6 Important Things to do Before the Financial Year Ends

The end of the financial year is approaching while reminding us of all the important fillings we need to wind up. From bank statements to managing physical inventory to claiming additional depreciation, there are various things an entrepreneur must do before the financial year ends. It is also integral for investors to collate the income earned from different sources of investment such as capital gains or dividends so that they could calculate the tax liability.

If you are confused as to what important things you will need to complete before the financial year ends, we are here for you. We have curated 6 things you should do before the financial year ends. So let’s dive in. 

Checklist of 6 important things to do before the Financial Year ends

1. Try to verify your Loan accounts

Loans and debts are common in the world of business. To scale your business, it’s important to expand capital that can only be generated by loans. But you need to check and verify the loan accounts before the financial year ends. If you have taken any loan, try to pay it on or before 31st March 2021. This will help you improve the balance sheet position of the Debt Equity Ratio. 

Quick Tip: While adjusting your bank statements if you discover any errors, you can compare it to cash a/c in the general ledger of the bank statement to spot the errors.

2. File the TDS Returns

Business entities are required to file TDS returns timely to avoid late filing charges along with interest on late payments.

3. Calculate the GST turnover while reconciling GST ledgers

If your business is not under the GST registration limit of ₹40 lakh, you should keep the track of your turnover. The total turnover up to 31st March should be calculated for the purpose of determining the important aspects such as the GST registration, eligibility of opting composition scheme, and applicability of filing of specific returns. 

Moreover, GST payments are done either via tax credit or challan payments. You should reconcile the Cash Ledger, Credit Ledger, and Liability Ledger on the GSTN portal along with your books of accounts. Make sure all the entries in the books are done before the year-end. Also, don’t forget to reconcile debit notes, credit notes, rate difference, discount, etc. 

4. Conduct a physical inspection of inventory

Take a physical inventory of Raw Materials, Work In Progress, Finished Good, Stores & Spares, Loose Tools, Consumables, etc. as on 31st March 2021. Also, compile the information of its market value as on 31st March 2021 which would be essential at the time of valuation to be adopted in the Balance Sheet as on 31st March 2021.

5. Purchase Of Fixed Assets to claim depreciation

If you have purchased any tangible or intangible fixed asset during the previous financial year and made it put to use for the period of 180 days or more, depreciation will be allowed at the percentage prescribed for that kind of asset.

If you have purchased an asset for a period of fewer than 180 days, the depreciation will be restricted to 50% of the amount calculated at the prescribed percentage.

So, if you are planning to purchase any fixed asset, purchase it and put it to use for business purposes on or before 31st March 2021 so as to avail deduction of depreciation at least at the rate of 50% of the normal rate of depreciation.

6. Calculate Payable Advance Tax


Income tax follows the principle of “Pay As You Earn”. Therefore, during the financial year – 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021 – for the advance Income tax which was payable on or before 15th June 2020, 15th September 2020, 15th December 2020 & 15th March  2021, if you have not paid at least 90% of his tax payable by way of the advance tax, your interest will start from 1st April 2021 till the month of the payment.

A good accounting system prepares you for the best for the coming financial year. It’s substantial to keep your worksheet updated especially during the Financial year-end to avoid last-minute hassle and stress.

7 Tips to Escalate your Business by using Email Marketing

Email Marketing is used by almost all businesses across the globe. We have known this marketing strategy even before the hype of online marketing started. But with the changing landscape, people have become busier than ever and they don’t have time to follow bulk email messages. That’s when your email marketing strategy fails your strategic marketing campaign.

Well, fret not! Do you want to convert your customers in the most direct and effective way while nurturing them with occasional updates? Email marketing is your only savior. But before you start the campaign, let us walk you through the tips and tricks, making your email marketing a win-win!

7 Tips to use Email marketing in the right way

1. Select an eye-catching subject line 

A subject line can either attract a customer or deter them from reading further. Not only does a subject line form the base of your message, but also acts as a parameter, deciding whether your email will gain traction or not. No matter how enticing your promotional mail was, if the subject line is not attractive, nobody will give it a read. 

Quick tip: Want to make an eye-catching subject line? Following are a few examples of some impressive subject lines!

1. Tonight only: A denim lover’s dream can be fulfilled
2. Is this the hottest career in marketing?
3. Hey Rahul, this is what you have been missing!

2. Curate short-crisp content 

An email is generally read when a person is either riding a cab to reach their office, or sitting in a metro, waiting for their station. Your email goes to waste the moment you start using complex tones with hard-to-understand language. Thus, the content should be short and precise, letting the recipient understand your message in a single go.

“As every word counts and explains its significance, it is crucial to use the right set of words!”

Quick tip: It’s important not to use high mounted and fancy words in your email content as every customer has a different level of understanding. Usage of trendy slang with short copy is what catches the attention!

3. Avoid shouting loud

There is a misconception that using ‘upper-case’ & ‘exclamation marks’ multiple times could drive the attention of the customer. This is not at all true, as it might look like the brand is shouting out loud. There are even chances that a spam filter could flag your message, ultimately affecting the email open rate. Just stop using capitals and exclamation marks in the subject line as well as the body of the Email as it is a big turn-off for readers.

Want to know how to make a persuasive email newsletter? Read on to find the best tips!

4. Use mobile-friendly UI/UX

Today, a large number of people prefer opening mail on their smartphones as it is quite fast and easy to access. But, there is a huge difference in the presentation when mobile devices are compared to computer screens. Thus, you must optimize and personalize your users’ experience by making it easier for them to read emails on mobile devices. 

