Advanced technologies for Marketplace to Boost Engagement, Sales – Dusaan

By Srikanth
33 Min Read
Advanced technologies for Marketplace to Boost Engagement, Sales - Dusaan 1

As a new-age online marketplace, we are continuously exploring technological advancements and integrating features that can help us boost our customer engagement and increase our sales. Recently, we have been focused on exploring Artificial Intelligence to enhance our consumer experience and increase dwell time on our website. To achieve this goal, we have been refining our user interface and offering tailored suggestions based on our customers’ profiles, search intent, and buying patterns.

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Such personalized shopping experiences and valuable product inputs have helped us connect with our customers better and earned us many repeat customers who now trust our recommendations when seeking niche home decor products. Needless to say, the tech integration and our selection of quality products have helped grow our sales volume through effective cross-selling and upselling across the different segments.

In what ways has Dusaan used AR technology to improve the home decor shopping experience for customers?

We plan to integrate AR technology into our online platform in the future to further refine our customers’ experience by offering them an immersive and informed shopping experience. We are particularly interested in allowing users to virtually explore our products in their homes using a smart device. We believe such a feature can help simplify the customer’s shopping experience at Dusaan and help them understand how a certain product would look in their homes or make their space more appealing.

How does Dusaan leverage user-generated content to drive user engagement on its platform, and what benefits have you seen?

Our new website has been revamped with the latest UI/UX features with a keen focus on user-generated content to create an interactive and community-driven shopping experience for our users, who are mostly women between the ages of 25 and 40 years.

At Dusaan, we enable our customers to share their experiences, product reviews, and photographs with others on our platform. These shared experiences and meaningful interactions backed by our user-generated content help us drive customer engagement and work on the lags, if any. So far, this approach has helped us instill confidence in our customers about our products and their authenticity, enabling them to make an informed purchase for their dream home.

The authentic experience has directly helped us gain customers’ trust and helped us establish Dusaan as a credible name in the online marketplace domain. As a company, we also pay close attention to our customer’s reviews and experiences to gain valuable insight into how we can further improve our services and resolve customer queries

Can you discuss Dusaan’s strategy for integrating international brands into its platform using technology?

Currently, Dusaan features around 350 brands and actively collaborates with more than 250 vendors to offer a vast range of home decor products. This has helped us tap into different consumer segments across various price points who harbor the shared goal of making their personal abode more aesthetically pleasing. Our customer-centric approach, extensive network of premium homegrown brands, and vast vendor channels have helped us build a niche in the Indian market.

While our immediate objective is to become a household name in India, we are also focused on global expansion. To achieve our broader expansion goal, we have already set our plan into motion by onboarding over 30+ international brands into our platform. To further scale our international goals, we are keen to explore strategic partnerships with popular international brands and vendors to boost our global presence and offer our customers more variety.

In this endevaour technology will play a key role in boosting customer engagement across borders. To compete with international marketplaces, we plan to integrate advanced technology like AI and AR to enhance customers’ shopping experience. Similarly, by continuing to offer them a wide selection of products from regional and international brands, we will help transform Dusaan’s platform into a curated destination that prioritizes users’ unique home decor requirements.

What role does technology play in Dusaan’s scalable infrastructure, ensuring quality and curation as the company expands?

So far, technology has helped us in more than one area of our operation and enabled us to automate several processes. For instance, technology has allowed us to automate crucial areas of inventory management, order processing, and managing customer relationships, which has helped simplify the complexities across departments.

Technology has also helped us use data-driven insights from different stages, offering us valuable insights into how to curate premium home decor brands and vendor networks and ensure effective quality control. This approach continues to help us ensure that our stocks are full and products are available at all times.

We also rely on technology to learn more about ongoing market trends and analyze the shopping behavior of our customers. This information helps us to enhance our product line, curate products that cater to changing customer preferences, and switch our customer service and distribution channels to keep up with the competition and changing demand. As a growing company and online marketplace, we will continue to rely on technology to support our growth and expansion plans and increase our market penetration in India and abroad.

