The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially digitized the way people work, shop and communicate with others. With all physical stores shut amidst this crisis, Danube Home, the furnishing and interiors business arm of Dubai-based Danube Group has witnessed 75 percent drop in revenue. Thanks to the steady increase in its online sales, the brand has been to keep itself afloat.
Taking cue from the changing trends and current global scenario, Danube Home intends to upgrade their e-commerce website as the online business is expected to surge by 150 percent post-lockdown. The firm opened its Hyderabad store in 2018 and has partnered with sites such as Amazon in the first quarter of 2020 to market its product range online.
“By June 2020, we will have our own e-commerce window ready with our entire range of products available online. Even though we are hoping that things will be normal soon, the fear of going out will remain among consumers worldwide and therefore the need to ramp up our online presence,” said Sayed Habib, GM- Buying, Danube Home.
With millions working from home and digital connectivity taking even more of a hold of everyday habits, consumers will have greater motivations and fewer perceived barriers to more actively seek technology-enabled solutions. Companies that can leverage technologies—by meeting changing consumer demands online, enabling seamless interactions through direct-to-consumer offerings and enhancing consumer experience with augmented and virtual realities—have the opportunity to earn consumer loyalty well after consumers’ concerns subside. And that’s one of the things we are working on.
The brand feels this situation will lead to quicker adoption of technology which makes the future an exciting space both for retailers and consumers.
It is also in the process of offering virtual help to the consumers. The brand offers interior designing help free of cost but it’s time to take it to the next level. It is planning to create a platform where the designers can do this over a video call and offer real time advice.
With stores being closed globally right now and maybe for a few more months to come, the robust social media presence will help the brand remain connected with their patrons and keep them engaged.
Danube Group which hires more than 3,600 people worldwide, will not be making any layoffs during this global crisis. This came as a tremendous relief to all their staff and helped boost employee morale and productivity. Product managers are conducting learning sessions across all of Danube home stores with the data that they have collected about products. Once a week, the Chairman and Founder of the company interact with various teams to stay connected with the employees.
“Every few days we ensure people come together for casual chats to check how things are with each one of them and sometimes even have jamming sessions. This is primarily keeping in mind the staff’s mental well-being. We want to offer our employees a channel to vent out frustrations, talk about fears to make sure the isolation does not make people feel alienated” added Habib.