Quick tip: Following are some easy tips you must follow to make your emailer mobile-friendly:

1. Put your call to action at the top so your customer don’t have to scroll
2. Do not rely on large-sized images as sometimes they don’t load on mobile phones
3. Keep the email copy neat (Don’t write long paragraphs)

5. Pay attention to the metrics

It takes a lot of effort to create interesting, beautiful, and engaging emails. But these efforts can go in vain if your customers never get to see them. You should never take the delivery process lightly. If you are assigning it to your email service provider, don’t think your work has ended there. You must give priority to analyze the open rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate. After this, you can actually check your performance and learn what worked well and what didn’t, helping you make corrections. 

6. Clean your Email list

Cleaning your Email list is the process of deleting the obsolete domains! Sending emails to the domains that don’t exist anymore will only affect your email open rates. By cleaning your email list you are not only enhancing the open and bounce rate but also minimizing the risk of being spammed.

Quick tip: To improve your email open rate, and reduce the bounce rates, try cleaning your list after every 6 months!

7. Make the most out of the A/B Testing

Getting everything right in a single try is not possible every time. Sometimes, you can check the effectiveness of your campaign by running two different campaigns together with minor changes. This is called A/B testing.
For example, to check the efficacy of your email subject line, you can run two different emailers with the same content, but different subject lines. This will help you check which subject works the best. 

How can we help you? 

If you want to improve the online marketing strategy of your brand, then fret not and invest in our performance marketing solutions. From checking your brand logo to creating account progress reports to optimizing the load time of the website, ANS Commerce provides you with performance marketing solutions across various channels with a special focus on sales and ROAS. Request your free DEMO now!

A well-done email marketing strategy can help you drop your customers in the sales funnel in no time. Don’t forget to keep a track of the time your users read your emails the most. Also, keep the tone of your content the same for all emailers as it’s the voice of your brand. Follow our tips and promote your brand effectively. 

Brilliant Ideas to Pump Up your Business with Visual Marketing!

Did you know, the human mind perceives images way faster than text? Well, enough of our textbook definition, let’s talk realistically about it! 

People these days have become more conscious about the products they see online. No sooner have they come across a product visual than they made the purchase. This is the magic of Virtual Marketing. Well, It’s high time you make use of Visual marketing to its full potential. Let’s get started!

“From complementing the boring text to narrating a story, Visual Marketing is all you need to boost your sales.”

complementing

Here are some tips to use Visual marketing efficiently, leveraging great results, and making the best use of your content in innovative ways! 

1. Employ GIFs and other creative visuals into the branded content

To create fun and humor into your content, GIFs are considered to be one of the best options. Every marketer has a goal to be one step ahead of the competitors and GIFs are making that happen as they catch the attention of people quickly. Be it blogs, emails, or landing pages, social media channels, they work like magic to grab your customer’s attention.

2. Take on User Generated Content

These days authenticity and engagement are the priority for every brand. To meet these objectives, brands should indulge in User Generated Content. UGC, as the name suggests, is the content curated by the customers, employees, etc. via photos, videos, audios on online and social media platforms. For instance, if your customer is happy with your brand, they won’t mind advocating your business on their social media channels with pictures, videos, telling people how good your offerings are. 

Also, for a direct-to-consumer brand – that deals directly with the customers without the intermediary distribution channels – UGC turns out to be the best strategy. Include both the branded and user-generated content in the ratio of 8:2 respectively and experience the results yourself.

3. Go live frequently on social media channels

media

If you have an e-commerce business, this is one of the best social media features you can employ in your brand strategy. From showcasing collections, to live demonstrations, you can make the most out of Live features. And the best part is, it is less populated and an incredibly low effort way to interact with your customers!

4. Use a visual call to action

“A call to action button acts as a virtual handshake, inviting people to your website.“

A visual call to action is gaining more significance these days. Generally, marketers use CTA in content where they insert the link of the product page. But you can use a graphic/ creative/ image to draw attention immediately. 

For instance, a customer sees a complete video on your website, giving you an impression that they liked the video. Now it’s your responsibility to make a call-to-action and ask them further with a visual, inserting the link of the website you want them to visit.

5. Incorporate Memes into your strategy

strategy

What is the latest trend of a meme going on these days? There would be hardly anyone who could not answer this question. Memes have become a part of our daily lives! Well, we can even use them in marketing. The amalgamation of laughter and entertainment builds an emotional connection between the brand and its customers. If your audience can’t relate to your meme, it’s of no use! Choosing memes for attracting customers could be an incredible decision for your brand if done right. 

Quick tip: You can also incorporate topical advertising in your strategy as customer engagement is at the peak when they are entertained. Topical memes are based on trending issues, letting your customers connect with you better.

6. Build a connection with your customers using visuals

visuals

To maintain your customer base, it is very important to get personal with them especially for brands where there is no physical interaction. Images or pictures have the highest audience engagement than any other type of media content. If your social media strategy has a lot of pictures related to brand promotion, chances are that even by those efforts customers do not feel a connection with you. Well, to create that sense of connectivity you can upload candid pictures or videos of your staff, warehouse, office, etc.

How can we help you?

Using visual content marketing is easy. But it’s a hard task to create visuals. Well, no worries we are here for you. From customizing ad content with our performance marketing solution to helping you create a brandstore with Kartify – our brand store tech, we have everything to help you with. Request your free DEMO now!

Visual marketing can pump up your communication level while boosting web traffic. These were some of the brilliant ideas of Visual marketing that will help to grow your online brand. So what are you waiting for? Start incorporating visual marketing strategy today and see the results yourself. 

Gamification Marketing: Fuel your Business by Incorporating these Tips in your Brand Strategy

In a world where people are overloaded with advertisements, they have an infinite number of options to choose from. Not only has it become difficult but also very important to pull off their undivided attention. But the question is how? Gamification is the answer to this problem as it encourages people to engage actively.

