During my recent holidays in India, I was amazed to see the booming travel retail operations not only in metro airports (New Delhi or Mumbai) but also in tier 2 cities airports (Bhopal, Goa, Dehradun, Surat)
The quality of airport infrastructure has drastically improved.
The quality of retail offerings and brands, cafes, lounge facilities, brands (fashion and accessories), book stores (WHSmith is the category leader in this segment) or even travel accessories shops have improved and they offer high-quality products.
Airports offer a great variety of food options (food lounges, food halls, etc).
Millennials today prefer to learn from travel experiences, gathering memories is more important than saving money. They believe in the quote “Travel is the great teacher”.
Change in traveler’s behavior, today they see traveling as a leisure activity and prefer to spend more time at the airports which offer great experiential retail.
It makes more sense to check-in early at the airports and experiences its retail galore.
Today, airports (I can say from Indian & the Middle Eastern aviation scenario) are busier than most of the prominent malls in the country.
The picture shows an activation by MyFM in Ahmedabad thanking their listeners for making the FM station number one. The passengers received a hamper gift pack for them at the Ahmedabad airport’s arrival terminal.
Emerging Trend is toward luxury items in travel retail.
The reason is that passenger buying behavior has changed dramatically. Passengers research, check availability and compare prices online – and then purchase the products at the airport.
There is the emergence of electronic shops at airports selling the latest i-phones, Macbooks, Samsung notes, etc which were not common in the past.
The big game-changer has been the surge of mainland Chinese travelers.
Their appetite to learn about and visit the world and their willingness to shop when they travel have provided the industry with a fantastic opportunity.
Interesting Statistics- Travel Retail
Travel Retail channels now encompass Airports, Airlines, Cruise Lines, Ferries, Border Stores, and Diplomatic stores
Airports have heavily increased their retail spaces and turned into shopping malls with multi-brand stores and stand-alone boutiques.
Travel Retail offers a shop window and communication platform with the highest frequency of customers in your matching target group.
A huge increase in potential customers due to consistent growth rates of international travelers. More than 1 Billion tourists crossing international borders globally.
Category domination: (global travel retail sales in 2018)
US$ 5.7 billion Watches, Jewellery, and Fine Writing
Fashion & Accessories contributed US$ 9.6 billion
US$ 25.6 billion Fragrances & Cosmetics
Confectionery & Fine Food pitched in with US$ 5.0 billion
US$ 11.4 billion Wine & Spirits
The winner is Fragrances & cosmetics category globally followed by wine & spirits.
Learn as to why entrepreneurs need to say NO to stay focussed, read here.
Building the Travel retail ecosystem – the role played by data analytics.
Airports provide the physical space and infrastructure; brands and retailers the retail environment and airlines provide the necessary customer data to communicate with and sell to passengers in a targeted manner.
For example- when you shop at any retail outlet at the airports, they scan your passport, hence your details other than your name, etc gets captured. Details like frequency of travel, destinations mostly traveled your shopping behavior, frequency of purchase, etc.
This data is shared amongst airlines, airport operators, travel retail operators and retail operators so that they can create experiential retail experiences in their concepts and services.
Challenges for 2020
High operating costs, emerging from built & run model or public-private equity models or even high bidding model.
Travel retail is a highly complex and concentrated business. TOP 10 Operators are generating 40% of global Travel Retail sales and keeping most airport concessions throughout the world
Brands are pushed to pay higher margins, resulting in low net operating margins.
Consumer’s perception that Duty-Free price advantage is less attractive.
External factors like travel caution advisories in cases of geopolitical issues, impact the entire travel retail sector.
Case study: How WHSmith pivoted its business model to the travel retail or duty-free retail model?
WHSmith, one of the oldest retail chains in the world.
You cannot miss WHSmith shop in case you are a frequent traveler as they are present at almost all the prominent airports, seaports in the world.
607 high street stores, as well as 149 airport units, 127 rail/metro units, 131 hospital units, and 286 travel units outside the UK. They employ over 13000 employees.
Amidst retail apocalypse, wherein most of the traditional retailers are going out of business, WHSmith is delivering consistent growth.
(Estimated growth for 2019 is around 11%).
