Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Case Study: The digital transformation of a traditional furniture manufacturer

Case Study: Ekbote’s Logs and Lumbers Pvt. Ltd. (www.ekbotefurniture.com)

Background:

Ekbote Furniture is one of the oldest furniture manufacturing brands in Maharashtra and has showcased impeccable quality, outstanding growth and advanced furniture styles since 1960s. They have retail outlets in Pune, Mumbai, Kolhapur, Bangalore and Chennai.

Reasons for going online:

Ekbote Furniture has been a very well established and reputed player in the Maharashtra market. With uncompromised quality, product prices also command a premium. They fiddled around with e-commerce for six months, but not in a serious way. There were two primary motivators for them to launch their online business to take on competition –
  • The advent, preliminary success and VC funding of online only players like Urban Ladder, Pepperfry and Fab Furnish proved the fact that there is potential for home furnishing as a category to do well. Plus, Ekbote Furniture, being a manufacturer, was higher up the value chain and had the potential to do better monetarily, and this made great economic sense.
  • The foot fall that Ekbote Furniture’s retail outlets used to attract was on a steady decline. Moreover, the reduced foot fall also did not result in conversions due to premium prices.

Revamped online strategy:

Ekbote Furniture decided to work with Shoptimize to create a state of the art e-commerce website in terms of design and functionality to take the online only start-ups head on.

Shoptimize helped them introduce differentiated features like 360 degree rotation of products to give the end consumer an ‘in-store like’ shopping experience. Other differentiators included the introduction of a B2B sales channel where existing dealers of Ekbote Furniture would be able to act as online resellers through the same website.


Long term plans of Ekbote Furniture include a lesser focus on the offline channel and exclusive products for the online channel with reduced prices. The objective is to increase value for the customer by offering superior quality solid wood products straight from the factory for a much lower price than competition. They currently spend well on online and offline marketing and plan to continue that in the future. Initial results have confirmed the fact that the revamped online strategy was right on target.

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