We all love playing games as it challenges and rewards us. It is not just a source of entertainment, but also engages customers and can be a powerful tool.

What is Gamification Marketing?

“Gamification is the process of incorporating the game mechanism into an already existing system to entice the customers.”

marketing

Gamification is a marketing tool to pull off the customer’s attention. In the language of marketing, gamification strategy begins when a business uses a popular game to promote its brand while offering rewards and incentives to people. People are more likely to engage when they have a chance of achieving something. This way you can indulge your customers while using gamification as a powerful marketing asset! 

6 tips to enhance your brand strategy with Gamification Marketing

1. Enhance your strategy by introducing creative rewards 

To ensure the ultimate customer interaction and engagement, you must come up with creative rewards. No, we are not talking about expensive gifts, rather social recognition resonating with your business. 

For instance, if you are a Jewelry brand, making customized jewelry. To increase your social media presence, you can launch a campaign during the festival season, encouraging people to post a video wearing your jewelry. Ask them to use your brand’s hashtags as they tag you. This will increase your engagement and as a reward, you can feature the best participant on your official social media page. Micro influencers love to participate in such community building activities. 

2. Celebrate and appreciate all the users

users

The best rewards are for the ones who possess proficient skills and give the best performance. But, will you forget the ones who tried and were not able to do well? We can’t afford that. Our ultimate goal is to engage customers and it is imperative to keep in mind all the participants as essentially they are your actual customers. Sometimes even a “thanks for participating, we value you” is more than enough to motivate them to engage in the future.

3. Monitor the process

Tracking the process has two-fold benefits. Firstly, it’s beneficial for your users. Customers are very keen to know where they stand to win rewards and gifts.

Secondly, tracking the process is not only beneficial for customers but is of vital importance for the brand itself. Brands get to know whether the strategy is driving their business goals or not. Tracking makes it possible to get a quantitative measure of their progressions and to know about where they are lagging. 

Quick tip: Want to monitor your performance? Having captured all data and user logs for analytics and insights, Kartify – our brand store tech – lets you create custom reports. To know more, request your free DEMO now! 

4. Incorporate real games

If you choose to integrate gamification marketing into your platform, you have to play smart. Incorporate real games for your customers and see how they welcome it. If they like your game, they will be curious to interact with your brand. Moreover, this will also show the authenticity of your brand.

Quick tip: Incorporating games such as Spin a Wheel, Chess, etc. are the ones people love to play, helping your brand to generate more leads. 

5. Keep the gamification process simple

Since the main objective of the gamification process is to generate leads and boost sales through a prescribed path, it is important to keep the mechanism simple. If it requires multiple pages to participate in a contest, people will pull-out, leading to high bounce rates and low engagement rates.

6. Understand your Target Generation

generation

Before you set any marketing strategy, always remember the type of audience you are thinking to target and then analyze what are their expectations and what drives them. For instance, Gen Z & Y may like your game. But Gen X might not like them as much. You need to keep in mind the type of products, rewards you are offering to the type of audience you are targeting, so you could engage them accordingly. 

Gamification is quite a competitive strategy as there could be many errors, but you can eventually learn from them, making it a perfect method to engage with your consumers. It is all about how well you take the opportunity to increase your brand visibility. 

5 Reasons Why Online Businesses Must Use Omni-channel Strategy!

Have you ever noticed that the product you were looking for on an online store appears right in front of your eyes when you start browsing your news feeds? Well, that’s not magic or a coincidence. The strategy behind this marketing technique is Omni-channel. We are sure you have heard about this word. You might be thinking Omni-channel is just “another buzzword”! Well, that’s not true. It’s a business model and will actually transform the future of your online business in an optimistic way.

What is Omni-channel?

Be it a social media platform – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. or a marketplace – Myntra, Flipkart, Amazon, etc, or a traditional brick & mortar store, people are present everywhere.

“Omni-channel approach integrates all channels with each other to create a seamless shopping experience for customers.”

Omni-channel is all about engaging the people who are already interacting with your brand while creating a consistent and improved customer experience regardless of what channel they are using. With omni-channel, users can switch various channels effortlessly.

Omni-channel VS Multi-channel

It has always been believed that these above two terms can be interchangeably used. Do you also think that? Well, you are wrong here. Let’s find out why!

Multi-channel means when a brand uses multiple sales channels to communicate with the customers. But are these channels integrated with each other? Here’s when you observe the differences between Omni-channel and Multi-channel. While the latter focuses on building multiple sales channels, the former integrates all of them together to give a seamless experience. 

Another big difference is, Omni-channel is a customer-focused approach whereas Multi-channel is channel-centric. It focuses on removing the friction of touchpoints between various channels and making the customer’s journey easier, while the multi-channel focuses on increasing and maximizing the channels available to customers.

5 Reasons Why Online Businesses should use Omni-Channel Strategy!

1. Offering seamless online and offline channels of sales

With the rapid expansion of digital technology, retailers have divided themselves into two teams: Online and Offline. Well, this is not about debating which one is better but bridging the gap between the two and meeting customers’ expectations. Imagine this; You visit an offline store to purchase a pair of white shoes. After reaching the location, you realize that your size is not available. To fulfill your wants even in these situations, brands have developed an in-built store on the website, giving clarity to the customers whether their desired products are available at their nearest stores or not. Order online and pick-up from the nearest outlet is yet another example of how omni-channel has integrated both online and offline channels of shopping.

2. Improving customer support services 

“Success is impossible without treating your customers well, as the future of your brand revolves around them!”

Omni-channel improves the quality of customer support service. Suppose, you want to buy a pair of shoes from an online brand, but unfortunately, the transaction gets failed. Now you are trying to reach out to customer care, but no one is helping you with the issue. Obviously, as a customer, you were expecting better service. 