The Key for WHSmith growth lies in understanding the travel sector and understanding consumer’s behavior.
WHSmith has mastered the art of studying its customer’s behavior.
At the airport, we are all a captive, trapped audience.
In such situations, people are driven by impulse purchases and immediate needs and are less price-sensitive and more focused on convenience.
WHSmith’s range of items – books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, entertainment products, and confectionery – cater perfectly to these kinds of impulse buys.
For example, imagine that You are at the airport waiting to board the aircraft. You decide you need something to keep you occupied for the journey.
You pop into WHSmith’s to buy the latest copy of your favorite business magazine and while you’re there you buy something to chew or some chocolates. Then you discover you’ve forgotten your charger.
Consolidating all the items, you have a decent amount of purchase in your invoice. And since you are in excitement for travel (either business or leisure) you don’t mind paying a little higher price for your purchases.
It is the emotion i.e. NEEDs overtaking the WANTs.
It happens with me quite often that I end up shopping for some small gifts or toys for my son or even chocolates while taking a return flight from my business travel.
Overcome online competition by completely ignoring it.
WHSmith, instead of competing with the likes of eBay’s or Amazon’s of the world, took a different approach.
They focused on securing more locations at airports, railway stations at every prominent travel hub.
Because, the answer to this strategic move is that in high street locations you would get lots of customers who would come and browse, but then they don’t buy, because, at that moment, they’re really just doing comparison shopping. But that doesn’t happen so much in a travel location.
The same rationale applies to moviegoers purchasing popcorn and a coke at inflated prices which are sometimes higher than the movie ticket prices.
In my next article, I shall share case studies from successful brand activations in travel retail.
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About the author:
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. He has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. Ritesh specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Retail Operations, Sales Management and Franchising. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
“Sustainability” is becoming a business differentiator in the 21st century.
People, today are more aware of the environment and ecological conservations & the term “sustainability” is being heard quite often.
Let me give you an interesting statistics here; of the 7.5 billion virgin forests that once covered the Earth, nearly half have been cut down for human consumption, with devastating effects, such as global warming, and threatening indigenous people and native species.
In my previous article, I talked about sustainability in the fashion sector and now I would highlight a few sustainable brands in other sectors like furniture, farming sectors.
Sustainable fashion making commercial sense, read here
A brand must stand for some niche
The foremost requirement for a successful brand is their stand or promise which they make to their customers. Marketers call it “Positioning”… I call it Brand Promise, your Brand identity.
There are new brands that have positioned themselves towards sustainability ie by causing no harm to nature.
Brand: Greenington Fine Bamboo Furniture
Greenington uses Moso bamboo for their furniture. This is one of the fastest-growing plants and extremely sustainable furniture material.
Bamboo is 20% more sustainable and 100% harder than Red Oak. The natural beauty of Moso bamboo creates unique variations in all of their furniture.
Greenington also has a “no waste” mentality. They even use their bamboo sawdust to generate steam for press machines.
Myself, coming from India, we have seen the usage of Bamboo in furniture’s, let me tell you the advantages of bamboo as well.
Bamboo is actually a grass, and grows very quickly, 24 – 48 inches a day.
Bamboo shoots die and decay after 5 to 8 years but their roots will remain healthy and continue producing new shoots, even after the mature shoots have died or been used.
With its wide root system, bamboo crops prevent soil erosion and the plants contribute more oxygen and utilize more carbon dioxide than trees, which makes bamboo demand even more environmentally sound.
The brand has taken sustainable initiatives and has started using sustainable wood materials like saw-dust to make pressed boards as well using Bamboo wood to produce DIY (do it yourself) furniture.
Today Bamboo furniture category contributes 1% of Ikea’s global sales.
Ikea stands for doing things differently. Ikea team is now investigating paper furniture in their efforts towards using more sustainable materials.
Sustainability made its entry into the fashion
Bamboo is a highly sustainable plant and is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to cotton, not only because of its amazing properties which are kind to you but also it makes less dependence on cotton which is a highly water-consuming crop.
The fabric absorbs moisture away from your skin, keeping you drier & more comfortable.
Bamboo: The 21st century Steel.
