INVIGORATING CRAFT HERITAGE OF INDIA
Jaypore, a curated e-commerce platform, features exceptional collections of handcrafted apparel, jewellery, home textiles and accents traditional and contemporary art and more from all over India. Jaypore also has its own range under its own namesake labe
When and how did the idea of Jaypore come into existence?
Puneet Chawla (PC): What prompted us to create a brand like Jaypore was our shared vision of how we could present Indian craft based designs in a contemporary application; one that would appeal both to the domestic and global audience. We wanted to contribute to the revival of the dying craft heritage of India and give it a viable business platform. We started Jaypore initially as an ‘iPad only’ shopping experience in August 2012 and subsequently launched our e-commerce website, www.jaypore.com, in 2013.
What all product categories do you offer and how have you designed your brand portfolio?
PC: We feature curated collections of handmade, handwoven and handcrafted apparel, jewellery, home textiles and accents, traditional and contemporary art and more from all over India. We also have our own range of apparel, accessories and home décor collections under our private label, Jaypore. Our focus is to offer a curation of collections that are contemporary translations of traditional techniques and crafts. Our partners include artisanal communities, textile designers, independent artists, urban designers, craft communities across India. We also feature established
labels like Shades of India, Amrapali, Abraham and Thakore, Raw Mango and Rang Bandhej, alongside social and craft initiatives like AIACA, KGU, DAMA, Women Weave, Rehwa and Qilasaaz.
Explain your business model and the differentiation of the concept.
PC: We are a curated e-commerce platform, and we are looking to build a brand not a marketplace online. We have our own line of products plus we show other artisans, craftspeople, designers. The most important aspect is that we decide which brands to feature. So in a sense, we curate not only the vendors but also curate what the vendor is going to put up. This makes us different from all other marketplaces, which very often decide who will feature on their site, but not necessarily what they feature. In a usual mall or marketplace setup, the customer has to do the sifting. The customer has to take decisions on whether the quality and price standards are being met. In our case, we make those decisions. And since we do all the screening, the chances of having a better shopping experience are higher.
Share your market presence in India as well as overseas.
PC: Our customer base is spread across India and over 60 countries around the world. We cater to geographic demographies across India, the UK, North and South America, Europe, Australia, UAE and many other countries across the world.
What is your market positioning? Who is your target audience and what is the pricing strategy?
PC: Like I said earlier, we want to create a predominant presence for ourselves as a key online player for Indian craft based designs, a curated platform of its kind that gives customers the sense of discoverability as well as a reconnection with the grassroots of Indian handcraft heritage.
Our pricing strategy reflects our commitment both to our customers and our vendors. We follow a fair-price business policy with a higher margin for our vendors. We ensure that we do not undercut our partners and they receive a fair remuneration for their merchandise. Our prices thus reflect a standardized rate based on the quality of the design, material and market standards.
Give us a sense of Jaypore’s e-commerce supply chain and logistics operations. What steps are taken to optimize the entire process?
PC: Our supply chain is staggered, taking into account the multiple vendors we work with on either SOR (sale or return) or MTO (made to order) basis with its vendors to keep a tight control over product in stock. We have a co-located warehouse with our head office to ensure proximity to inventory and an aggressive quality check process carried out by our sourcing team to ensure the highest level of quality.
We work in a number of ways to optimize the entire process of our supply chain and logistic operations which includes helping our vendors in using the organized and efficient supply chain mechanism and training them on how to use the digital platforms for bringing in efficiency into their system. We implement new
ways to communicate with our vendors efficiently so that the lead time in the whole supply chain can be reduced and have dedicated vendor help desk to help on all their queries including GST.
Technology being the core of an e-commerce business, what are the key technologies implemented in your case?
PC: Definitely, technology integration and innovation are core to our operational performance. Some of the key technologies we implement include big data compilation and analysis for customer personalization; past purchase behaviour led machine learning for future predictions, trend forecasting and product recommendations, use of specialized tools to extract rich meta data from the catalogue to enhance product discoverability and NLP and bots for human-like interactions online.
Brief us on your strategy to enhance customer base, engagement and loyalty.
PC: We are focused on our products as the key differentiator for brand equity building. We endeavour to build a strong emotional connection with our prospective customers through our focus on the revival of traditional Indian handlooms and crafts. Our brand communications and marketing is focused on highlighting this core philosophy. We are also extremely mindful of the product quality and customer experience through all brand touch points — from website UI & UX to our shipment process.
If you trust the brand and the aesthetic that goes with it, after a point you can blindly buy products from us. We do not believe in offering heavy discounts as customer acquisition method as that does not translate into customer retention and loyalty. We are more focused on our product depth, quality and differential USP. So a customer is likely to come back and shop with us and has a consistent experience in terms of quality and aesthetic. Around 80 percent of our customers who have bought from us once, come back and buy from us again.
Tell us about your promotions and marketing approach.
PC: Our main aim is to build our brand through word of mouth and organic talkability as we feel our customers are our best brand evangelists. All our marketing initiatives are accordingly focused in directly involving our customers and are heavily oriented towards social media and online engagement, given the nature of our business.
We do believe that the next step for us is to build a tactile relationship with our customers and are now venturing into offline space through thematic physical experiences to give our customers a touch and feel experience with our product. We are starting with an open house format that will give our customers an experiential interface with our aesthetic and a firsthand look at the craft that goes into making our products.
How are you looking to further grow your business and how would you handle competition? Are you looking to go offline in the future?
PC: As mentioned earlier, offline is an avenue we are definitely looking to explore in coming future, starting with open houses and then exploring other physical formats. We are also looking to diversify our product categories to include an extensive daily/work apparel and accessories segment.
We feel competition to be a constructive influence – there is a lot of interesting work being done by different players in the space and there is definitely room for everyone to grow. We are confident in the core USP of our brand and feel it definitely stands us in good stead amidst the competition.
– Puneet Chawla, CEO & Co-Founder, Jaypore.com