Let’s grab omni-channel into the picture. Not only had you gotten an SMS after the transaction got failed – given the fact everything is integrated – but also a reassurance that you will get your money back. Moreover, you could have reached out to customer support via chat/phone or social media. 

Do you want your customers to develop full trust in your brand? But the question is how? Well, the only answer is Conversational Commerce! 

Quick tip: These days customers want instant solutions as they prefer to engage with brands on social media platforms. So maybe you can start reducing your social media response time and start interacting quickly with potential customers! 

3. Gathering insights to target the right set of audiences

Checking your customers’ desires and wants can be challenging while running a business. Well, omni-channel keeps a track of everything from the kind of products customers like, to their actual purchasing power. Be it tracking the buying journey of customers, or scrutinizing the number of people who have abandoned the cart, omni-channel helps you gather customers’ insights, giving you a better understanding of your target market. You can also keep an eye on who buys what & when. For instance, you have an online store dealing in personal & beauty care. According to data, your sales last year in the fragrance category increased amid the Diwali season and majorly from tier 1 cities. After analyzing the numbers, you will strategize more on the fragrance category with aggressive marketing collaterals, specifically targeting the people residing in the metropolitan cities. 

4. Increasing brand visibility

Omni-channel involves interacting with your customers across all channels including SMS, phone, social media, interactive live chats, etc. This way, it places your marketing campaign on more than one channel, increasing the brand visibility. For example, you are expanding your product portfolio. To communicate the message, Omni-channel will help you spread the word across all the platforms including traditional out-of-home (OOH) advertising media such as banners, travel transit, etc. 

Quick tip: Using trigger marketing messages effectively can help your brand increase customer engagement, building sustainable brand value. 

5. Getting feedbacks easily

Feedbacks are valuable information that can be used to transform your business into something better. While the positive feedback motivates you, the negative ones help you to overcome your weaknesses. But the question arises of how to get this valuable feedback. Well, omni-channel has made it very easy as it connects with the customer from different channels, making it easier for customers to provide feedback in no time.

Quick tip: Do you want to create a social proof but don’t know how to? Associate with ANS Commerce, India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enablers helping you scale your business online. Our brandstore tech solutions are specifically made to boost your online business while creating an incredible online presence. Request your free DEMO now!

How can we help you?

Do you want to give seamless experience to your buyers without increasing the cost? Here’s why we are here for you. Our brandstore tech – Kartify – helps you so that you give omni-friendly experience to your customers by: 

  • Enabling order fulfilment from offline shop for online orders  
  • Integrating with leading partners such as Fynd, Arvind, Unicommerce etc.
  • Conducting offline surveys, cash return 

Waste no time and request your free DEMO now! 

A proactive omni-channel strategy is imperative to exercise. So, if you want to build and sustain a meaningful yet long-term relationship with your customers, go Omni-friendly today!

Hear Her Journey: How Sonali Lalvani made her way into the Entrepreneur Ecosystem|#IWD2021

International Women’s Day is a global day, celebrated each year on 8th March to embrace the achievements of women all around the world. Not only does the day raise awareness about gender equality, but also motivates women to make the most out of their potential. 

To acknowledge the #IWD2021, ANS Commerce, India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler, shares the conversation with Sonali Lalvani, Founder & CEO, Toniq – Fashion accessories brand in India. From the struggles she had to build this brand to the one thing that motivated her constantly, you’ll hear everything as she made her way into the entrepreneur ecosystem.

“ANS Commerce strives to raise awareness of gender equality and bring a change in the society.”

Theme for International Women’s Day 2021 | #ChooseToChallenge

This year the theme ‘Choose to Challenge’ outlines the courage and strength to take up a challenge eliminating gender bias and inequality. From challenge comes the change, thus the theme motivates people irrespective of gender to spread gender awareness while choosing to take up a challenge!

#HearHerJourney featuring Sonali Lalvani 

To make women celebrate their worth with well-priced and beautifully designed fashion accessories, Toniq began its journey 10 years ago when there was a massive gap in the Jewelry category. But Sonali was determined and chose to take up the challenge, fulfilling this gap. Today, Toniq has 200 Store-within-Store and also building out their online presence to reach a wider female audience. 

Sonali Lalvani, CEO & Founder, Toniq, shares her journey as an entrepreneur with us. Not only did she face difficulties operating her business, but also lived through the judgements of many people. Explaining the challenges, she said, “Being a women entrepreneur and living in a fairly conservative city, Chennai, I have faced many issues. From the landlord refusing to sign the document without a male presence to the staff expecting a male to make the final decision of recruitment, I have witnessed many difficulties. In one of those instances, there was this priest during the Diwali Pooja, who got shocked when he learned that I am the CEO.” 

After facing such challenges, Sonali is trying to make her company’s work culture healthy and comfortable for women. Sonali said, “ We are taking considerable steps in making our workplace extremely women-centric. In fact, our current workforce comprises 70% of the women.” Practicing the aspects of gender equality, Toniq promotes their people solely on the basis of performance. “The workplace must realize that both men and women should feel safe to speak their minds”, she added.

For Sonali, the last year was very challenging as there was a strict guideline to close all the physical stores all across the country. But she didn’t lose hope and continue to scale her business online. She said, “Scaling up the e-commerce side of the business was my best decision ever as it has helped us a lot to boost our sales.”

Sonali Lalvani said she lives by the dictum – “Work today for your tomorrow.”

Today, our nation needs more women entrepreneurs like Sonali, to bring a change in the society’s patriarchal mindset. In fact, a woman entrepreneur not only motivates a woman herself but also inspires men of society to celebrate and embrace her passion and worth. “Women bring in a different perspective, and considering for us at Toniq our audience is women it just makes sense to have it more women-driven.”