Watching this video will explain the usage of sustainable materials in the construction sector as well.
Sustainability in farming
Imagine growing tomatoes in deserts… yes, it is possible using sustainable farming techniques. Watch the video below wherein they are growing tomatoes in the Australian desert using sea water.
Sundrop farms in Australia are innovative disruptors in this sector.
Since Sustainability is a vast topic to be covered in a short article hence my aim for writing this article was to make people aware of techniques that are being used and its commercial feasibilities making it a possible and a viable business proposition.
My readers can now reach me through my blog contact form, in case they need any clarifications.
Good News, you can now subscribe to the blog simply by entering your email address and get notified as soon as an article is published.
About the author:
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. He has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region.
Ritesh specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management, and Franchising & Business Management.
He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
Rent the Runway wants to become Netflix of the fashion world.
My previous article highlighted as to how Instagram has given birth to new companies in the world of fashion. One such example is “Rent the Runway” company, which aims to become the next Netflix of the fashion world.
I shall summarize the business model of this company as a case study here.
Read my article on How Instagram is disrupting the fashion world, by clicking here.
Case study: Rent the Runway.
Insight for the business concept came from the fact that today Instagram is fueling the desires and aspirations to look good, fashionable amongst the millennials and in order to satisfy this urge, millennials have started misusing the return policy of most of the fashion brands.
Rent the runway adopts Netflix business model
It rents out designer clothes from some 500 different brands to subscribers who pay a monthly fee, allowing them to borrow a high-end wardrobe for much less than it would cost to actually buy.
The business model is based on a subscription model which Netflix has mastered.
Company registered a sales of 100 million USD last year and showing a significant increase in its profitability.
Young women often faced the dilemma of buying expensive designer dresses which they would only wear once, especially after photos of them wearing these dresses were posted on social media. To resolve this dilemma, Hyman and Fleiss (founders of Rent the runway) decided to create a platform to make luxury brands accessible to everyone through rental.
What makes Rent the runway different from other fashion e-commerce companies?
In a recent interview, Jennifer Hyman (founder of Rent the runway) stated “We’re not in the fashion business. We’re in the fashion-technology-engineering-supply chain-operations-reverse logistics-dry cleaning-analytics business.”
This statement is so true that how technology has pivoted a simple fashion business model into tech-driven, analytical driven, reverse logistics operation model.
Pillars for success:
Partnership or collaborations with leading fashion houses and designers.
Take good care of the dresses to maximize their useful life and minimize inventory to drive sales.
Fittings: To help customers navigate the 65,000 items in its inventory and identify the best fit, they created “Our Runway”, a section on the website where customers can see how other customers, not models, look in a dress.
Logistics support in order fulfillment, the system tracks items coming in and out and prioritizes orders, taking into consideration the time required for dry cleaning and any repairs.
Reverse logistics if any altercations needed, dry cleaning, etc and bringing back the merchandise back in the warehouse. To optimize, Rent the runway has in-house laundry services as well. The dresses are steam pressed, re-inspected, bagged, and mailed to the next customer. 60% of dresses are back out of the door on the same day.
Use of fashionistas and bloggers to drive the brand awareness of renting a designer dress. You get to subscribe 3-4 dresses a month. They have multiple subscription levels and depending on customer’s preference they can select the option.
Rent the Runway analyzes an enormous amount of data on customer preferences, renting behaviors, and feedback to consistently improve its inventory selection and rental process.
They feed these data insights to brands and designers which helps them to come up with their new collections in next season. Its a win-win model for both the company and their fashion houses.
Will this model affect Fast fashion retailers like Forever 21, Zara, Uniqlo, etc?
Rent the runway has started their collaborations with upcoming fashion designers offering fast fashion trendy clothing on rentals.
They have introduced a low fee subscription model. Pay USD 80/- per month to get 4 fast fashion trendy dresses per month on rentals. The rental duration is approx. 4-7days.
Combined with accessories to glamorize the outfit.
Response towards fast fashion needs to be monitored. This trend would affect fast fashion retailers to adapt to newer buying cycle or patterns of the new customers.
We all are living in an exciting era wherein no two days are the same in the field of business. Keeping yourself abreast of the latest developments has become a necessity. Thanks to the internet, it is disrupting all the sectors.
