How a Conventional Offline Enterprise Went On-line: The Wishing Chair (2022)


At current, India’s furnishings and residential decor market is handsomely profitable, shaping as much as be a 40 billion USD enterprise by 2026. The market gives clients a wide range of designs that cater to regional and world tastes of shoppers in India.

However this wasn’t the case again in 2012. Again then, the market was severely restricted when it comes to product selection, and didn’t cater to clients searching for contemporary and distinctive designs. And that’s precisely when two girls of their twenties, Viv & Ami, determined to take a plunge on this business and take issues into their very own palms by beginning their decor enterprise, The Wishing Chair.

However, what made them take this choice?

Did they at all times need to begin a house decor enterprise? Nicely no, Viv & Ami simply wished to begin one thing of their very own. Their concepts ranged from a foot therapeutic massage enterprise to a make-up franchise, deciding on beginning a restaurant or a lounge to create a secure house for girls to hang around. Whereas engaged on this concept, they fell in love with the design course of as an alternative.

The realisation of their love for decor coincided with the hole available in the market for reasonably priced handcrafted merchandise. Name it future or pure luck, however their enterprise thought, fueled with their decor ardour, discovered its good place available in the market.

So it started – Viv & Ami’s adventures with The Wishing Chair. No, there was no magical chair concerned, however there was ardour and the hope to create an inclusive, ‘blissful place’.

The Wishing Chair is a homegrown, women-led enterprise with a formidable Instagram following of 233k and counting. The enterprise is finishing a decade this yr. We interviewed the founders, Vivita Relan & Avneet Mann, to learn the way their self-funded decor model went from being an offline crowd-puller to on-line success with Shopify.

Desk of contents

Browse our checklist of high trending merchandise at this time to get concepts for what you need to use to begin your on-line enterprise.

The way it started…

The Wishing Chair began their first offline retailer at a 1500-square-foot house in Shahpur Jat, Delhi. The constructive response they obtained from their patrons enabled them to open their flagship retailer in Gurgaon, adopted by three extra shops by 2020.

For sure, The Wishing Chair was having fun with an amazing offline presence. Not solely did they’ve 5 worthwhile shops, however they have been additionally constructing a loyal neighborhood by providing incentivised referrals and a weekly e-newsletter referred to as ‘The Delights of Distraction’.

The Wishing Chair store

Add to that, their epic experiential advertising efforts proper from organised artwork workshops referred to as ‘Crafternoons’, the place their design workforce would educate artistic actions, to the entertaining gross sales occasion referred to as ‘A Spring Fling’ the place upto 40 shops collaborated to interact with one another’s audiences. The offline efforts garnered the anticipated outcomes – elevated footfall and buyer engagement.

Proper once they had began increasing, in 2020, The pandemic hit, and introduced a wave of uncertainty for offlines companies throughout the board. Laws modified quicker than every week lasted, and offline shops have been in a repair about whether or not they might open their shops or not. Many companies needed to rethink their existence and whether or not they might proceed their work. The Wishing Chair needed to shut down two of their 5 shops. And so they, together with many others, needed to adapt and undertake on-line as the way in which ahead.

The Pivot to on-line

Although they’d an internet retailer since 2016, it wasn’t till the pandemic hit that it grew to become their focus space..

The founders recalled, “We had been dealing with just a few points with the web site on occasion, since even earlier than the pandemic. Again then, we didn’t actually suppose a lot of it.. However that wasn’t the expertise we might afford to offer our clients if we wished them to proceed with us on our journey on-line.. We realised we wanted a web site we might depend on.”

They have been looking out for alternate options when their web site developer beneficial they check out Shopify.

Viv & Ami heeded their developer’s recommendation and moved to a Shopify retailer. Banking on a platform that didn’t allow them to down, they have been capable of improve their on-line gross sales from 10% to 50% in a comparatively brief time span. “Since transferring to Shopify, we haven’t confronted any downtime points. And we’re now taking a look at redesigning and upgrading our on-line retailer with extra options and instruments via Shopify 2.0,” they shared.

So how will you transition from offline to on-line channels, like The Wishing Chair? Check out the important thing highlights from The Wishing Chair’s shift to on-line gross sales for cues.

5 key classes to make your on-line enterprise profitable

Listed here are 5 key classes which you could implement whereas transitioning to promoting on-line:

1. Create your web site on a dependable platform

It’s onerous to think about a flourishing on-line enterprise and not using a credible web site.

That’s why it’s important to decide on the correct platform to your on-line enterprise. Does that imply you’ll decide the right platform from the get-go? Possibly not. Take into account The Wishing Chair, as an example.

When The Wishing Chair moved to Magento, the transfer was not easy. However their web site gave the impression to be doing okay. Nevertheless, they quickly realised that the web site sometimes skilled technical hiccups and the prices have been additionally larger than what they’d initially budgeted.

“There have been server failures sometimes, and there was not a lot we might do, particularly if the location went down at evening. However we did not suppose a lot of it, as a result of our offline enterprise was doing so nicely”.

When the pandemic hit, they determined to take their on-line presence severely. That’s once they moved to Shopify and The Wishing Chair hasn’t slowed down since then. Want inspiration to your Shopify retailer, check out our curated checklist of 50+ distinctive web sites constructed on Shopify.

2. High quality is your bread and cake

The Wishing Chair Products

One of many explanation why The Wishing Chair stands out from different decor manufacturers is its customized merchandise. They’re fastidiously handcrafted to embody the model’s distinctive nature whereas giving a premium really feel.

Product high quality is paramount in your on-line promoting journey. Your viewers doesn’t have the posh of checking the merchandise in individual and also you’re not bodily current to persuade them to purchase your merchandise both.

