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Eyeing the D2C growth story through the GreenHonchos lens

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GreenHonchos is a full-stack eCommerce consulting firm, offering technology, digital and operational solutions for scaling D2C brands online with a consulting framework to help them seamlessly start, exponentially grow and deliver an engaging online commerce experience.

Over the last 10 years, GreenHonchos has tested and proven their 100cr transformational revenue blueprint with more than 100 D2C brands, and now their mission is to help benefit other eRetail brands in the industry. We got in touch with Navin Joshua, Founder/Director, GreenHonchos to get to know his vision and plans for the company. Here are a few insights as excerpts from the interview.

Looking at 2022 with hope

Navin and the team eye the D2C space in retail as a field of opportunity, he says “It’s been a watershed year for a lot, a lot of highs and lows on the health and wellness side, across the country. On the business side of it, we’ve all learned the hard way as well as the agile way. Luckily, we’ve been in the eCommerce domain that has come to the rescue of the retail fraternity. A lot of the brands and enablers like us have spent time and effort helping each other trying to figure out the pivoting nature and behaviour of the consumer in this dynamic Indian landscape. A wonderful opportunity has been set up for us and we look forward to a lot more growth and success for the eRetail industry in the years to come”.

The edge that GreenHonchos has as the most popular D2C enabler

GreenHonchos has been working in the eRetail industry for around a decade, empowering global D2C brands with scalability. Today, after having partnered with more than 100 leading retail brands and having a team strength of 200+ people across fairly diverse domains of the eCommerce and tech landscape, as per Navin, the D2C growth story has just about started, “In the very early days of the company, pretty much 2013-2014, there were very few takers for the concept of D2C enablement at that time, and it was a very hard sell for myself, Sumit and the entire management team. We did believe that there was a real need for businesses or brands to partner with enablers who have the expertise in the online domain. Primarily, there are two points of sale in eCommerce in the retail space – One is the online marketplaces, and the other is the brand’s own D2C. The marketplaces are fairly cookie cutter. The Amazons, the Myntras and the Flipkarts of the world were doing all the bulk work, providing a great customer experience, and the retailers wanted to take advantage of being a multi-brand outlet within the marketplaces. So that was a no brainer. But the hard sell really was to explain to businesses that D2C is coming, brands will have to have their own point of sale and their own customer like they do even in the offline retail.”

Although it took brands years to realise the true potential and importance of building their own D2C channel, today it has become a major growth driver for all the retail brands across verticals. For GreenHonchos the first-mover’s advantage of being a D2C enabler really came in handy when brands started to jump on this D2C bandwagon, making them an obvious choice to partner with as a growth enabler. “It was going slow for us in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Luckily, at that time, when the madness and the rush weren’t on, it allowed us to develop our capabilities and build our competencies at our pace. And last but not the least, in India, most of the problems start post the order. Unlike in other markets, where the size of the market isn’t that large, customer acquisition is everything. In India, customer acquisition is only half the problem. The profitability and the seamlessness of the experience in such a diverse landscape is an area that we love to partner with brands to get that piece right. So there’s a consultative framework there, which is where we believe that the entire DTC full-stack enablers story comes together for us,” Navin mentions.

Identifying the right use cases

For GreenHonchos, through coincidental natural progression, they have gained categorical expertise in categories like fashion, lifestyle, footwear, food & beverages, beauty & personal care and home accessories, and that’s how their associations with brands have progressed over the years. Keeping pace with these transitions, over the years the consultancy has grown and increased its capabilities towards other speciality domains too. When asked about the domains that GreenHonchos identifies as its core areas of strength, Navin says “I think these are pretty much two or three segments, two broad domains or categories in which we divide our use cases. One bucket is for the traditional retail brands, that could be from any category and who predominantly have an offline consumer base. The one big strength these brands have is immense ‘brand recall generating customer loyalty’. But the biggest challenge for this domain is repurposing the big data and customer insights available to them. On the other hand, there are the digitally native brands who already know their standing within the online universe and want to spread their presence offline. So, that is our sweet spot, where we can consult and guide them. As for the traditional players, our strength lies in making them digitally agile and customer ready. So, we see both these as the most important sectors for us to function and support retail in their growth journey.”

Creating an impact with headless commerce

GreenHonchos has gained much recognition and repute by being a full-stack tech provider and they have an in-house team of developers who are capable of on-boarding brands on mainstream platforms like Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce. For brands who are looking for customised tech solutions and scalability in the Indian market, they also have a cutting-edge technology solution called KartmaX which is completely headless, serverless and powered by AI & ML. The platform solves all challenges that other mainstream platforms fail to solve. “We offer integrated eCommerce services like performance marketing, marketplace management, social media and real-time analytics and reporting. We hand-hold brands from 1000 orders to 1 million orders, helping them scale and achieve their growth objectives. We have built GreenHonchos as a one-stop solution for brands looking to take their business online. We are deeply integrated with industry partners too and this makes us more of a viable enabler for brands and retailers,” Navin highlights.

Further highlighting the nuances of headless commerce he says, “For a couple of years when we built seven to eight modules in a service-oriented architecture, we realised that it made sense to piece it all together in a true headless environment, where the service-oriented architecture ensured that each module spoke to each other in an absolute API driven environment. The performance of the New Age architecture was significantly higher in terms of being able to even measure the best in class tech that’s available in the country for commerce. In our next release, we will be releasing a full DIY SaaS product, which is another version of the headless commerce product.”

GreenHonchos has grown nearly 300% in the last 18 months and they are further aggressively planning to attain another 300% growth in the coming year, by building their team and their tech/automation layer. It is just the start and we had a very long conversation with Navin about a lot of other things, to know more stay glued to the complete video tete-a-tete.

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