Saraf Furniture has been enhancing its ecommerce imparting considering 2014 with forty years of revel in as a retailer and manufacturer of furnishings
It claims to have noted an average ticket length of INR 25-30K per day, 10% month-on-month boom
In May, the commercial enterprise said it had 2 hundred% surge in each income value and volume due to its awareness on advertising and marketing and marketing
MSMEs and small and medium organizations (SMBs) are undoubtedly the backbone of India’s financial system. According to the MSME ministry’s annual document for 2019, India has presently over 63 Mn MSMEs out of which 99.Four% are micro-businesses. However, considering the fact that the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the MSME and SMB segments had been grappling to survive, let alone develop.
Recognising the warfare, each the government ?— with the allocation of INR 20 Lakh Cr as a comfort fund ?— and tech giants including Amazon India’s Partner Support Fund and workshops, Google’s $800 Mn investment to the Covid-19 fund, Microsoft’s Back2Business Solution Boxes and greater ?— are focussing on assisting the world’s financial revival. Among the SMBs, the worst hit had been the ones agencies that had been depending on retail clients and physical shops, according to a Zinnov’s Indian SMBs: On The Road To Recovery From Covid-19 document.
Digitisation is the new normal as the world fights to survive the pandemic. Needless to say, it's miles crucial for SMBs to apply virtual gear to avoid fading away. For the same, different SMBs have resorted to extraordinary approaches to sell on-line. While a few entered into partnerships with ecommerce marketplaces which includes Zomato, Dunzo, others are doing it through Facebook, Instagram and more or through their personal websites.
But though digitisation has end up a need to continue to exist in those instances, there are businesses who understood the benefit and the want to move on-line pretty a while ago — and we don’t mean just by means of utilising the ecommerce community. Many small groups recognized the want to control the entire chain. Among this group is Saraf Furniture, which shifted to ecommerce six years ago with insaraf.Com. The Rajasthan-based totally store and manufacturer of stable sheesham wooden furniture has been inside the enterprise for over forty years.
“The journey began with buying and selling solid Sheesham wooden furniture inside the neighborhood markets of our village. The enterprise saw ahead integration whilst we started out exporting furniture in late 1999,” said Raghunandan Saraf, founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture.
A tech fanatic and a keen entrepreneur, Raghunandan told Inc42 that he has continuously regarded to bring the enterprise on par with contemporary desires. Expanding it online turned into now not only logical but also the most viable option to compete with the brand new breed of fixtures startups. “The on-line commercial enterprise does have its professionals and cons, however human beings’s inclination in the direction of using web and on line shopping made the shift and enlargement important,” the founder delivered.
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Today, Saraf Furniture works in a hybrid or omnichannel model with each on line sales as well as offline shops. Claiming to have bought over 2.Five Mn products till date, it has an stock of close to 5K SKUs unfold across 50 categories which includes sofas, tables of a wide variety, beds, wall devices, mattresses, other small fixtures and more. Amongst the categories which have brought the most revenue for Saraf Furniture are sofas, eating tables and beds.
Additionally, it also claims that for the reason that its shift to the online marketplace, it has referred to a month-on-month increase of 10%, a yr-on-yr growth of two hundred%, together with a wholesome average price tag length of INR 25-30K according to day.
Saraf Furniture Factsheet
The Covid-19 Impact On Saraf Furniture
The fixtures retail enterprise had seen a large hit from Covid-19. Raghunandan advised us that inside the month of March 2020 alone, there have been over eighty% drop in the income and nearly all fixtures production units have been close for the reason that statement of the primary lockdown. As a end result, organizations started out focussing extra on maintaining cash in place of spending it. So at the same time as others have been pulling returned their advertising and advertising spends, Saraf Furniture decided to move the opposite way.
“We realised that if we reduce back our advertising spends, we run the chance of dropping visibility. So, we determined to now not cut returned however rather growth that spend. Another component that prompted us changed into that advertisers have been much less and the viewers were extra. So when things are normalised we will not must begin from scratch,” Raghunandan Saraf, founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture.
