Information Technology (IT), mobile telephony and the rapid spread of internet have spurred the growth of new modes of doing business. While traditional businesses continue to depend on touch and feel, brick and mortar as well as online services through well-designed and maintained websites, many modern business formats have been migrating to
app-based methods. Thanks to the rampant spread of smart phones, which have virtually leap-frogged over the laptops and pads, several business ventures have developed apps for furthering their reach to wider audiences.
In 2015, when Viral Thaker, Managing Director, The Interior People LLP, decided to expand his interior designing business, he launched idecorwala.com as the website which would offer his customers a virtual showroom of his vast collection of wallpapers. He stated, “In fact, we designed the website inhouse and developed the related app in such a manner that, when a person opens the site on his mobile phone, it would actually be the app. The customer could access a very wide range of wallpaper designs and we would fabricate his requirement to his taste. Additionally, we offer murals, 3D flooring and curtains, in fact, the entire gamut of interior designs except furnishing.”
His website-related app was launched in 2016. He added, “After that we found a vast change in the way customers
responded. Almost 70% of the visitors to the website accessed it through their mobile phones. Genuine enquiries amounted to 30% of this and resulted in a conversion rate of 10%. We also found that of this 10%, a third was impulsive buyers and the remaining were inquisitive buyers.”
During the period 2017-18, the business generated by the app/website was only 7% of the total turnover of his group business, points out Thaker. “But by 2018-19, this had jumped to 40% of the revenue and it keeps growing,” says Thaker who had initially invested a total of `3.20 lakhs for the platform and the functional versions of the site and app. His next step is to incorporate the ‘augmented reality’ feature in his app which will help his customers to visualise how their interiors will look, with their choice of materials.
Newer modes of doing business, like this one are enabling localised companies to reach wider audiences without having to invest in branch offices and other related infrastructure in several cities. While operational costs come down drastically, e-commerce and online transactions help in generating revenues in a safer and faster way.