The pandemic has been a hard time for e-commerce businesses. But, many brands used this unexpected and extraordinary change to adapt their strategy quickly, identify chances to grow, and successfully get ahead.

Khaadi is one such brand that was able to turn the pandemic into an opportunity. recently spoke to the Head of E-commerce at Khaadi, Raja Naveed, to learn how the fashion and retail brand adapted its strategy and succeeded in growing despite the large changes brought on by the pandemic.

What Inspired Khaadi?

Khaadi is one of the leading fast-fashion brands in Pakistan with a global presence. Their retail stores span 3 countries and they sell across 70 locations nationwide. Their e-commerce presence is much larger, with Khaadi delivering to 500+ cities across the world.

What makes the team at Khaadi so special is their agility, openness to experiment, and their culture of learning. The brand is constantly listening to its employees, partners, and other stakeholders, creating an environment that makes it easy for the brand to respond quickly in times of crisis.

7 Ways That Khaadi Adapted to Pandemic Changes and Grew Its Business

Focusing on customer experience
In the past year, Khaadi has made customer experience its pivotal focus. By listening to customers, collecting feedback, and monitoring responses, Khaadi was able to understand industry and consumer shopping patterns and turn these insights into actionables. The brand used this focus to optimize different aspects of their brand, from product to website to post-sale experiences.

By focusing on what their customers need, Khaadi was able to experiment across different domains, tap into innovations and technology, revamp their brand story, and change how customers perceive them. This has positively impacted their brand health and boosted their monetary value, achieving triple-digit growth.

“Fashion and taste are no longer determined by just the brand. They are also determined by the relationship between brand and their customers. All e-commerce leaders need to be on top of their game in terms of delivering a consistent customer experience.”
— Raja Naveed Khalid, Head of E-commerce, Khaadi

Staying agile

The e-commerce space is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep up with the changes. Besides listening to customers, it’s also crucial to implement quickly and stay agile as a team.

During the peak of the COVID crisis, Khaadi was able to quickly make changes to its existing strategy. Knowing that consumers were looking for essentials, the brand came up with new product lines like face masks and hand sanitizers to meet the demand of “top-of-mind products.” The company also spent a lot of time on reviewing product design and  manufacturing, and ensuring just in time delivery from warehouses around the country.

“I think being agile and setting up the organization to be able to respond to change is going to become more and more important.”
— Raja Naveed Khalid, Head of E-commerce, Khaadi

Identifying changing consumer trends

Online shoppers are not only opinionated but they are also influential and follow a process when it comes to buying online. For instance, consumers share ideas, research online, read product reviews, and even listen to what customers have to say about brand experience.

“Unlike previous buyers who had to buy what the brand has to offer, today’s shoppers want to be heard.”
— Head of E-commerce, Raja Naveed

Due to this change in how consumers shop, brands need to:

  1. Listen to their customers
  2. Incorporate their feedback into all aspects of the business, from product design and manufacturng, to delivery and customer experience
  3. Be agile enough to make business decisions and changes quickly to fit customer needs and expectations.

Adapting to new audiences

Millennials and Gen Z are important consumer categories to focus on. Khaadi does extensive research to understand and cater to the needs and preferences of these emerging consumer categories.

One learning is that Millennials prefer shopping on via a desktop, while Gen Z shoppers prefer mobile apps when buying online. Such insights help brands like Khaadi plan a mobile app for their online store to cater to these shopping preferences and make their products more accessible to different shoppers.

Another insight that Khaadi found was that Millennials and Gen Z consumers are omni shoppers. They aren’t interested in just one channel when it comes to shopping. Instead, consumers who might have discovered a brand online may still prefer to visit an offline store before purchasing. Findings like this suggest that brick and mortar store experiences are still relevant but their role is evolving to fit the omni experience that customers are looking for. As an online retail brand, Khaadi plans to better understand the role of their retail stores and how those stores would aid purchasing for different consumer categories.

When it comes to marketing to Millennials and Gen Z shoppers, Khaadi also uses technology like Alavi’s data science models help the brand understand these new consumer categories, segment them, and set up highly personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with these segments and converts them better.

Enabling technology for growth

“I strongly believe success without technology is nearly impossible.”
— Raja Naveed Khalid, Head of E-commerce, Khaadi

According to Raja Naveed, brands that have a chance to survive (let alone, thrive) today are the ones that focus on technology. Khaadi has stayed ahead of the curve by incorporating technology across different aspects and functions of its business. Let’s take a look at two aspects of their business that Khaadi has improved and automated using tech:

Scaling fulfillment efforts

Khaadi has implemented an omni fulfillment ERP by turning its retail outlets into e-commerce fulfillment centers. By enabling such an omnichannel strategy, the brand saw sustainable growth in multiple ways. Here are some examples:

  • Reduced lead time to delivery. Orders placed in a specific location within the nation can be fulfilled and dispatched from the nearest retail outlet rather than being shipped from their warehouse.
  • Reduced delivery cost.
  • Optimized inventory management at retail stores and improved overall sell-through.
  • Improved the productivity of team members.

Deep-dive into data

Khaadi has also been able to improve its marketing using technology. With Alavi, Khaadi is able to use their conversion data to find new audiences they should target via ad platforms like Facebook. Alavi also helps the brand understand who they should retarget to improve their marketing returns and conversion rate.

“We were able to target and retarget our customers with precision and it has had a direct impact on our top line.”
— Raja Naveed Khalid, Head of E-commerce, Khaadi

Read how brands have been able to grow their e-commerce business using Alavi.

Defined roadmap for e-commerce success

Change is inevitable for e-commerce businesses but that shouldn’t change your vision. By having a concrete roadmap in place, e-commerce brands will be able to adapt to new changes that come their way while ensuring they don’t deviate from their goals.

Once you have your roadmap, it’s crucial to select the right technology and partners to set up a reliable system. During this process, you need a flexible and transformative mindset to understand how the tech/partner will impact your business in the long term. One of the best ways to evaluate potential partners and tech is by understanding if they fulfill the 3 C’s— competency, capacity, and capability.

The beginning of the pandemic was especially hard for online retail businesses across the globe. However, Khaadi’s ability to remain agile and adapt its strategy is a blueprint for success during changing times.

Use Alavi and Scale Without Fear

Developed for small and medium businesses, Alavi is a martech application that performs predicative analytics on your customers’ behavioural data. By combining AI, machine learning and automation, it helps digital marketers better understand their audiences, improve their targeting, and scale confidently profitably.

Alavi has a proven record of helping brands in a variety industries grow their revenue online. It has a very short time-to-value and is easy to setup and use.

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