The CMO of Pepperfry, the largest online furniture portal in the country, Kashyap Vapapalli gives a glimpse of the company’s strategy, the online furniture business, and more.
Pepperfry is mainly into the home products segment. The goal of the portal is to be the place where all the Indians will shop products for their homes. Eventually, all the home products start with furniture, and go on to décor, furnishing, lighting and lamps, kitchen appliances, housekeeping and bath equipment, and dining. All these are available at Pepperfry.
The furniture segment is Pepperfry’s biggest seller when it comes to revenue. It accounts to nearly three fourths of their business, and it is also the fastest growing segment of the company. In fact, the company is the market leader in this segment.
Socio-Economic Data – A Glance
The core advertising TG of Pepperfry is the SEC A, urban as well as metro or big city consumers. These have transacted online to buy electronics, fashion, and so on. So they are not new to online shopping. The only thing is that they are venturing into home products such as furniture, lamps, décor, etc. The consumers in eight metros contribute to 80 percent of the company’s business.
Objectives for 2016 and What’s in Store?
The online furniture portal is expanding its reach and the business has rapidly changed since then. In a year’s time, the portal has grown three and half times. They have grown five to six times in past one and a half years. The company aims to become the largest furniture company both online and offline in terms of scale.
The Pepperfry CEO claimed that both the mobile site and application contribute to 20 percent of the overall sale of the company and remain similar in functionality. The company focused on the Diwali season with the biggest campaign to attract more consumers to purchase from its portal, but now as they grow, they will not conduct large campaigns as they did during the festive season. Especially, they will focus on the digital strategy that includes social media and search.
As of now, the return rate of low around 2 percent, and there is COD option only on certain items that do not include furniture products. They accept returns on oversized and damaged products, but this might be a set back for some consumers from purchasing products from Pepperfry. Also, the competition in the online furniture space is increasing with Urban Ladder and Fabfurnish. Given that there is an opportunity for the e-commerce portals to grow for another decade or two, there is a huge scope for Pepperfry to stay on top only if the business considers localization and specialization. Notably, the furniture market is $25 billion in the country and only 5 to 10 percent of this is organized. This leaves place for many players to foray into it.
Will Pepperfry will stay in the lead even after ten years and should the company bring in changes in its return policy and payment modes to a more viable economical model is something which the company would have to contemplate in future.