[00:10:26] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. During the time that you were building Dr. Vaidya’ s, did you ever think when you start seeing the D2C sales go up. Did they ever think that, hey, now that I'm reaching some kind of popularity, would it help if I go offline?
[00:10:40] ARJUN VAIDYA: We did and they're doing it now at Dr. Vaidya’s, but I honestly didn't have the skillset.
[00:10:46] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.
[00:10:46] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'm not a good offline entrepreneur and I didn't have have the time either, to be honest. Online business was going so fast,
[00:10:53] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.
[00:10:53] ARJUN VAIDYA: so rapidly, that I think it was, yeah, it was just the way we wanted it to go.
[00:10:57] JITENDRANATH PATRI: And the reason I'm asking this question is because today I hear of online
[00:11:00] ARJUN VAIDYA: Today's different. Today's different.
[00:11:02] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Yeah.
[00:11:02] ARJUN VAIDYA: Today I think the number of brands competing online is significantly larger, right. The COVID bump of just online consumption is gone and consumers have gone back offline. So there are more brands, same amount of supply of ads. So increase in customer acquisition cost,
[00:11:19] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right. Again, interesting point, you made increase in customer acquisition cost, right? I think brands still continue to spend on acquisition. Are they missing out on the actual retention part of it?
[00:11:29] ARJUN VAIDYA: Even I missed out on the retention part because when you're getting new customers easily, you forget about it. But the secret source of a D2C business is retention. Retention is very scientific. I think, early stage founders don't get it as quickly.
[00:11:43] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:43] ARJUN VAIDYA: I didn't get it for two and a half years, but the moment you get retention and the power of retention, you will unlock an alpha in your business you've never seen before.
[00:11:52] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. And what advice would you, or what suggestions would give to really retain the customer?
[00:11:57] ARJUN VAIDYA: Oh, I would say that I think the key is to reach out to the customer at the right point of time, right the right moment, when they're thinking of repurchasing after compared to their dosage, et cetera, all of that, number one. Number two, reach out to them on the channel they want to be reached out on, whether it's email, SMS, push notification, WhatsApp, call. Figure out what that channel is, and then if needed, incentivize them to repeat. Does that customer order a freebie? Does that customer order a feedback call?Will that customer just repeat anyways? Or does that customer need a discount? Figure out what that hook is and segment the customer such that you interact with the customer in the right manner.
[00:12:34] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. Yeah. Today I hear online brands or D2C brands now experimenting with opening up stores. Any reason why they're doing that?
[00:12:43] ARJUN VAIDYA: I think two things, right? One, offline consumption is back.
[00:12:46] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:47] ARJUN VAIDYA: And two, there is still that feeling of touch and feel, right?
[00:12:51] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Right.
[00:12:51] ARJUN VAIDYA: So there is a section of consumers that are okay to buy completely online, including me.
[00:12:55] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Correct.
[00:12:55] ARJUN VAIDYA: But then there's a section of consumers who may want to experience something.
[00:12:58] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:58] ARJUN VAIDYA: And so the experience center is becoming very powerful, especially in high AOV categories. But if you're spending 20,000, 30,000, 50,000 rupees that's you're buying a mattress or a mixer or a cooker, or large amount of kitchen utensils, you want to try it out.If I'm buying a iPhone charger, I'm okay.
[00:13:16] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Sure.
[00:13:17] ARJUN VAIDYA: I'll buy it.
[00:13:17] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm. And this, this is extension of that question is now last six, eight months, we've seen the footfalls come back to the brick and mortar stores, right? Our D2C brands who are only D2C doing something to compete and, and bring in, some kind of a new experience to, to ensure that they retain customers.
[00:13:36] ARJUN VAIDYA: Oh, I think brands are doing some amazing things, right! They're creating high quality content during the cycle between two purchases that can engage with customers. They're creating communities with customers. They are having beautiful unboxing experiences for customers that they can get that customer delight. They're also creating that feeling of belonging with customers.
[00:14:02] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:03] ARJUN VAIDYA: That means a brand is not just a product. It's a feeling, it's an emotion. It's a tribe. It's a group of people. It's a group of like-minded people, and I think all of these things generate that recall in a brand, that love for a brand that eventually needs retention.Retention is not just marketing automation. Retention has many more moving parts. Marketing automation can be though, that pushes the consumption or drives the consumer over the edge, but retention has much more to do with it.
[00:14:31] JITENDRANATH PATRI: And which brings me to another extension, is with with input like this, and after seeing such success coming in, right.Today, I, I see it's become easy to start a D2C business, however big a how or small right. Do you think, do you actually think that it has actually become easier or is it
[00:14:50] ARJUN VAIDYA: I think, I think it has become easier from the perspective of the ecosystem, from the perspective of the tools available and the ancillaries.For a founder, you gotta focus on product, marketing and brand. The logistics, the customer service, the marketing automation, the warehousing, the WhatsApp automation, the website backend, all of these things are taken care of. And there's enough knowledge, right, about this available. I mean, you can Google, you can join programs like the one I teach, right?You can, you can speak to other founders and there's a large number of founders in the ecosystem now, so I think that's been solved for. But the crux of the problem, what's the product? What's the problem it's solving, what's the brand and what's the strategy to engage with customers that is still not solved.And so that part of it is still in the hands of a founder. The rest of the ancillaries are much easier than when I was building.
[00:15:43] JITENDRANATH PATRI: Interesting. And, and a lot has changed in five years of five, five and half, six years. Right? Right through the time you started to, now obviously again. There's been some help, because of the shutting around of stores during the lockdowns and all that.But, irrespective, I think there's been a lot of
[00:15:59] ARJUN VAIDYA: change. There is a sea change in the last five years. D2C is a term, it didn't exist five to six years ago. There are WhatsApp groups of hundreds of founders now. These D2C founders are sharks on Shark Tank. None of this existed.
[00:16:13] JITENDRANATH PATRI: True.
[00:16:14] ARJUN VAIDYA: Five years or six years ago.