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Jabong WOWs customers, stays ahead of the ?pack?

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MUMBAI: According to the IAMAI, digital commerce grew by 33 per cent to Rs 62, 967 crore last year vis-a-vis Rs 47, 349 crore in 2012. With increasing internet penetration, e-commerce growth is only headed north.

While it is becoming routine for a growing number of people to shop online, what is the clincher that makes consumers decide in favour of one e-retailer over the other? The answer lies in innovation and re-invention; qualities that Jabong.com claims to specialise in.   

For starters, marketing, operations and all other critical components of Jabong are well integrated with social media in keeping with the company?s mantra: to create superlative customer experiences every time.

Significantly, the approach to social media is ?to be open-source.? ?This affects the way we engage, the tonality and the words we use. Also, it has created a culture of being proactive rather than reactive. We are glad it?s been appreciated by our customers,? says Jabong?s co-founder and MD Praveen Sinha.

Secondly, the online retailer is high on EQ (emotional quotient). It understands that when a customer buys from Jabong, it?s not just a product that has been ordered but there are emotions attached to the purchase. According to Sinha, this aspect has a deep impact on Jabong?s culture of creating customer WOW.

Thirdly, all comments, suggestions and complaints are taken very seriously. A case in point is the Jabong design hack which is the result of a seemingly innocuous tweet sent to all major e-commerce companies by a gentleman from Bangalore. Jabong took up the gauntlet and initiated a design hack-a-thon where sundry designers and even orthopaedics sat together and brain-stormed to turn the somewhat bulky courier container used by the e-retailer into a hip, easy-to-carry delivery bag. ?The intention was to host some brilliant minds at our headquarters in Gurgaon and come up with interesting solutions to the challenge. The focus was on the solution, which was to make the courier delivery bag easy to carry, efficient, lighter (if possible) and fashionable. Jabong will now work with the winning team to build a prototype,? says Sinha.

Courier services have had to evolve in the last 2-3 years for serving e-commerce. The fast turn-around-times, different sized packages, time scheduling of deliveries, cash collection on delivery and increasing service expectations at the doorstep are aspects attached to the delivery part, which was not an expectation pre e-commerce. All these are very recent and every delivery company is currently focusing on them and improving.

The process was completed in four stages. In the first stage, participants tried to better understand the challenge. The second stage had a lot of research going into finding a solution for the human body to carry weight while doing less work. The third stage saw the teams engage in design thinking and lean prototyping to come up with three designs. The last stage was a feasibility check, after which, the most practical solution was presented. A core parameter was to re-design the bag at a price competitive to the existing cost. Indeed, Jabong will work along with the winners to come up with a prototype in three months. Sinha informs that 25 people participated in the activity that was judged by Jabong operations director Pratik Gupta, MIT Media Labs innovator Anirudh Sharma, and GoJavas COO Vijay Ghadge.

Two teams won with team one comprising a biker (Gourav Gupta), an engine designer (Abhikaran Singh), a food enthusiast (Rakshit Kerni), an artist (Sahil Bindra) and IshanPadgotra from JagritiYatra. Whereas team two was made up by a student (Mohd Salman), a professional from a startup (Sameer Malik) and a user experience designer (Arunesh Moudgil).

If Jabong can think of improving on something as minor as its courier bag, even if it is in response to a consumer complaint that says a lot about how seriously the brand takes its consumers.

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