Watch out my next article as to why brands are shying away from social media. I shall publish mid-May month.
If any of my retail fraternity members need any help from my end to transform their retail vision into reality then feel free to write to me on email@example.com.
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. Ritesh has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. He specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management, and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
In recent research on digital marketing trends on Luxury brands by McKinsey reported that 80% of luxury sales are now influenced by online.
This is a staggering figure, and clearly highlights the important role digital marketing now plays within a luxury purchase.
One point of caution here is that the digital revenue at the majority of luxury brands still contributes little in comparison to other sales channels.
2018 may have been a challenging year for luxury and overall retail sector, but there were a few luxury brands who certainly knew how to invest their marketing dollars despite the challenges.
My article is my attempt to highlight key digital campaigns and activation’s done by Luxury brands.
So what makes a digital campaign or activation successful?
Experiential marketing that taps into the desires of its consumers, not only by gadgets or tech stuff but by instilling a deep sense of belief in consumer’s mind as to what your core brand purpose and for what it stands for. This forms the basic premise for any Brand Positioning.
(I had previously written an article on 4 Must do’s for luxury brand marketing, check it out here.)
Case study 1: Mikimoto campaign “Pearl of wisdom”
The brand core purpose is “to adorn the necks of every woman around the world with pearls”. That was the vision of founder, Kokichi Mikimoto.
Mikimoto, the over 100-year-old Japanese jewelry brand, launched their digital campaign, featuring seven self-made women, each offering their “pearls of wisdom” on their accomplishments, achievements and life experiences.
Result: From models and designers to entrepreneurs and activists, each shares their thoughts on what being original means and the women they’re inspired by, striking a chord with the feminist times
Case study 2: Lacoste timeless love
This luxury brand knows how to keep up with the times while maintaining high standards for quality.
Staying current yet defending their classic aesthetic is what led to the creation of “Timeless”.
A film in which a young man chases a woman throughout a train. As the train moves, and the two individuals run from carriage to carriage, their outfits and hair change, as they travel through time, jumping from decade to decade, representing the timelessness of the Lacoste style.
The brand ran the video snippets on Instagram stories.
However, with a large percentage of shoppers now being influenced and even making decisions based on what they see online – social is a hugely important tool for luxury brands looking to deepen consumer engagement.
So what is making luxury brands successful in their digital activation’s?
One common thread in these brands using digital marketing i.e.
Optimized (video) content:
While image and text-based content are effective, video content can be far more so when it comes to generating engagement on social.
Platform (social) specific content for audience engagement:
Limited use of social platforms.
Used extensively Instagram and Youtube and social influencers. Check Chanel using influencer in one of their brand campaigns
Chanel posts consistently on YouTube in particular, using the platform for narrative-led, feature film content. Its first – ‘The One That I Want’ starring Gisele Bundchen has amassed over 18 million views to date.
Alongside celebrity-driven campaigns, the brand also uses video for more behind-the-scenes content, such as its ‘Inside Chanel’ series, which is designed to remind consumers of the brand’s long history and unique vision.
Just because luxury brands are embracing social media doesn’t mean they have to become mass-market.
Chanel is a great example of how to retain a sense of exclusivity, as well as how to capitalize on it to make users feel important and valued.
When marketing luxury products, photographs & videos are one of the best mediums for evoking the aspirational emotions that we connect with driving a luxury vehicle, wearing designer clothing, or experiencing something exclusive.
Visual social networks like Pinterest, Instagram stories, FB Live represent a huge opportunity for luxury brands to raise brand awareness and advocacy.
I would be writing another article on “why people buy luxury” shortly as a part of my luxury brand initiative.
I would be more than happy to share my learning on Luxury retailing with my connections, friends, business owners who believe in following unconventional norms and want break-through solutions and strategies for their products. You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. Has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. He specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management, and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
As I write this article i.e. Management lessons that can transform you into a leader. These Management lessons are my learnings & interpretation from the book “who will cry when you die?” by Robin Sharma.
By clicking the article link, you all have decided to live your life by choice rather than by chance.