How did the idea for Dusaan come about and what inspired you to focus specifically on the home decor market?

The true inspiration to launch Dusaan was rooted in our personal experiences and awareness about India’s current home decor market. Moulshree Aggarwal and I share a passion for home decor transformations. However, during our pursuits, we identified an unmissable gap in the Indian home decor market and how unorganized it was married by subpar product collection, limited brand variation, complicated shopping experience, and average customer service. It did not take us long to realize this problem was not just our own but also of thousands of shoppers seeking home decor items for their home or office.

Thanks to our professional backgrounds and experience with the e-commerce segment, we were quick to understand that a centralized platform could help cater to varied home decor needs and solve these problems once and for all. As a result, we bonded over a newfound passion to revolutionize the home decor industry with a one-stop destination featuring vast products from homegrown and international labels across different price points.

Furthermore, post-pandemic, we noticed a newfound interest in home decor transformations, with more individuals inclining towards designing personalized and aesthetically pleasing home spaces. This helped us understand that the home decor revolution has finally begun in India, and by building a centralized platform we can help accelerate this passion and nurture a niche market.

To further enhance customer experience and leave a lasting impact on the home decor market, we focused our energy on learning how to enhance every aspect of our offering right from product curation to customer service to keep our customers engaged and satisfied with our products and services.

Can you elaborate on the process of identifying the need for a centralized marketplace in India for home decor products and how did you plan to address this need?

As I mentioned earlier, before starting my journey as an e-commerce entrepreneur I was a consumer who faced several challenges when shopping for home decor products online. To begin with, the most common problem that I noticed was the gap between manufacturers in the Indian home category and the lack of a proper home decor marketplace. Moreover, the striking difference between how new-generation shops operate compared to traditional setups and their delayed response to embracing market change was quite alarming. This made me realize that though our Indian home decor market is huge it is largely unorganized and untapped. In such a setup only online luxury retailers were enjoying an upper hand due to their brand visibility and access to a large audience online.

This lack of modernization in the home decor space affected retailers’ selling and consumers’ online shopping experience, prompting my business partner and I to embark on a mission to build a platform to modernize the shopping experience and bridge the gap between buyers and sellers. Our sole ambition is backed by our desire to democratize consumers’ access to aesthetically pleasing home decor and transform how they shop for their homes.

Through our focused efforts we are working relentlessly to bring the unorganized home decor industry together and help homegrown brands to build their identity in the market. As co-founders with a knack for home decor transformation, we wish to prompt a movement that will support customer needs and empower underrated artisans and brands by providing them with a platform to showcase their work. With our continuous efforts to bring artisans and brands under a more organized setup, we wish to improve the standard of home decor shopping in India and eventually abroad.

As co-founders, what unique perspectives or experiences do you bring to Dusaan that have contributed to its rapid growth in the e-commerce industry?

Before I started my career as an entrepreneur with Dusaan, I was a Consultant and a Venture Capitalist, and I spent most of my time in early-stage investments focused on seed and series A rounds across leading sectors.

During my early professional years, I witnessed the growth of more than 30 startups and also had the opportunity to lead investments in both D2C and consumer internet space. It was during this phase in my career where I was working mostly with startups that I noticed a challenge within the e-commerce space and across its major categories, especially home.

My experience in helping startups navigate challenges inspired me to address the problems the next-gen consumers face when shopping online. Additionally, my hands-on experience in the D2C and consumer Internet domain eased me into the role of a founder.

Meanwhile, Moulshree Aggarwal’s years of professional experience and her background in investment and economics added value to our initial efforts to start Dusaan. Similarly, her family’s history and expertise in manufacturing home appliances offered us a clear direction and helped us navigate the prospects and lags of the e-commerce platform.

Together, with our shared passion for home decor and vision to enhance customer’s shopping experience, we continue to shape Dusaan into a go-to choice for consumers.

With a vast product range of over 20,000 unique items, how do you ensure that Dusaan maintains its focus on offering curated premium home decor while also catering to affordability?