Addressing all the women who want to start their own business Sonali says, “Do your homework. If you are looking at a business in fashion, it’s definitely not glamourous and the hours can be brutal. Always do it because you truly want to make a difference in your customs life.” 

How is ANS Commerce helping Toniq?

ANS Commerce is assisting Toniq with its full-stack e-commerce solutions. From providing performance marketing to brandstore tech to warehousing & fulfillment to marketplace management, we strive to support Sonali’s business by broadening the brand’s online presence. Inspired by her journey? Want to start your own e-commerce business? Request your free DEMO now! 

We hope that Sonali’s inspirational journey has motivated all the women out there. With that,  team ANS Commerce wishes you a very happy women’s day! Let’s all #ChooseToChallenge this #IWD2021.

Selling Comfort: How Secret Wish – A Lingerie & Sleepwear Brand Made Women Feel Comfortable All Day Long!

Among other necessities for a woman to live a confident life, there are certain things we can’t afford to miss on. At the top of the list is ‘What we wear”. Apparels are indeed an important part of our lives, making us feel comfortable and confident, particularly lingerie and sleepwear. While the former boosts your confidence, the latter gives you a goodnight’s sleep, balancing the various aspects of life. 

Initially, when e-commerce in itself was a new term, there was no lingerie and sleepwear brand online. Not only women had to visit offline stores but also had to compromise on hygiene. What was the solution to all this? Enters the Secret Wish. 

About the brand: Secret Wish

Secret Wish is India’s leading lingerie and sleepwear brand, providing solutions to fashion fit issues while helping women feel confident and comfortable throughout the day.

With an aim to sell chic & girly lingerie in the finest quality for women across the nation, Secret Wish was founded by Sushant Puri in 2014. The founding team of the brand includes Chandan Singh and Roopkiran Kaur Sandhu who helped Sushant build the brand from scratch. Later on, Sushant’s elder brother, Prashant Puri, came into the business as co-founder and started managing Secret Wish.

Secret Wish provides a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience with their direct-to-customer business approach, making it affordable and feasible for people to purchase. They have multiple categories including, nightwear, bathrobe, swimwear, and lingerie, under the convenience of a single roof. 

Bridging the gap between online and offline shopping

Female hygiene has always been a concern – given the fact many female-related issues are still not communicated openly. In the early era of the 2010s, buying lingerie openly was taboo. Not to mention, people were not much aware of female hygiene issues and didn’t understand the importance of supreme quality intimate wear. In fact for lingerie and sleepwear, there was a common notion of buying cheaper options. 

Not only women used to compromise on the quality, but also the whole process of going to a local market and buying sleepwear and lingerie was hectic. “We realized this social issue in the year 2014 and noticed that there are no nightwear brands on online marketplaces. Moreover, women were buying from local markets. But we were determined to bridge that gap between offline and online, resulting in the inception of ‘Secret Wish’” said Prashant Puri.

“Cotton and hosiery comfort wear were being sold in the nooks of Gandhi Nagar – a small district in Delhi. I thought to take the whole idea online as there was not a single lingerie and sleepwear brand on marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc.” said Prashant. 

Overcoming the D2C challenges

Direct-to-consumer is an approach in which a  business doesn’t rely on the middlemen and sells directly to the consumers. The D2C model is beneficial for consumers and manufacturers as it cut down the cost of an intermediary

Secret Wish was one of the first few brands who adopted this – now highly hyped – approach of selling products. But before any brand begins with this approach, it’s important to understand the relevance of online. 

For a D2C brand, everything has to happen online. From managing accounts on marketplaces to managing traffic on the individual brandstore, a D2C brand has to keep a hawk’s eye to fuel the business. “Be it following the right standards to checking if the order dispatch is happening on time, it’s important to observe each and every detail keenly. So we had to go figure out these things while keeping a look at whether the proper quality is maintained or not,” he added. “Moreover, for a fashion brand especially in the sleepwear category, it’s essential to have a large assortment of collections. Mere 4-5 options don’t do the job, you have to maintain 40-50 different varieties in a single product category. But with growing demands, we became determined to improve our customers’ experience with valued services.”

Scaling business amid the Pandemic

The new normal times had been considered good for e-commerce businesses across the nation. To practice the mandatory guidelines issued by the government of India, people became more conscious and switched the traditional buying methods to online shopping. For Secret Wish, the unprecedented times have actually proven to be good – given the fact, people were forced to stay at home, increasing the need to wear comfortable clothes such as shorts, nightgowns, etc.

Talking about the trends amid the pandemic, Prashant highlighted the fact that people from both tier 1 and tier 2 cities came online, leading to a boost in their sales numbers. “More than 40% orders came from non-metro cities. Women who were initially dependent on offline stores, switched to online websites and marketplaces such as Myntra and Amazon, leading to an increase in online penetration.”

Finding expertise in ANS Commerce

Started their journey with ANS Commerce in 2017, Secret Wish became its full-stack partner. “Ever since we started with ANS Commerce we have seen an impressive boost in the sales. The rising penetration of online shopping and digital adoption post pandemic has increased our order volumes more than 200%, Prashant said.”

“Highlighting their warehousing and fulfilment solution, I would like to say that we have definitely saved the cost of warehousing and distribution channels. This money was used in brand visibility and marketing,” he said.

“Right from the moment we got associated with the team of ANS Commerce, we experienced incredible services. Be it their performance marketing solution or marketplace management or warehousing & fulfilment, I would definitely like to appreciate the entire team for their constant support,” Prashant said. 

