Its an exciting time for us at The Whiteteak Company to be working in this technology-centered city of ours – Bangalore. With startups in every corner, business plans being drafted over coffee, apps that do everything – pick up laundry, medical tests at your doorstep – we’ve gotten pretty futuristic!

Niche ecommerce, everyone’s doing it. Hand crafted quilts? Personal hygiene products? – everything’s available online. It makes sense! You can start selling almost immediately now with a few hours of online work.

The challenge is the experience. I’d read somewhere that people need to feel a product with all their 5 senses before making a buying decision. You want to touch it with your own hand, experience the texture, the material, the build quality etc. You want to get a sense of the size of the product relative to yourself. View it from all angles and make sure there’s no defects.

I spent a good few days stalking women at home decor stores, to notice patterns in their browsing and shopping. Window shoppers interested me the most, as these constitute close to 90% of online traffic. I drafted list of what’s important & what isn’t for the shoppers –

What’s Important:

1. Seeing a product in its entirety

2. Visualizing it in your own room

3. A feel of the size (height, width, breadth)

4. Price, of course. Although I’m not gonna touch this topic as this blog is about the experience, and not the price point.

Here’s what we came up with to answer these questions on our website Whiteteak.com

1. Lifestyle Photographs:

We’ve ensured that every product of ours has a Lifestyle photo attached to it. A rendering of how the product will look placed in a living room scenario. This helps shoppers gauge the relative size compared to regularly found furniture in your house, eg: a dining table, or sofa set. Here’s an example of one of our lifestyle images:

 

Life style photographs
Life style photographs

We’ve learnt that these photographs help users visualize the product in the context of a real life space, and not just a photo studio with a standard white background.

2. 360 degree Virtual Tours:

While Lifestyle Photography solved the challenge of the context of a product, the next missing piece was the actual feel of the product from all angles. 5-6 photos per product wasn’t quite cutting it, so we decided to try a pilot of 360 product photos. Here’s an example

These are highly interactive product demos that allow a shopper to preview a product from all its angles. Want to know what the behind of that lamp looks like? Spin it around! Curious of the kind of bulbs used? Zoom in and spin to see it from all angles.

Currently we’re the only company in India, and possibly the world, doing 360 Virtual Tours for every product – big or small. We’re very excited about this new introduction and believe that it will revolutionize e-commerce shopping in India. What more could you possibly need! Read more about how we did it  here.

3. Perspective Images:

How do you get the exact dimensions of a product? In our perspective photos, we put a man holding the product to give users the respective size of the product. This helps represent the size relative to the height of a man, and gives you a feel of how big a product really is.

Example:

Prespective Images
prespective Images

4. COD or No COD

And since we touched the price bit, let me talk about how we’re disrupting the COD market too. COD is a must-have, specially in Indian market where online transactions aren’t that widespread yet.

Though trust is a two-way street and we need to trust our customer’s just as much (or as little) as they trust us. So we introduced the concept of 15% online pre-payment. We call it Easy-Pay. It makes it easy for us to know the serious enough shoppers, and makes it easy enough for shoppers to still enjoy COD. 15% of an INR 20,000/- item is approx INR 3,000/-, which is expected to be paid online, and the balance can be paid as Cash once the item is delivered.

At the core, White Teak is a Lighting & Home Decor brand. But, we do pride ourselves on using technology to make decisions easier for online shoppers. We’re bringing our A-game, and there’s a lot more to come!