From the beginning, we have been focused on curating premium quality home decor items and creating a wide selection of products to offer our customers several options to choose from when it comes to home furnishing.

Since empowering homegrown brands to make a mark in the market has been a primary objective, we maintain a balance between our wide product range and staying true to our focus on quality to help them adequately. This approach has helped us build a portfolio of over 20,000 unique products across segments, enabling us to build a brand that is equipped to meet the evolving market needs.

As an e-commerce platform on a mission to enhance the home decor shopping experience, we work closely with our vendor partners to thoughtfully curate products that meet our quality standards in terms of material, design, and craftsmanship. This helps us develop an extensive and exclusive range of products that truly capture the essence of modern premium decor. In addition, we follow a robust quality control measure to ensure each of our products can compete with established brands.

Over time we have developed an extensive vendor network comprising both upcoming and established brands. This has helped us not just expand our product offering but has allowed us to create a collection for each price segment. Additionally, by working on optimizing our inventory management and product deliveries we maintain both the quality and affordability of our products.

Could you discuss the role of your team in driving Dusaan’s mission to revolutionize the home decor space in India?

At Dusaan, we are a well-knit team of more than 50 members, where each individual brings some fresh perspective and market expertise to the table. Our cross-functional team harbors expertise in crucial areas such as user experience design, brand and product curation, marketing, inventory management, and value chain management. Their collective market insights and in-depth knowledge of these segments continue to help us optimize our offering and the platform to ensure optimal growth and customer satisfaction.

Our team’s collaborative efforts have also helped us transform our users’ shopping experience by improving how they discover products, purchase items, and receive them. Above all, we have a dedicated team to look into customer grievances and queries to ensure the entire process of home decor shopping at Dusaan is smooth. Having a well-trained team to look after every aspect of our operation helps us enhance consumers’ experience and make the home decor space more organized. From the beginning, our goal has been to lead the team to enhance the consumer experience by offering the best home decor across PAN India, and with the support of our members, we are quite confident that we can redefine customers’ approach to online home decor shopping.

Given that Dusaan is a bootstrapped company, what challenges have you faced in scaling the business?

As a bootstrapped e-commerce platform, we faced several challenges in scaling our growth objectives and harboring over 20,000 unique products. The main challenge was to manage capital resources and ensure proper allocation to support our growth objectives while focusing on quality curation.

However, my experience as an investor and venture capitalist offered us an upper hand in navigating these obstacles. The years of market expertise and knowledge about funding empowered us to access capital resources without seeking traditional venture backing. Furthermore, our understanding of financial modeling helped us plan our inventory and manage cash flow effectively without compromising operational efficiency.

Despite these challenges, we have been able to expand our horizon in the home decor marketplace and cater to the evolving needs of our growing customer base of 80,000 individuals. With continuous efforts, we wish to overcome lingering challenges and scale greater heights to connect the global audience with premium home decor products through our platform.

How does Dusaan differentiate itself from other online marketplaces in the home decor industry and what strategies do you employ to stay ahead in a competitive market?

So far, our efforts to maintain the high-quality standard of products and focused approach to curating a diverse range of products across different price points have been a key differentiator in the market. In addition, we follow a thorough selection process when seeking vendor partnerships and onboarding brands and artisans that fit our vision in terms of quality, design, and finesse to offer a more exclusive range of products. Currently, we feature over 200 unique brands across 40+ categories on our platform and have collaborated with more than 200 vendors across India to offer a wide selection of products to home decor enthusiasts. This combination helps us engage our customers and cater to their distinct tastes and preferences in their quest to seek premium quality home decor pieces, making Dusaan the ultimate destination for their needs.

Can you share any insights into Dusaan’s partnership with homegrown brands and how it aligns with the company’s vision and mission?

Through the course of our venture, we have forged several partnerships with hundreds of vendors and local brands across different segments. This diverse approach has helped us build a distinct portfolio and supported us in making aesthetically pleasing home decor more accessible to consumers by bridging the gap between consumers and sellers.

