Business Today

'Follow Your Customer'

Sifting through each order tells you all about customer behaviour, trends and the larger story at play.
Falguni Nayar   New Delhi     Print Edition: January 14, 2018
'Follow Your Customer'
Falguni Nayar, CEO and Founder, (Photo: Rachit Goswami)

This is a habit I picked up from the very first days of Nykaa. The orders were in double digits, and it was not difficult to browse through each one, looking at the product selection, understanding the geographic market and trying to get a hint of the personality. For me, it was a fascinating insight into customer behaviour. A doctor from Patna ordering a red lipstick, a woman from Guwahati ordering shampoo at 8 a.m. Who were these people? How did they discover Nykaa? Why did they want to buy these products from us?

The takeaways have been immense. For someone new to the world of beauty, I began to piece together buying patterns. How did customers assemble their carts? What products did they add first? Did they buy make-up and skincare products separately? What was that last 'throw-in' product and why? At what time of the day did orders spike and why? It allows me to put the finger on trends. False lashes, brow products, hot brushes. I watched the gradual rise in orders for these products and began to see there was a larger story at play. It offers an understanding of geographic trends. You see an immediate spike in moisturiser sales in the north, and you know that winter is coming. Sales of anti-frizz hair products always pick up during the monsoon. When I see these trends, I can work with our marketing team to leverage communications accordingly.

At Nykaa, we are constantly innovating, be it testing how best to display products or trying content strategies or bringing in cult brands. Keeping an eye on orders enables me to see how we can influence buying behaviour and whether customers trust our curation/recommendations.

When we first introduced luxury brands on our site, studying the luxe carts helped me understand how this high-end customer behaves. As was expected, there were brand loyalists who exhibited the one-brand, one-product behaviour. But interestingly enough, there was also a good proportion of mixed-category carts with products across masstige and luxury segments. It tied with my gut feeling that a multibrand, multicategory experience was what the customer was looking for.

It also provides an insight into onsite activity. Many times, I am able to pick up on anomalies such as pricing errors or discounting exploitation. In fact, it has created a kind of high-alert situation where my team endeavours to find errors before I do. When we launch a new product or have a special sale, I have a fair idea of how well it will perform based on the cart size and the penetration that I see.

I am an early riser, and it has become a routine to wake up and sift through orders. Perhaps, in the beginning, I managed all the orders of the day. Now I am lucky if I get through a hundred. Still, it is something that I enjoy.

By Falguni Nayar, CEO and Founder,


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