It also introduced video calling and video customer service to guarantee customers. A purchaser may want to region a video name to an professional to get advice on the purchases, and after putting the order, the consumer could get a video name from the shop to reveal the product packaging before delivery. This now not handiest reassured clients, but added agree with to the process. Often delivering products accurately in a tough time wins over clients greater than discounts.
“Giving professional recommendation on a video name, customising the products and turning in them to your doorstep is the new version of digital shopping. Our clients can schedule their video name in step with their time and convenience,” said Raghunandan.
Before the lockdown, the organization claimed to be receiving 3K orders per month after it resumed its business now not best did it see the variety move up to four.5-5K within the first week of May itself however also that once the first week of May it has referred to a 200% surge in income.
“To survive and develop for the duration of the lockdown changed into tough, as every operational module turned into on maintain. Amidst lockdown, with liberalisation in MHA tips, we should absorb the operations and will supply the furniture inside the inexperienced sector,” explained Raghunandan.
But at the same time, it did no longer overlook the safety of each its clients and transport marketers. “We practised social distancing, right sanitisation, masking, and also did frequent thermal checkups of the personnel. Even at the same time as making the shipping, social distance is practised, a thermal checkup of the delivery personnel is accomplished, and the deliverable is properly sanitised in the front of the clients,” elaborated Raghunandan at the adjustments and additions in current weeks.
With the pandemic forcing companies to shift to far flung operations, Raghunandan observed principal shifts in the income of its merchandise, “There has been a six hundred% boom in the sales of study tables and additionally even as most customers used to postpone shopping fixtures for the holidays, now they have got turn out to be very proactive,” he stated.
Saraf Furnitures Builds On 40-Year Legacy With Ecommerce Growth
Planning For A Tech-First Future
In the furnishings ecommerce marketplace, Saraf Furniture faces opposition from furniture startups inclusive of Urban Ladder, Pepperfry and greater. However, its lifetime warranty on termite resistance as well as the exclusivity of manufacturing and promoting strong Sheesham timber furnishings is its primary differentiator. “Being a producer and on line retailer we sell the genuine fine sheesham wooden furniture without delay from the outlet, making it value-green. As a end result, 30% of the charge varies from that of our competitors,” delivered Raghunandan.
As for shipping and success, Saraf Furniture has entire manage over this aspect as properly. “We used the services of a 3rd-celebration for deliveries for at the least years, however quickly we realised that when shipped we had no manipulate over the time and day of the delivery, managing of the product and more. Also, our merchandise require set up so after the delivery, a person from our crew could must cross for it,” defined Raghunandan because the purpose behind doing away with using 0.33-celebration for making deliveries.
Another aspect that makes the enterprise stand out is that while SMBs struggled to get assist from the government for their survival, Saraf Furniture determined to assist the relevant in addition to the country authorities, in their combat towards the pandemic. Raghunandan advised Inc42 that the organisation spent approximately INR 25 Lakh in distributing mask, PPE kits, scientific kits, meals kits in Sardarshahar, Rajasthan, in which it's far based totally, and also donated INR 1 Cr to the PM Relief Care Fund.
There is not any denying the fact that, foraying into the online marketplace isn't always an clean challenge, specially for a traditional business like Saraf Furniture. Even then, it says that the maximum important assignment for it was drawing consciousness approximately the real pleasant sheesham wood furnishings and on-line payments. “We acknowledge the fact that customers were sceptical regarding online develop payments. To that, we began a new carrier of smooth financing or an Easy EMI facility for our customers,” defined Raghunandan.
Going forward, Saraf Furniture says that it's far running on growing a three-D shape of the goods to offer its clients with a greater realistic view and feel of the equal. It told Inc42 that it's far planning to enforce it with five products each, inside the ten highest-selling classes as a pilot product to test the viability of and the response to the concept.
“Next comes the VR technology, the user could be able to without a doubt revel in the store, furniture, and the home adorned with our merchandise. This will aid the consumer in understanding the furnishing and make the best desire. Also, with the trendy advancement in tech, the post buying pattern could use the redressal gadget to offer redressal with four hours ETA,” Raghunandan stated.
Currently operating in Delhi, Bangalore, Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajasthan and Hyderabad, Saraf Furniture is leveraging its community to make bigger its attain to Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Guwahati.