Since the website of Secret Wish is fully-designed and managed by ANS Commerce, to explain the experience of the brand in brandstore tech, he added, “Not to mention our website is fully-powered by Kartify – their brandstore tech. Kartify has optimized the performance of our online store as it loads faster and has actually helped us reduce the cart abandonment rate. Talking about their refund manager – an in-built feature of Kartify – it has helped us process refunds faster with more ease.” 

“Moreover, we have efficiently overcome the challenge of account management and reconciliation on marketplaces with the help of ANS Commerce.”

“We look forward to continuing ANS Commerce’s e-commerce solutions and would recommend other D2C brands to seek their assistance as well.”

About ANS Commerce

ANS Commerce is India’s #1 full-stack e-commerce enabler helping brands sell online. We offer brandstore tech, performance marketing, marketplace management, and e-commerce warehousing & fulfilment.

We want our brand partners to focus on their brand and product and leave ‘all-things-e-commerce’ to us. We help brands acquire consumers, power brandstore, and jumpstart marketplace operations in no time. With us, brands can offer fast & reliable order fulfilment to your marketplace & brandstore consumers. Our extensive experience across product, e-commerce, retail, and marketing helps the brand achieve higher sales and stronger brand differentiation.

Having worked with 90+ established and challenger brands, we aim to help them sell on their brandstores along with 15+ marketplaces. ANS Commerce enumerates Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Portico, Piramal, CEAT, Marico, Bath & Body Works, and ITC amongst its client partners. It is integrated with 60+ partners such as Fynd, Unicommerce, Netcore, Arvind, Delhivery, Increff, Razorpay, and many more to simplify e-commerce in India.

Social Justice Day 2021 | 6 Corporate Social Responsibility Activities Every Online Business Must Indulge In!

Social Justice is not just a responsibility but a path every individual should walk on. Moreover, it’s the duty of each organization to follow norms along with indulging in social activities while helping society as a whole. To communicate the importance of Social Justice, February 20th every year is celebrated as Social Justice Day. 

During the last decade, there has been a constant expansion in digital technology, resulting in an increase in the digital and online businesses. Especially after the pandemic, the dependence in this fast-paced industry has increased. But this has also worsened the growing digital divide in terms of the access of the internet, affordability, and availability of skills. 

“To address this issue of digital divide, the United Nations (UN) has come up with the 2021 Theme: A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy.” 

The theme outlines the efforts by the international community to look for solutions to bring about sustainable development, the promotion of full employment and good working conditions, universal social protection, gender equality and justice for all! 

The advent of the internet has brought great vitality to the development of e-commerce. Many small and established e-commerce brands are taking social initiatives to build a sense of honesty in their work culture. 

“Integrating social responsibility to your organization not only helps the society but also fuels your business as it gives better brand recognition, ensures growth, and increases sales!”

To celebrate and embrace Social Justice Day 2021, we have come up with the 6 best CSR activities you should swear by.

6 CSR activities every e-commerce business should swear by!

“Corporate social responsibility is the concept of management, focusing on social and environmental concerns of companies in their business operations.”

1. Protecting the environment against pollution

The environment is the most important part of our living. All our core life functions depend on the environment. After the inception of e-commerce, we have experienced both the positive and negative impacts of technology on the environment. On one hand, it has initiated the idea of paperless billing but on the other hand the packaging of products for home delivery demands more paper and plastic usage. 

If you are willing to do something for nature, you must start doing a few changes in your operations. Instead of using plastic in the packaging, go for biodegradable packaging. It will cost you higher, but you can compensate the cost by manufacturing products with reusable and recycled raw materials. It will cost you less and will be more feasible to carry out your business operations.

Quick Tip: To communicate the same, you can start with social media campaigns, reflecting on the need to save the environment and how you are selling products with reusable raw materials. Nowadays, consumers are looking for more sustainable and eco-friendly products.

2. Joining hands with an NGO

Corporate Social Responsibility is all about companies playing their part in society and giving back, making an effort to associate for a good cause. To support a communal cause, you can also tie-up with an NGO/NPO. Consumers love to engage with brands that support a social cause. By launching corporate social responsibility campaigns, you can grab the attention of your users. Cause marketing events make your organization look more credible and reliable. Check your brand’s mission statement and find what you as an organization genuinely care about. Share it with your community. It creates a sense of trust in the minds of the user, persuading them to swear by your products.

Our take: To support the communal cause, ANS Commerce is associated with an NGO called The Earth Saviors Foundation, donating clothes and sponsoring meals to old-age and intellectually disabled people. This initiative not only gives us a sense of satisfaction but also brings a smile to our faces when we see those people getting cared for. 

3. Giving jobs to marginal workers and artisans

Unemployment is one of the major social issues, making people do unethical things such as burglary. As an organization, you can definitely bring a change by giving jobs to small artisans and marginalized laborers. For instance, if you are a fashion and clothing brand dealing especially with ethnic wear, you can hire small artisans for handicrafts. This will give a sense of authenticity to your products both in terms of the quality and the cause behind them. With this amazing idea, you can put a smile on both – marginalized workers’ and consumers’ faces.  

4. Engaging employees in CSR

If you want to practice social responsibility in your organization, you should first pass on the practice to your internal stakeholders.To engage your employees so they feel an emotional attachment towards their work, it’s important to organize fun office activities while promoting a work-life balance. You can also start with buddy programs to welcome new employees in the organization. Furthermore, you can also plan employee recognition programs wherein you can award the best employee of the month basis their overall performance.

Our take: To prioritize the mental health of employees, ANS Commerce introduced one monthly mandatory leave policy to promote work-life balance! 