Find your purpose or Why
There is a Sanskrit saying “when you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.”
Every one of us is born with something special, may it be a particular skill or in-born talent or some kind of creative passion, may it be sports, music or literature.
It is our responsibility to identify our core strengths by introspecting ourselves and make it our Unique Selling Proposition.
Master one trick or skill that would make you stand apart.
As there is a statement in a book “Art of war”; don’t fear a boxer/fighter who tried 100 kinds of punches 10,000 times but definitely fear a boxer who had practiced one particular kind of punch, 10,000 times.
Don’t spend too much time thinking about an idea or concept but work towards converting that idea into a prototype and then finally pivot to an actual working product. Be always Action oriented.
Maintain a diary
Write about your mistakes- you made and good things in a diary daily.
Mention your learnings from each of these experiences (mistakes and successes). You will notice that over a period of time you would start making lesser mistakes and it would result in overall self-development.
Maintain a morning schedule:
Your morning decides as to how your day would go.
Start your day with positive thoughts, positive wisdom quotes and try to get into habit of waking up early. Early start of the day gives you a head start Vis a Vis your peers and fellow team members.
Be creative like a child
Focus on resources that you have rather than constraints.
Observe a child eating bread, they would eat the soft middle portion and would leave the hard side crusts. Working under constraints makes you to think harder and come up with creative solutions.
Overcome fear of failure by taking action and avoid procrastinating on any idea. All the great inventors or geniuses were inspired to make the lives of other people more productive and enriched.
Try to do things that you always wanted to do and don’t even think of failures. Yes failures are the steps in the process of achieving success.
Remember, Failures are nothing but success delayed.
You are bound to achieve success with your persistence and hard work and resilience.
I had previously written an article on developing a habit of saying No in order to stay focused, click here
To be successful, you need 3 core ingredients hard work, Persistence, and Resilience.
Take one step a day towards your goal daily.
If you want to lose weight, you join Gym, you would not lose weight by exercising 5 hours daily but you will see significant weight loss, if you exercise 30 mins daily consistently for over 6 months without any breaks or loss of momentum.
Make a mastermind alliance
Most of the successful people create a mastermind alliance with a group of like-minded people who are tied by similar values, similar philosophies. The alliance is all about mutual benefits so you must be able to give as much as you expect to receive. Discuss the challenges that you are facing and ask for the group’s input. It is what I call collaborative learning approach.
I hope my article would help aspiring entrepreneurs, corporate managers to think and invest in self-learning to realize their goals & aspirations.
Check out the video by Robin Sharma
I can be reached on email@example.com, in case any of my retail fraternity member needs my help with any of their retail issues or problems. I would be more than glad to help my fraternity members with my wisdom.
Reference book: “who would cry, when you die” by Robin Sharma.
About the author:
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. Ritesh has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in Middle East region. He specializes in Retail management, Product development and Brand management, Retail Operations, Sales Management and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.
Food delivery apps or food-tech is no longer a cliché and is one of the most used services in the world today.
With the advent of technology especially mobile apps, these food delivery apps have tapped on the “convenience” factor and are one of the fastest-growing sectors in food-tech business.
Food delivery apps are mainly lead/order generation and logistics aggregator in the foodservice space.
Curiosity seeks information
I am writing this article based on my personal preferences and habits wherein ordering food online or through an app using food delivery apps like Swiggy, Zomato, talabat, Ubereats, deliveroo has become a norm for me, whether it is just a casual dining option or ordering food for family get-togethers, I have become habitual of using these food delivery apps.
Being a curious person, I wanted to study as to how these food delivery apps make money, what is their business model?
I have deeply researched this subject and found some interesting facts.
I am sharing these facts and my learnings on this topic since it is an interesting sector that has evolved in the last 5 years or so.
Thanks of course to technology and let me also highlight that it has provided jobs to several people and provided them with a steady income.
Hence this food-tech is not only creating additional jobs but contributing to the overall socio-economic foundation.
Interesting stats for food delivery apps:
As per statista.com, the market size of food delivery apps in the United Arab Emirates will be worth about 13.2 billion U.S. dollars in the UAE by the end of 2018.
26% of people order food online at least once a week while another 24% do so two or three times a week.
