The world took a hit with the pandemic creating huge waves to the economy of leading nations. With people confined to their homes and many businesses closed, it was only a matter of time when people moved out of their comfort zone to solve problems and make lives easier.
As such, here we have today a small startup from the Jaintia hills district of Meghalaya, that took up the challenge to assist the ongoing social distancing norms.
What is Syllad Store?
Syllad store is the brainchild of Syllad, a media house from Jowai, selling online commodities from household items to fruits and vegetables within Jowai region.
What makes Syllad Store unique?
On March 24th, the Indian government ordered a nation-wide lock down for the 1.3 billion people. It was difficult not just for the people but for the small-scale businesses as well to cope up with the sudden shift.
The store was live in less than 24 hours, while all the back-end processes and delivery mechanism were followed within the next 24 hours. It was the first fully functional online store addressing the lock down in the state of Meghalaya.
The first hurdle was to get an immediate setup up and running to start accepting order within a local geography. When the plan was finalized the store already had 50 products up for listing and speed was the key factor.
Second was the fact that people needed to know of their existence. While word of mouth does work wonders within a local geography, the reach still remains limited.
Third was the payment mechanism, with social distancing endorsed all over, taking in cash for orders is the last resort.
Understanding the urgent need the first thing needed was a store setup. This was completed within 24 hrs and the first batch of product was uploaded too. We used a user-friendly framework by WooCommerce for the store while allowing a multiple vendor system so that other sellers can also jump in to sell.
While working on the outreach and promotion, social media was the key platform to bring in traffic and generate sales. We worked on a range of initial social media post for Facebook and Instagram. Here is an example of one post that reached a total of 4,125 users on Facebook alone without any ads.
The next focus was to work on generating continuous sales and we were solely focused on marketing via Facebook and Instagram to promote the venture. We then worked on a paid strategy as well to further improve the reach, traffic and conversion.
With the focus on online payment, we used one of our payment partner for a quick and secured payment solution to accept online payments via credit/debit cards and net banking.
Now that Syllad Store is Live it already sold more than 4,000 products online and while many dismays the penetration of online platforms in a small town, ventures like these have proven the possibility of growth via digital medium.
As of April 15th, 2020, the store has already sold more than 3,000 products with a 6 figure revenue.
While the state of lockdown is getting relaxed in the coming days, local disruptions proves the impact of digitization.
The venture was also recently featured by The Telegraph, a leading news daily and NElookup, a portal for startups and entrepreneurs.
Now with all the systems in place, it’s an easy everyday process of receiving and delivering order while the venture is focused to stay here for the long run.