The online furniture and home products marketplace Pepperfry is counting on an omni-channel strategy to realise the target of gross merchandise value (GMV) of $1 billion (Rs 6,845 crore) by 2021 from a mere Rs 1,500 crore GMV it achieved in FY18.
An omni-channel strategy is a multichannel approach that provides seamless shopping experience to consumers whether they shop online from a desktop or mobile device, telephone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.
GMV which is the total value of merchandise sold over a given period of time gauges the growth of a business. As a part of it, Pepperfry envisages to launch 3D technology-enabled small format stores of less than 1500 sq ft in addition to the larger stores, named Studios, the company operates, Ashish Shah, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Pepperfry told Moneycontrol.
The Mumbai-based company introduced the omni-channel model in home and furniture industry when it launched its first Studio in Mumbai in 2014. The online startup at present has 43 Studios in 18 Indian cities, of which 12 are franchises. Each of these stores is located in key catchment areas.
Studios are offline experiential centres for judicious customers of Pepperfry who prefer to see furniture designs through touch and feel of the products, Shah told the news website.
The big-ticket and dynamic industry such as furniture requires multiple touchpoints to engage the consumers, especially in niche markets. "Consumers from these markets have a high purchasing power and aspire to acquire branded, design-forward furniture. However, their access to it is limited in Tier II markets," he said.
It is this noteworthy shift in consumer buying behavior from brick-and-mortar stores to online channels, which prompted Pepperfry to adopt the omni-channel strategy for a seamless user experience.
As a mono-channel model may have its limitations due to the dynamism of the furniture industry, Shah recognised the need to ensure multiple touchpoints and extend a trouble-free as well as easy shopping experience to consumers through this multi-pronged approach.