5. Protecting Customers’ Privacy

With the rapid expansion of e-commerce, privacy has become the major concern of customers as it is almost impossible to complete a transaction without giving your personal information. So it is imperative that your e-commerce platform is secure and provides customers reassurance regarding their data, especially during transactions. Also, after the pandemic, people are preferring cashless transactions over COD. This has raised the need for data privacy even more! 

“Protecting customer privacy is not just a law but a moral and social obligation to treat our customers’ private information safely and fairly.”

Quick Tip: Kartify puts forward multiple layers of security for all the brandstores it hosts. Having come with cloud armor, Kartify enables security audits with regular backup and version control. Request you free DEMO now! 

6. Focusing on Educational Programmes for underprivileged students

Education is not just a necessity but a mandatory thing to improve the quality of life. We see many underprivileged students who are eager to study but are unable to because of their family’s financial instability. To bring a little change, you can support the children by providing educational programs while motivating them to give the best of their potential. Additionally, you can also start with donation campaigns on your brandstore. To communicate the idea, add an option of the donation during the checkout time, making it easier for customers to support the cause.  

Quick tip: You can give free textbooks to the children. You can also hold online webinars and workshops covering the social concepts helping them to get the idea of society and its values.

There are many ways to make your business socially responsible. Be sincere and transparent about the information you share. The CSR concept should be natural for every e-commerce company and should focus on CSR activities. 

Now that you know all about CSR, so when are you integrating it to your organizational structure? 

Conversational Commerce: How the Trend has Shaped E-commerce?

Today, it has become essential for every industry to stay ahead of the most recent trends to survive, grow and fight upcoming contingencies. The e-commerce industry has revolutionized the way people shop today. But the point of focus is ‘how can we surpass the customer experience?’

Customers are the most important assets of any business, and it sometimes becomes difficult to interact with them, leading to unsatisfied customers.

Do you want your customers to develop full trust in your brand? But the question is how? Well, the only answer is Conversational Commerce! 

“Conversational Commerce serves as a liaison between businesses and their customers!”

Not only does Conversation Commerce help you customize your customer’s experience, but also makes it easier for you to interact with them, creating a great impact on every touchpoint in your customers’ journey. With modern conversational commerce systems, customers & brands can interact and transact together across a variety of channels. This intuitive interface makes buying more convenient for customers, giving them a seamless and personalized experience.

Let’s dig deeper into the real definition of conversational commerce and check the two main systems brands have been using to serve their customers!

Conversational Commerce Systems

1. Chatbots

Chatbots are excellent solutions to support real-time customer service. It makes the sale process user friendly, decreasing the gap between online and traditional shopping experience. They provide you assistance at any time with integrated live chats and detailed FAQs.

2. Voice Assistants

We all know to what extent, Alexa and Siri have made our life easier. Not only are they used by the urban households, but also help the brands formulating their business plan. Not to mention, collecting reviews has never been this easy for businesses. 

6 Reasons why you should use Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce generates profound benefits for many brands. You can make the most of conversational commerce by adding a conversational approach to the way you market and sell your offerings. To know more about this strategy, let’s read on to find the benefits of Conversational Commerce! 

1. To provide 24*7 support

Retailers can collect information through a support system while a chatbot solves the queries of the customers. A chatbot needs to be maintained once it is set up. But once the businesses integrate a chatbot, they give their brand the opportunity to connect with each and every customer 24/7 without hiring a large number of customer representatives. Though a human touch to the support is necessary, you can use the bots to cater to the initial level complaints.

2. To send order tracking deets

Integrating your brandstore with messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Hike, etc is a great way to send order updates to your customers. Additionally, you can also send new offers, discounts, etc via instant messaging. You can consider this as one of the advantages of conversational commerce. When people come across exciting offers, they often circulate them among their friends, making your promotional strategy viral. 

Quick tip: Want to satisfy your customers by sending order tracking updates but don’t know how to? Kartify brandstores are integrated with WhatApp, enabling alert-based messaging and WhatsApp chatbots! To know more about it, request your free DEMO now! 

3. To give accurate solution to customers’ queries

If a customer walks into a store, they can get help from the in-store staff, asking about the quality of the product, warranty, etc. Imitating this type of experience online hasn’t been as easy and efficient. But with conversational commerce, you can make sure you solve all the queries of your customers. In addition to sending recommendations based on what is trending, stores can answer customers’ questions enabling them to make the right, convenient and suitable choice.

4. To increase customers’ satisfaction

Consumer satisfaction is the heart of any brand. A satisfied consumer is more likely to come back and promote your brand to others. Conversational Commerce makes the customer feel at ease when they are in your e-store. With customer care being automated, it not only saves the waiting time of the user as the bot answers their queries but also ensures they are satisfied with the quick help.

5. To reduce Cart abandonment rate

The only downside to online shopping is customers’ skepticism towards the product quality. They generally fill their carts but don’t end up making the purchase, leading to a high cart abandonment rate. In such cases, bots come into play. A chatbot helps you solve customer queries with the best alternatives. For instance, you want to buy a pair of shoes, but you are skeptical about the material used in it. A bot can solve the query in such a case, making you purchase the product. 

Is cart abandonment crippling your online business? Read more to know how to reduce the cart abandonment rate! 

“Eventually, if the customer is happy the growth of the business is guaranteed!”

6. To remove manual and repetitive work

Whether it is an online retail store or a traditional store, you can’t escape from customers’ dilemma. But in the case of an online store, it becomes hectic and monotonous for the support team to clear each and every query. Here comes Chatbots in the picture with automated responses to manage hundreds of conversations simultaneously so customers don’t have to wait in line for a response. 

Conversational commerce presents a huge opportunity for brands and retailers to enhance the customer experience and maximize sales across channels. It has become more important than ever because of its conversational style of interaction as it can enhance personalization and warmth in the online shopping experience. 