Due to this fact, prioritise your product high quality straight from day one.

Delivering high quality merchandise on the proper worth will get you the preliminary set of shoppers that may show you how to kick off gross sales and begin your on-line journey. As you constantly preserve the standard, you’ll acquire natural site visitors by way of phrase of mouth suggestions and repeat clients, leading to elevated gross sales and the flexibility to additional develop your model and set up your self as a good participant.

You would possibly marvel how the model leveraged on-line phrase of mouth advertising to point out off their merchandise? By social media! The Wishing Chair inspired its viewers to share their model expertise with the curated hashtag, #TWCMagic. This effort has been profitable in getting them a significant chunk of their gross sales.

The Wishing Chair's Instagram

High quality doesn’t imply it’s a must to do every part in-house from scratch. The Wishing Chair began with a self-funded, dropshipping mannequin the place they outsourced their manufacturing by fastidiously vetting distributors for high quality. Later, when the enterprise expanded, they constructed up the assets to create tailored merchandise in-house. They at present have a nine-person workforce who supply, merchandise and craft distinctive decor gadgets you’ll be able to solely discover on their on-line retailer.

Making high quality merchandise is not any straightforward job, however creating high quality merchandise is the place you may have full management, constructing belief and repeat buys. So, use it to your benefit by delivering the very best high quality to your clients.

Be taught extra:

3. Join along with your viewers

To attach along with your target market, you first must seize their consideration. This might sound troublesome within the on-line world. So, how do you stand out and make your viewers discover you with so many different manufacturers on-line? You develop into a storyteller.

Nicely, not actually. The concept is to utilise storytelling to symbolize your model mission and values. Determine your model’s “Why” so that you’re extra than simply about ‘making earnings’. Convey your core values and model mission to your viewers, and allow them to know the way you’ll construct what you are promoting round these values.

The Wishing Chair religiously abides by their values – ‘Handcrafted & Artisanal’, ‘Cruelty-free’, ‘Actual and Relatable’ and ‘Small is Lovely’. “We maintain our values sacred, and would by no means compromise on them in pursuit of senseless progress,” they stated. They publish weekly newsletters the place they share their experiences and tales, and construct a neighborhood of like-minded people.

Delights of Distraction by The Wishing Chair

#Professional Tip: Emails is usually a useful gizmo to attach along with your viewers and construct a bond.

4. Don’t stick to at least one on-line gross sales channel

Your target market might be dispersed on varied social platforms and search engines like google and yahoo. Do you suppose you could possibly attain them simply by having a web site?

You’re proper, you can not.

What you are able to do is to make use of exterior channels to publicise your model, promote your merchandise or direct the possible clients to your web site. There are a variety of the way you are able to do this – embedded CTAs, API integrations, or by merely mentioning a shortened URL hyperlink (similar to in your Instagram bio).

So, to develop into profitable in your on-line enterprise, set up your presence on a number of gross sales channels. We’re speaking about multichannel ecommerce. Multichannel ecommerce means that you can checklist and promote your merchandise on multiple on-line platform.

One among The Wishing Chair’s essential gross sales turbines is Instagram. They get 30% of their web site site visitors and 18% on-line income via their Instagram web page.

One other contributor to their on-line income is promoting on area of interest marketplaces like Jaypore, famend for promoting artisanal gadgets and apparels. On-line marketplaces can be found a dime a dozen, however discovering one that provides particular consideration to your class and provides a candy industrial deal is what you must at all times search for.

#Professional Tip: Be certain that the gross sales platform you select aligns along with your model and goal demographic’s preferences. If you happen to’re a magnificence model, you’ll be able to’t look forward to finding your viewers on the Pepperfry market, proper?

Be taught extra:

5. Analyse the traits and adapt

A major good thing about being an internet enterprise is that you need to use digital instruments to collect knowledge about your target market, and extra importantly, analyse that knowledge to realize insights that show you how to make higher selections.

You possibly can analyse market traits, streamline stock administration, automate your advertising efforts and observe your viewers’s behaviour.

The Wishing Chair relied on Hotjar to trace their viewers behaviour on their Shopify retailer and enhance conversions. With this software, they’re able to determine the place their viewers’s consideration drops and acquire suggestions on their web site via pop-ups.

In fact instruments aren’t the one means. Old fashioned nonetheless works. Make it some extent to browse the web for market traits and client behaviour reviews usually.

For instance, The Wishing Chair observed a client report by Accenture that highlighted that 57% of buyers would swap manufacturers in the event that they didn’t provide quick and versatile supply alternate options. And so, the Wishing Chair constructed up their capabilities and delivered seamless buyer expertise via hyperlocal supply tie-ups, in addition to a pan-India presence with a longtime accomplice.

Why go digital?

TWC's Christmas collaboration event

Vivita & Ami take pleasure in operating a digital enterprise as a result of every part’s extra rewarding and less complicated—be it:

  1. Buyer engagement
  2. Order fulfilment
  3. Stock administration, or
  4. Executing gross sales enlargement methods
  5. Sharper concentrating on

Want extra causes?

By 2025, there might be 220 million internet buyers in India. That’s a whopping 20% of our nation’s inhabitants buying on-line. That’s why establishing an internet enterprise isn’t simply an afterthought anymore.

With the digital house permitting you a wider viewers attain and automation instruments to make every part simpler, the query is – why shouldn’t you may have an on-line enterprise?

To arrange your on-line retailer and make it a hit like The Wishing Chair, begin with a 14 day free trial on Shopify.

Make your on-line retailer a dependable gross sales channel

Your on-line retailer might be your essential gross sales driver, identical to it was for the The Wishing Chair


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