Were you an avid user and promoter of e-commerce platforms in its initial days in India?Then we are sure that you must have used or browsed through Jabong. In this article, we would be discussing the strategies that the company used to climb the ladder of success and the factors behind the downfall and acquisition.

Read the whole article to unravel the strategies and mistakes.

Starting of the platform

In 2012, Praveen Sinha launched Jabong, the e-commerce platform to meet the all-inclusive fashion requirements of men, women, and kids, from footwear to fashion accessories.

The tagline of the e-commerce was “Be You,” and it provided a variety of branded listings. Mr. Sinha, the company’s founder, stated in an interview that though they were late to the fashion e-commerce game. Yet, there was something that set them apart from the others.

Initially, they came up with authentic brands that are not widely available in stores. Next, they implemented user-friendly features, for instance, express delivery, a 30-day return policy, and open box delivery, which improved customer satisfaction to a great extent. And then, they build a reliable relationship with the fashion community to share their views in fashion curation.

The Full Story of Jabong
The Full Story of Jabong

A study shows that Jabong was getting better traffic than its other competitors in just a few months since its launch in 2012. The report also exhibits that Jabong got 1.9 million average orders in the first three months of the year 2014.

Full Story of Jabong
Full Story of Jabong

The company’s dedication was to improve customer services and add varieties to improve delivery since its launch, while other market players aimed to offer exotic deals on products. So it helped them to grab a solid customer base within a short period.

The company raised $100 million in funding in February 2014, with $27.5 million coming from CDC, a British development finance institution, but no information on the other investors is available.

In Q2-FY14, Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities accounted for approximately 62 percent of the company’s income. The company faced a shortage of quality products from the physical stores.

Business Strategies

Jabong used a sophisticated and managed marketplace model along with an inventory model. Things were obtained from brands and worked in the storeroom of the company under the inventory model. It did not store inventory in a managed marketplace model, but it did handle accomplishment, customer service, and returns.

Marketing policies of Jabong

According to the reports available on the internet,  90 percent of the company’s budget was assigned to digital, with the rest 10% allocated to TV and outdoor advertising.

The company was increasing transactions and profits through digital marketing and increasing customer collaboration through social media. In small towns and villages, offline media came handy to raise awareness about the platform.

Fans of Jabong
Fans of Jabong

To establish its monopoly in the market, the company used methods like affiliate marketing with several networks involved in the affiliate domain in India. Affiliates may receive up to 10% commission on any sale. As a result, it was able to attract a large number of customers just through affiliate marketing. After the month’s end, the deal got processed within 15 days.

Furthermore, the people involved in the affiliate got paid after assessing the Validation Report.

  • Moreover, they offered vouchers worth Rs. 2500 for those who sign up for their site for shopping.
  • Jabong used an extraordinary practice entitled email marketing to keep its members, encouraging them to return to the platform again and again. Every day, they sent advertising emails to all of their members informing them of new sale deals. Their email to registered users discusses the promotional aspect with consumers and tries to involve them in getting a click.
  • To increase brand attentiveness, authenticity, and interaction, they issued perceptive articles on their blogs regularly.
  • Also, the former e-commerce platform made good use of Facebook marketing opportunities. Within a few months of their launch, their Facebook fan page had over a million followers.
  • To attract new users to the website, they often used banner advertisements across cities and even villages.

They used to post 10-12 updates daily, almost all of which were self-promotional but still managed to keep the audience engaged and hooked to the website.

  • Jabong made general use of the internet to promote its brand. They began their first TV commercial in March 2012. In September 2012, they introduced a parallel initiative.
  • Jabong released a new TV commercial in February 2013 with the tagline “Fashion Nikla Mann Fisla.”

Also, the company benefited from its collaboration with several Bollywood celebrities.

The idea of promoting their services through Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the Bollywood film Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani caused a surge in their sales.

Social media presence

Jabong had their killer presence on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and others. On Facebook, they used to create at least ten posts daily. Be it self-promotion or others, the engagement rate of their FB page was more than 50%. That reveals the company’s commitment to social media since its commencement, which confirms by aggressive Facebook promotional campaigns that were highly up-and-coming.