The surge in food delivery apps in recent years is a clear signal of their success.
This sector is working on one premise, “fulfilling your craving for food by providing your desired food at your doorstep in the most convenient and time-saving manner”.
What led to the growth of food delivery apps?
The restaurant business involves high investments in space and equipment. Operating expenses are also high, with raw material contracts and staff — for every minute these aren’t utilized, they lose value and hit margins.
The only way to make money is to ensure a growing number of orders – that’s where food tech or food delivery apps come to their rescue.
Restaurant sector forms a part of an unorganized sector wherein there are big restaurant chains (dominated by MNCs) and various small restaurant owners & cafeterias who cater to their close proximity customers by delivering ordered food through their own carrier, most of the time a delivery boy using a bicycle.
Food delivery apps have given these small restaurants an opportunity to reach wider geographies and increase their top line orders.
As per statistical data in India alone, Zomato has recently crossed the three million deliveries a month mark.
This is in just two years since launching the meal delivery service.
It has 25,000 restaurants on its platform in India, including 7,500 that are exclusively available only on Zomato.
Modes of revenue for food delivery apps:
Commission from Restaurants:
The commissions earned from restaurants form the primary source of revenue for these food delivery app companies.
The quantum of the commission depends upon a lot of factors which include the value of the order as well as the location and popularity of the restaurant.
All these food Apps charge a commission to the restaurant between 22–30% on each order placed. The discounts are extended by the restaurants individually.
Swiggy, Zomato, and Ubereats also charge an additional amount for ads within their platforms for the positioning of a restaurant in a particular category.
These food delivery apps charge restaurant fees for featuring them in their curated list of restaurants on their app/website.
Being featured on such curated lists often helps these restaurants find more business.
These food delivery apps, especially Swiggy & Zomato tie-up with the restaurants by offering a deal on one of the best dishes that a particular restaurant has to offer at throwaway prices. These apps promote them on their deal pages and orders are generated and passed onto the restaurants who use the principle of upselling the side dish orders or beverages with the deal or discounted dish. It offers win-win solution to both customers and restaurant owners. Higher the ticket price, more commission for the food delivery apps.
Another one which not many may be aware of. In India, Swiggy has entered into white labeling restaurants.
Products are sold with Swiggy branding, and the restaurant has no existence for the client. Swiggy generates great revenue for them and takes care of most hassles. A home run for the ones who wish to only generate revenue.
Are Food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy making money?
Here comes the most difficult trivia, a question that most of the finance professionals in food business hate to answer.
Foodtech startups follow a premise that roti (food), kapda(clothes) aur makaan (home) could never go out of demand, but over time many of them faced an early death.
By 2016, several food startups – TinyOwl, and EatOnGo – were out of the fray; Only the ones with deeper pockets and funding have survived the bloodbath.
However, there are only a few players like Ubereats, Zomato, Talabat, Swiggy who survived the first stage.
Investors, Venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs have burnt their fingers and realized that food is a tough business.
The way forward: Recipe for success
With all the funding’s, the most crucial aspect of food delivery app would be
(Want to learn more about last-mile logistics? click here)
Hub & spoke model:
Both Zomato and Swiggy have also launched the cloud kitchen vertical, where the company provides the space and sets up a physical kitchen for participating restaurants that just have to get the food made and fulfill deliveries.
Whether these food tech or food delivery apps make a profit in years to come, only time will tell.
Currently, they all depend on VC funding based on valuations and top-line order generation.
Check out this interesting video which would summarize my article holistically.
I would like to end my article by a wonderful quote by Virginia Woolf
“One cannot think well, Love well, sleep well if one has not dined well”.
Quote summarizes the future of food delivery apps and their usage going forward.
About the author:
Ritesh Mohan is a passionate retail professional with over 20 years in the Retail sector, handling some of the biggest brands in beauty, fashion, and fragrances retail & FMCG sector. Ritesh has been instrumental in the growth of some of the regional brands as well in the Middle East region. He specializes in Retail management, Product development, and Brand Management, Retail Operations, Sales Management and Franchising & Business Management. He strongly believes in empowering business owners with his wisdom & experience of around two decades in the industry.