As mentioned, we have already onboarded more than 150 homegrown brands, and we currently work with an extensive network of vendors, known for their impeccable quality of material, affordable pricing, and vast variety. Such partnerships continue to help us advance our goal to establish a centralized home decor marketplace and support the industry from within. So far, we have had a pleasant experience with our curated brands and vendors and as we aim to expand our reach we are keen to explore long-term partnerships with renowned international brands and artisan labels.

Such a collaborative approach can help us become a household name in India and mark a distinct identity in international markets by facilitating a strong connection with consumers.

In what ways do you envision Dusaan evolving in the future and what are your goals for the company in the long term?

Over time we have witnessed significant growth in terms of onboarding premium brands and emerging as the go-to home decor destination for the next-generation shoppers. By keeping our approach the same and doubling our efforts, we aim to transform Dusaan into a household name that is not just popular in India but also abroad. One of the primary strategies to achieve this long-term goal would be to build a curated selection of renowned brands and premium quality products at affordable rates that suit the needs of both domestic and international consumers. We are quite clear about our long-term goals and are already working on plans to achieve them.

How do you measure success at Dusaan and what milestones or achievements are you particularly proud of since its inception in 2022?

As a customer-centric e-commerce platform, we measure our success by the number of lives we have impacted over the years and their experience with us. For instance, so far we have helped curate over 70,000 happy homes. Additionally, by offering premium quality products and top categories of home decor all under one platform we believe we have simplified consumers’ shopping experience significantly.

Today, we have 9 active departments and 40 categories comprising 350 leading brands, which makes us a leading one-stop destination for our customers. However, we are particularly proud of our record of low return rate and high customer satisfaction, which keeps us motivated to improve our offerings and create new standards in the home decor marketplace.

Can you provide insight into the decision-making process behind selecting the range of products offered on Dusaan?

Our core focus has always been on quality and customer preference. Hence, we strive to maintain a balanced approach focused on product quality, customer demand, and long-term market trends when curating products for our platform.

We also rely upon our team’s collaborative understanding of the evolving home decor industry to select a desirable range of products. Similarly, we use data and market insights to identify and assess brand offerings to understand whether they could be a match for Dusaan’s aesthetic. This helps us onboard premium design-forward brands and products that align with our vision and helps us ensure that our offerings actually cater to consumer preferences. We also keep an eye on our user-generated content to monitor different products’ popularity among consumers and understand their feedback to refine our decision-making process. This helps us onboard products and brands that appeal to consumers and offer them value for their time and money.

How does Dusaan leverage customer feedback and data analytics to continuously improve its product offerings and enhance the shopping experience for users?

At Dusaan, we take feedback very seriously to improve our operation and product portfolio. This is why we actively monitor customer reviews to seek valuable insights about particular products or their quality. It helps us when maintaining or assessing our product inventory and future onboardings. Similarly, we use data on consumers’ browsing patterns and purchase behaviour to understand changing trends and preferences. This again helps us make an informed choice when curating new product categories or optimizing our existing inventory. Such an approach allows us to stay ahead of changing market trends, enabling us to deliver a more personalized shopping experience. Above all, we make it a point to resolve our customers’ queries and grievances promptly, which helps us to keep them engaged and enhance their shopping experience.

With the increasing popularity of online marketplaces, how does Dusaan ensure a seamless and secure shopping experience for customers, particularly regarding payment processing and product delivery?

Our ultimate goal is to simplify customers’ shopping experience, and ensuring the security of their transactions through our platform makes up a big part of it. To ensure this, we have partnered with trusted payment gateways like Razorpay to provide our customers with a suite of payment options, including card wallets, net banking, UPI, etc.

Dusaan’s platform also uses advanced encryption and is equipped with fraud detection technologies to protect our customer data and safeguard their transactions. Similarly, our cash-on-delivery system allows individuals who are not yet confident with online transactions to pay for their products in person. To ensure safe delivery, we have invested time and resources into building a robust logistic network backed by reliable delivery partners. This has helped us offer efficient and trackable shipment services to ensure timely and damage-free product deliveries.

Could you elaborate on Dusaan’s marketing and branding strategies?