The e-commerce platform made its presence on Twitter as well. It not only had a convivial feel, but it also liberally employed emotions. It identified that young women were its vital target audience. Although it did not cross-post its Facebook posts, it also used Twitter as a valuable tool for answering customer questions.

It was one of the most prominent destinations for fashion and lifestyle products, with over 1200 brands and over 30,000 products listed. The company was the second most popular website after its current parent company, Myntra, with over 20 million unique visitors every month on both the desktop and mobile web.

How did Jabong’s Marketing Work?

End of Reason Sale (EORS), the company’s biggest flagship sale, was a three-day fashion extravaganza that drew millions of people. EORS was a jam-packed event with offers that changed every hour and were only available for a limited time.

They used the notification expiry function to set up timely notifications to increase traction by exploiting a user’s impulsive conduct. With banner images in place, every campaign’s CTR skyrocketed as it helped to stimulate the desired emotions.

As a fashion and lifestyle destination, the CRM team acknowledged the value of treating each consumer as an individual. At the company, personalization was at the heart of user communication, and the CRM team does that to escalate the sales figure.

The technical team assisted them in segmenting their subscribers based on their purchasing habits, shopping preferences, and other factors in a step-by-step manner. The effect was instantaneous and reflective. Notifications sent to specific audience groups resulted in a 2X increase in click-through rates, with the maximum being 15.4%!

The rates of conversion because of the web notifications and online advertisements get overlapped to those from organic traffic, highlighting the importance of push notification in bridging the gap between consumers and sellers.

Jabong’s CRM team used such notifications to create engaging strategies for retargeting, activating inactive customers, and driving repeat sales. The marketing team got successful in their process every time, which led to developing a system that overshadowed old conventions like mailing and banners.

Different collaborations supported the company’s popular perception of the Indian e-retail industry. Nike collaborated with Jabong and revealed a new line of cricket gear on the site due to its popularity.

  • Widest product variety with 1000 brands;
  • Pioneering facilities, for example, card processing on delivery.

Synchronization of browser alerts on both mobile phones and PCs with CRM was bound to cause hindrances in working of user-level communication. The user-website interaction got developed to ease out the browsing experience.

After searching for other alternatives to scale their brand name as an e-commerce website, they finally chose a custom domain. They were able to get the implementation up and running quickly using customized domain choices.

Jabong Fans by Country
Jabong Fans by Country

Given Jabong’s traffic, the company’s push notification subscriber list rapidly grew to over 100,000 people. As the subscriber list grew, the CRM team experimented with web push notifications to increase user engagement, especially among inactive users.

Where did Jabong’s Marketing strategy fail?

Jabong wanted to create a marketing list that would perform consistently as the company grew. They needed a solution to ensure further scope and interaction and increase conversions due to a drop in open email rates. They used contextual alerts to target their extraordinary use cases and increase overall interaction.

Jabong’s marketing stack used various contact platforms such as email, SMS, display advertising, and on-page updates for engaging consumers. On the other hand, the challenge was to create a marketing list that would perform consistently as the company grew. Response rates began to flatten or decline across these contact networks. AdBlockers and banner recklessness had already impacted the success of display advertising, and open email rates had dropped to single digits!

What happened to Jabong?

By 2016, Flipkart became one the best Fashion Hub in India. It had over 50% off Fashion Market Share. Jabong had one/third of the Fashion Market share in 2016.

So, Flipkart, controlled by Walmart, thought of acquiring Jabong and becoming the leading online marketplace. And in 2016, Flipkart Acquired Jabong for $70 Million.

According to the reports in the public domain, Walmart, the parent company of Flipkart, decided in February 2020 to close the online portals of Jabong.

Henceforth, since then, people get redirected to Myntra whenever they search for the dead platform.

Although digitization has helped us enormously, especially during the ongoing pandemic, it is not a cakewalk to compete in a volatile market like e-commerce.

Everything boils down to the pace of development of thought processes and strategies concerning societal advancements.

In 2017, Amazon acquired Junglee also became a dead platform after the parent company decided to shut down the online portals.

We at Robust Story would like to know about the platforms that you think deserved a second chance before their complete closure in the comment section below.

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