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How consumer startups made the best out of Covid-19 and the lockdown period

The era of growing business by offering discounts, cashback and flash sales has changed. Take the case of consumer startups, the secret to their success has been ‘brand selling’. Just like business strategies, consumer habits have also changed. Now, they value the brand more than the price. The fact that there are consumers willing to buy products without offers has played a crucial role in increasing the revenue of companies. Moreover, the COVID period has encouraged online sales rather than offline ones.

In the past seven years, many startups have ventured into online marketing and e-commerce sectors. Today, startups exist in a wide variety of areas including food, apparel, footwear, and personal care. While Indian tech startups have achieved rocket growth, consumer startups could find their space, albeit slow growth. COVID lockdown has presented another opportunity for consumer startups. It helped them lead home-bound customers to the cyber market. Such online-only brands could reach customers without middlemen.

Personal care brand Mamaearth, electronics retailer BoAT Lifestyle, fan maker Atomberg Technologies, healthy snack maker Yogabar and meat brand Licious are just a few of the startups that have quickly found a foothold in the market in the COVID era. They succeeded because they could bring about products that required for the time. Compared to big shots, theses startups quickly delivered items such as sanitizers, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook food items, work-from-home clothing and home entertainment products to consumers.

Mamaearth won the market by launching plant-based vegetable wash, antiseptic hand creams, moisturisers and vitamin C products. The new product range gave Mamaearth a 20 per cent growth in monthly sales.

Work from home system and online classes benefited the electronics category startup BoAT Lifestyle. Sale of headphones, speakers, soundbars and power banks caused the surge in BoAT Lifestyle’s COVID-time revenue.

‘Fable Street’, a women’s office outfit brand, has launched work-from-home T-shirts and shorts online. The new products contributed to 60% of Fable Street’s revenue. As people heavily relied on the internet in the lockdown period, companies reached out to them through advertising. It further resulted in people increasingly using e-commerce platforms for goods and services.

The e-commerce sector continued to grow, even as India’s GDP fell by 23.9 per cent. Many investors were initially sceptical of the extent to which digital brands would reach consumers. But the growth of startups has proven that the doubt was unfounded. According to Venture Intelligence data, various consumer brand startups gained $ 295 million from 57 deals in 2019.


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