The pandemic has been a once-in-a-lifetime test of business continuity planning for retail businesses across the globe. Even when things have stabilized to an extent and economies are gradually opening up, the industry is being confronted by a hard question – what’s next? With little to no revenue in sight for months, brands and retailers turned to those who they have always looked upon to lead them when the going gets tough – their CEOs.
IMAGES Retail spoke to Adhvika Agarwal, Co-Founder, ORCO to find out how she led the change in a crisis year with the way she managed her brand, integrated technology in the workspace and let consumers be the voice of the brand – all in a bid to understand the future of the industry.
Excerpts from the exclusive chat…
From your brand’s perspective, how did you fare during the lockdown and what was the consumer response in the initial Unlock phase?
The initial months for ORCO were tough, but the brand gained the opportunity to shine online by selling their niche products through its own portal. With an in-house digital marketing team, ORCO really spurred its sales and reached out to people all across India and not just Delhi NCR.
We saw it as an opportunity to evolve and expand our operations around the country. ORCO’s offline sales faced a bit of shortfall but eventually picked up. Customers online responded very well to the website, we witnessed an increase in sales every month.
Have you launched any innovative consumer experiences over the pandemic period?
We revamped our website to achieve the best customer experience for our patrons when they order their favourite organic condiments online.
Comprehending the situation, we also launched an Immunity Booster Combo Box that consists of two very strong blends of herbs that help strengthen the immune system. The box available at affordable prices includes ORCO Organic Kadha and ORCO Organic Golden Milk Masala. We believe it was the perfect opportunity to introduce such products for our customers at this time of uncertainty. We received an overwhelming response on our immunity-boosting products and were able to sell many of them directly.
Does your brand have an Omnichannel / Phygital strategy? If yes, elaborate.
Yes, ORCO believes in being omnipresent since all the channels are a good opportunity to build a greater brand value and to reach out to all kinds of audience. ORCO is present both online and offline making it convenient for our customers.
Which are the new technologies – both in-store & online – that you have introduced in an effort to go contactless?
In order to make our deliveries as safe as possible, we partnered with contactless delivery services for all our online orders. In-store we ensured all our packets are being thoroughly sanitised before handing them out.
How has been the consumer response been like in the festival season? Were you able to match the level of business and profit last year?
On the basis of the past few month’s sales figures, we were able to discern that people favoured online shopping more than offline. The trend continued during the festive season where people were on a shopping/gifting spree. We were able to make the most of it by introducing a special all spice mix combo box for our customers and also including ORCO’s products in gift baskets and hampers.
Has the brand reached pre-COVID levels in terms of sales?
Yes, the brand has recovered and is now on the path to grow further. This was possible due to expanding our customer base to the entire country by introducing ORCO’s online platform.
What are your future plans?
ORCO is moving forward with only one aim in mind to provide our customers and our workforce a better standard of livings. We do this by introducing healthy easy yet tasty snacks, beverages, crisps which are all natural and chemical free for our consumers to indulge in healthy eating and stay fit. For that ORCO is working with renowned chefs to create an R&D Lab. On the other hand it is also expanding its current reach to all India by both online and offline channels. By doing this ORCO will be able to empower 1 million woman in no time all across India, woman being the core workforce of manufacturing and packaging these products.
How much has the company grown under your leadership during COVID?
With an obvious strategy of creating an individual online presence and also partnering with giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Milk Basket etc. ORCO managed to stay strong in the crowded FMCG market and not just stick around but also grow and find valuable customers.