Now that you know everything you need to know about conversational commerce, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and request a free DEMO, integrating your online store with chatbots through Kartify!

Impact of Coronavirus Vaccines on the E-commerce Industry in India! (Post-Pandemic Trends for 2021)

In March 2020, the Indian government declared the national lockdown with strict guidelines, exercising social distancing. As the pandemic reshapes our lives, people are finding comfort in online shopping more than ever. The e-commerce sector per se became the largest beneficiary of the coronavirus outbreak. 

However, now that the COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, will there be a threat to e-commerce? The first question replays in our mind – what is going to happen to the online sector? Are people willing to adopt the new normal trends forever or will they switch over to traditional buying patterns? 

To discover the result of vaccines on e-commerce and online shopping, let’s first have a look at the e-commerce trends amid the pandemic in 2020! 

5 e-commerce trends accelerated by the pandemic | #2020Recap

1. Share of online shopping increased 

The most definite trend of 2020 we can’t ignore is the rapid increase in online sales. From clothing to electronics to groceries, the dependence on online surged during the pandemic. Further, with an increase in the number of mobile users, tier-2 city users seemed to become more confident and aware of online shopping.

2. Brands highlighted health & hygiene in their marketing campaigns 

Hygiene was the biggest concern in unprecedented times. Many brands made the most out of the situation while rolling out aggressive marketing campaigns highlighting their packaging and shipping to be 100% safe. To list out one, let’s not forget how food aggregator brands claimed to check the temperature of their delivery agents before picking up the orders.

3. Upsurge in the contactless payment options

One thing the pandemic has completely changed is people’s reliance on contactless payment options. Even the online businesses supported the option of digital wallets over COD to make the process completely contactless. Online payment options emerged mainly because it ensures complete safety.

4. Rise in the demand of e-gift cards amid festive season

A gift card is another trend the pandemic has given rise to. Be it a gift card for a clothing store, or an online ticket for a nearby salon or dance studio, people were seen giving e-gift cards to their relatives especially around Diwali season. Given the fact that the gift card option is highly versatile, both brands and customers supported the idea.

5. Increase in the trend of mobile commerce

To let people enjoy the perks of quick shopping, brands looked for ways to integrate WhatsApp & social commerce as another online sub-channel. Due to a tremendous increase in online shopping, Instagram also came up with a new option to sell. It expanded its shopping services across IGTV.  

It’s reasonable to expect the long-lasting effects on e-commerce and digitalization – given the fact that people are habitual of the comfort online has to offer.

What will happen to the E-commerce Industry after the Pandemic ends? (Major trends to come up in 2020)

For now, the market drift is clear about the practice of social distancing even though the vaccines have rolled out around the nation. But many online businesses are afraid that their growth might slow down in the next few months. What is exactly going to happen?  

  • If you have an online store or you have just established your own online business, you don’t need to be afraid as e-commerce will eventually boost. Seeing there’s a lot of scope for growth in India, especially after people have become habitual using online channels, your online investment won’t get wasted. 
  • Amid the hard times, people were forced to discover and shop online to avoid the transmission of Coronavirus. Now that they have finally found their comfortability in online shopping, there’s a very small possibility of them switching over to the traditional channels. Not to mention, online shoppers enjoy the convenience – price benefit, selection benefit, payment benefit that e-commerce offers.

Digital marketers will need to buck up and come up with aggressive and unconventional marketing strategies!

Online businesses and marketers will keep practicing a few strategies to boost digitalization. Keeping that in mind, we have curated a list of four trends expected to resurge after the end of the COVID-19! 

1. Upsurge in the Omni-channel Marketing

Consumer data collection and omni-channel marketing tactics are becoming increasingly popular. The more brands are realizing the significance of the data, the easier it has become to retain loyal customers. For instance, a fashion brand has both a brick and mortar store and an online store. Now a person frequents their offline store for office wear clothing. With this knowledge and the collection of customer data, they can send marketing adverts for formal wear to boost online sales. 

2. Emergence of multiple e-commerce platforms 

The only conventional e-commerce platforms we are aware of include; marketplaces and brandstores. But in the coming months, the nature of e-commerce per se will evolve, giving rise to various other unconventional models. The display of offerings on social media channels is one of the examples. Showcasing products and generating orders via live video options on channels such as Instagram and Snapchat could also be considered on a broader scale.

Quick tip: If you are having a problem selling on marketplaces, let us assist you with our robust marketplace management solution. From account management to growth planning, we help you establish your mark while boosting your sales. To know more, request your free DEMO today!  

3. Creating in-store experiences

Augmented reality and virtual reality are definitely going to be the center of attraction in the upcoming months. To compete with offline shopping, concepts such as virtual trial rooms are going to increase. Moreover, the retailers will come up with more creative ideas to fill in the gap between online and offline. 

4. Headless Commerce will become mainstream 

To enrich the customer experience, the idea behind headless commerce will evolve in the next 4-5 months. The unconventional architecture will give more liberty to the brands to build and integrate various channels altogether. Largely, the whole retail will be operated in a more organized way irrespective of what channel is being used. 

5. Intelligent forecasting

As the new and intelligent way of forecasting has developed over time, businesses will continue to keep analyzing the behavior with these unconventional methods. For instance, instead of checking the inventory levels manually, warehouses have deployed software to check the inventory level and forecast the future demand. Same way intelligent forecasting is going to upsurge. 

While businesses are trying to forecast the changes the vaccines will bring in, one thing is for sure the e-commerce industry is not going to end at all. But one thing you must do is to revisit your business plan and buck up with the changing market scenario. Strengthen your e-commerce marketing strategies to persuade and retain customers!