28 Sep 2020, 09:51 — 8 min read
The key to business growth is often changing, diversification and taking calculated risks. Also, what is required is to have your ears to the ground to predict customer needs and market trends.
A testimony to this is Bharat Haria, Partner and Owner of the iconic Mahavir Home Store in Mumbai. Managing a home appliances store with his two brothers nearly 30 years ago, Bharat Haria made the inspired decision to expand and committed a significant amount of resources to the process. The decision paid off and now Mahavir The Home Store is a well-established chain of stores providing all manner of products required to make a house a home. Bharat shares, “Our target group is the householder. With more footfalls and proximity to Juhu and Bandra areas, we decided to upgrade our product range to include high-end crockery, utensils and other branded stuff.”
Realising that customers are increasingly shopping online, Bharat was keen to explore the eCommerce retail opportunity. Finding the right eCommerce ecosystem was paramount to ensure that the Mahavir Home Store brand identity shines in the online space. With a host of products under various verticals, one of the concerns was to feature all the products effectively on their eCommerce website.
Bharat shares, “In 2016 we computerised our inventory and in 2017 we did a complete revamp of the brand. This was also when we started facing a lot of competition from eCommerce, especially on the pricing front. Although they were burning a lot of money, we realised that eCommerce is catching up. So, we started looking out for some eCommerce partners. A common channel partner introduced me to GlobalLinker. That is when the whole journey started with GlobalLinker.”
Our experience with GlobalLinker has been excellent. We have such a lot of width and depth into our merchandise, but the GlobalLinker team was very supportive. We were able to upload all our inventory within a matter of days. GlobalLinker helps connecting SMEs to the larger dots and bigger picture.
With GlobalLinker’s eCommerce platform LINKER.store, Mahavir Home Store was able to create a beautiful, functional website in a matter of days. The bulk upload feature ensured that all the products were seamlessly uploaded into various categories. The eStore boasts of attractive banners, logical categorisation and display of products, beautiful product images, a simple payment gateway and integrated logistics. Moreover, the store features discounts and offers and is a one-stop-shop for all home appliances and utility products.
Bharat shares, “We have always been ready for whatever changes come into the market. 2017 was a big shift and we started with GlobalLinker and they provided us with a fantastic eCommerce platform for free. I feel it was a game-changer for us. GlobalLinker helps connecting SMEs to the larger dots and bigger picture.”
He adds, “Our experience with GlobalLinker has been excellent. We have such a lot of width and depth into our merchandise. Earlier, we had around 30,000 SKUs. Getting them uploaded under various categories seemed like a herculean task, but the GlobalLinker team was very supportive. We were able to upload all our inventory into various category segments within a matter of days. Luckily with GlobalLinker, they have the entire solution right from the payment gateway to logistics to digital marketing—so it’s beneficial. It provides a complete solution for SMEs. We love working with GlobalLinker.”
Over the last 3 years, the Mahavir Home Store eStore has seen a growth in sales. Moreover, it has enabled them to take the brand across geographic boundaries. While setting up a physical store is a laborious process, a digital store is quick to create and convenient to run. Since online searches drive most buying decisions, an eCommerce store also works as a dynamic digital catalogue for their extensive inventory. Bharat opines, “Digitising our catalogue really helps. We serve a lot of corporate clients and other customers. Our website helps them, everything they want to buy is available under one roof. It helps to see the entire range of products on one platform and serves as a rich catalogue.”
Bharat shares, “With COVID, we were pushed to put all our efforts onto the eCommerce platform. There was a decrease in physical store’s footfall, which we had already anticipated during the lockdown. We started focusing more on the eCommerce platform and we have seen a very good tertiary on the eCommerce store. We have been getting regular orders from across India.”
Unless we keep changing as per the demands of the customer, we are going to be extinct. You need to be in tune with the market requirements. All retailers must have an eCommerce store.
Bharat goes on to share how COVID has transformed buying behaviours. “Our aged customers, they would have always wanted to touch and feel products and emotionally bond with the store staff, but with COVID, even they have been exposed to buying online. So I feel a huge shift towards the mindset of the people. Earlier, there was some blockage to buying online, but with COVID, people have been pushed to getting used to eCommerce platforms.”
He predicts, “I foresee a huge spurt in buying online. We were always mindful of the fact that millennials mostly shop online. We started the online store keeping these millennials is mind. Now we see the entire gamut of customers buying online. The next few years are going to be a game changer.”
Having physical and digital stores has been a win-win combination for Mahavir Home Store. Bharat opines, “Just as eCommerce platforms are eating into the pie of physical stores, similarly physical stores should build on their loyal customers and all. Physical stores should serve their loyal customers on eCommerce platforms.”
He adds, “Everyone needs to be open to the changing environment. I have never seen such a lot of changes—the way systems are transforming in retail. Unless we keep changing as per the demands of the customer, we are going to be extinct. You need to be in tune with the market requirements. Offer the customers what they require, the way they require. All retailers must have an eCommerce store.”
Bharat Haria is making the most of both offline and online stores and takes pride in delighting customers in every retail format.
Visit the Mahavir Home Store -- https://www.mahavirhomestore.com/
Also read: Siblings launch online business during the pandemic & make a success of it
Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.
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