NRF (National Retail Federation)'s initiative 'Retail Across America trips' visits businesses large and small to see what retail is really like in cities across the country. On camera and behind the scenes, retail executives and small business owners share their hopes, challenges and advice, and after road trips through eight different states, we’ve spotted some common themes.
Small businesses have to work especially hard to reach customers, and some of the savvy entrepreneurs we’ve visited are using social media to build their brands and their own distinct communities. Photojojo has been featured as one of their favorite success stories:
Photojojo’s unique and quirky personality endears the brand to customers around the world.
Photojojo, an online retailer that sells smartphone accessories and camera “goodies” to photography enthusiasts, is a small e-commerce operation with a big personality. This San Francisco-based company started in 2006 as an email newsletter focused on “the very best photo tips, DIY projects and gear.” The brand has grown to include a popular online store that also offers a “disposable camera” iPhone app and “Phoneography 101” course.
Chief Everything Officer Jen Giese uses her company’s digital presence — 400,000+ plus followers on Twitter, 73,000+ on Instagram and 230,000+ on Facebook — to cultivate “real life” connections through meetups, events and pop-up shops. “I personally am really into taking experiences online and bringing them into real life situations. I think people are just really hungry to take what they’re doing on Instagram and sharing online into real life … We’ve always had a really great following of people that are really inspired and active,” Giese says.
Parabo Press is a breeze to use: It’s clean and easy to read, your options are straightforward, and there are no annoying upsells. Prints from its Risograph machine, which uses soy-based ink and is described by Parabo as having “a cult following since its invention in 1980s Japan.”
“We are creating solutions specifically for the Indian rental community. For Aibnb, we are creating a separate set of packages, more attuned towards travellers, which will allow the hosts to pick and choose from these packages and furnish their house,” Ajith Karimpana
The Make in India programme needs design, in order to succeed in its fundamental endeavour. Melorra has integrated design and manufacturing with processes, people working in manufacturing are involved in product design concepts as a result delivery times are almost half those of competitors.
Red Chillies Entertainment partnered with Furlenco for its forthcoming Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt starrer ‘Dear Zindagi’. Furlenco and Red Chillies have also launched a TVC and an exclusive ‘Dear Zindagi’ store for the movie buffs.
Sub-cultures drive the products that emerge out of tech startups. Sub-cultures push the envelope on thinking about how society might develop. The ones that interest investors are those with the potential to indicate where the world could go next.
It is a combination of 50% equity and 50% debt, making them one of the largest debt funded start-ups in India. While Furlenco plans to utilise the equity component to grow its business into more cities, the debt will be used to purchase inventory.
Droom has clocked a GMV of Rs 104 crore in a short span of 19 months. They have registered over Rs 1,200 crore in annualised GMV, with plans to achieve Rs 3,000 crore by March 2017. The achievement has come despite low marketing spends at 3.75 per cent of the entire GMV.