"Yeah yeah... it's just another startup." Well not exactly.
Hello reader! Thank you for tuning in. As this is my first blog, let me introduce myself. I am Arijit, a physics grad with a keen interest in e-commerce, digital marketing, tech and stuff in between. I handle day-to-day operations at Shilpiyon. In this blog, I want to share with you a few key points that differentiate Shilpiyon Shop from the rest. And I will be taking from your point of view - because I am myself, a customer first.
I have been shopping online since 2015. Bought from big brands, e-commerce giants, retailers, small sellers on social media platforms; have tried them all. The point is, I've been through a lot of online shopping experiences and after-sale services, and have some mixed feelings about them. And while forming Shilpiyon Shop I've put myself in your shoes, so that you, the customers, only get the best. And trust me on this, you don't want to be near the bad part, I've been there, it's scary.
As Shilpiyon is at its early stages now, I will divide my points into two parts. First, let's see what differentiates Shilpiyon from the big brands.
Well, this one's obvious. But let me give you a hands-on example. Do a quick Google search - "dhokra peacock sailing boat". Depending upon your geo-location and searching pattern the result may slightly vary (you may go incognito) but you should be getting multiple shopping results for the same item (referring to this WB02RD200001). Compare the price from a big Indian wholesaler with Shilpiyon's price.
Shilpiyon operates on a D2C structure, meaning you get the crafts directly from the artisans’ cuisines. Team Shilpiyon visits the artisans’ houses, experiences the crafts first hand, and bring the best crafts for you. We just act as a link between customers and the artisans. There is no middleman involved. So you get the best crafts at the best possible prices. This structure also increases trust on both ends.
Customer support and after-sales support
The one big problem with many big brands is that their customer support degrades with time as they grow. I don't need to take names as I am pretty sure you have come across at least one such brand. But then again some big brands properly utilise their resources even after their huge size and provide great customer support.
Every company should increase human power as they grow. This improves the quality of support and also increase job opportunities. Taking about resources, human power and quality of support, let me quote something Richard Branson once said,
"Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to."
I promise, we will maintain our quality of support and with growth, the quality will grow too.
We never ghost you, unless of course, we are sleeping :)
Now let's have a look at a few things SMEs should improve.
My take on shipment packaging is that it should be good, not stylish. Packaging has one purpose to serve - getting the craft safely to the customer's doorstep and it should do that very well. I believe the inside of the packing should be good so that the craft is safe and also the customer can easily get their hands on the product. It should never be like a banana flower. Neither it should be too much fancy outside. Because, as most of the small enterprises, including us, do bootstrapping, the costs will add up to the price which has to be borne by you, the customer. That's why we like to keep it simple on the outside, effective inside.
A better courier service
Tell me one thing, how much do you pay as an extra shipping charge on orders below a certain amount on online purchases, on average? As per my experience, it varies between 50-80 rupees. Because depending upon the order flow per month, shipping cost changes. Let's now consider a scenario. You purchased some stuff from two different online stores and both charged you 60 rupees extra as shipping cost. But one used a reliable courier and the other one used a not so so good service. There will be some clear differences from your end - better handling, earlier delivery, better tracking experience (don't tell me you also track your parcels every hour as soon as you have placed an order :P). But for a seller, there will be only one major difference - 10 to 20 rupees per parcel, for a similar kind of service. Believe me, I'm telling this from personal experience. Now get this, on average you pay the same amount for shipping. So choosing a better courier service won't hurt your pocket.
Many artisans have approached us online with their great art and crafts, but we have to put them on hold with a heavy heart, because of one reason - we said no to dropship. Every craft you see in Shilpiyon Shop has gone through the hands (sanitised, of course) and eyes of at least one member of Team Shilpiyon. And we maintain an inventory no matter how small.
I really hope one day each and every online shop improve these things so that more and more people can trust online shopping. One more thing - by any means, I am not suggesting you make a purchase from Shilpiyon Shop to test things out. But when your heart desires and you do purchase from Shilpiyon, just go through it all and let us know your experience :)
Okay. I've said enough for one blog. I need some chai. If you have been with me this far, thank you, I really appreciate your time! Hope the rest of your day goes well. See you on the next blog. Bye for now!