We follow a flexible marketing and branding strategy that evolves with the changing market dynamics and planning stages. One of our most popular approaches is to follow a strong digital-first marketing and branding strategy to boost customer engagement and reach new markets. For instance, we leverage social media platforms to expand our reach and leave a lasting impact on our audience.

To boost engagement, we frequently collaborate with lifestyle influencers and content creators to showcase our collection and offer creative inspiration to our customers. These social media strategies help us to expand our visibility and leave an impact on new customer segments. Our customer-centric informative content such as home decor tips, insight into trending products and designs, and decor tutorials for different setups and special occasions help us position Dusaan as an industry leader and home decor guide.

Given the dynamic nature of the home decor industry, how does Dusaan stay abreast of emerging trends and adapt its product selection and marketing strategies accordingly?

In efforts to stay ahead of the trends, we focus on market research and trend analysis. For instance, our entire team makes it a point to monitor global and domestic design trends and keep a close eye on industry events and market collaboration. This enhances our market data and helps us curate new products or categories based on rising trends. Similarly, the insights help us optimize our existing product portfolio and ongoing marketing campaigns. Besides these, we rely on data analytics to effectively track changing customer preferences. This allows us to predict upcoming trends across all major home decor segments and tap on them before the same catches on in the broader market.

Can you discuss any sustainability initiatives or practices implemented by Dusaan such as sourcing eco-friendly products or reducing environmental impact throughout the supply chain?

As eco-conscious citizens, we prioritize sustainability across all our daily operations from product curation to inventory management to delivery. When it comes to product curation, we make it a point to source from brands that use eco-friendly materials and follow sustainable manufacturing methods. We also feature sustainable products on our products to make customers make eco-friendly choices. Some of our most trendy sustainable products include – sustainable gift hampers, bamboo planters, coconut shell cooking sets and candle holders, wicker baskets, coasters, wooden jars, and more.

We are currently working on optimizing our logistic practices and reducing waste to minimize the use of single-use plastics as much as possible. We are also keen on selecting carbon-neutral shipping options to ensure the sustainability of our overall operations. Through these small but impactful changes, we wish to develop an environmentally conscious home decor ecosystem for our customers.

What role does technology play in Dusaan’s operations, from website development and user interface design to inventory management and customer relationship management?

Technology is indispensable in our journey to emerge as the ultimate home decor platform. This is why we continue to invest in the latest technological advancements to develop a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate e-commerce platform. Furthermore, we rely on product visualization tools enhanced by the latest technology to boost on-page engagement and increase customers’ dwell time on our platform. This helps us keep our customers engaged while offering them a seamless browsing and shopping experience.

Similarly, we rely on integrated technology to ensure proper inventory management and order fulfillment to boost our real-time visibility. Needless to say, it helps us control our inventory and its movement more effectively, allowing us to optimize the supply chain. It also helps manage our inventory better, giving us insights into when to restock or pause the process.

When it comes to ensuring smooth customer relationship management, we use advanced software like CRM software. Such an integration helps us personalize our conversation with our target audience and regular customers. Similarly, the tool helps us tailor product recommendations based on our customers and allows us to offer prompt support. This way technology and the latest innovations continue to help us scale growth, boost our visibility, and ensure optimal operations at every level. With more advancements coming into the picture, we hope to leverage them in a timely time to benefit from their offerings and enhance our customers’ shopping experience.

As Dusaan continues to grow, how do you prioritize maintaining a balance between scalability and maintaining the company’s core values and customer-centric approach?

Our customer-centric approach has helped us grow our presence in the country and we intend to maintain our approach to ensure better customer engagement and retention. However, to maintain a balance between scalability and core values we channel our market knowledge and understanding of the evolving customer needs. To further stay ahead in this pursuit, we invest our time and resources into market research and data analysis. This data-backed approach helps us understand market trends and customer preferences and allows us to consistently offer them a curated selection of on-trend home decor products. Keeping those aspects in mind, we analyze available growth and portfolio expansion opportunities to ensure they align with our brand identity and quality standard.

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