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Kalyan Silks - draping 3P marketplaces success by breaking transition to transformation

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Customer Story
Kalyan Silks - draping 3P marketplaces success by breaking transition to transformation
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About the Brand

Part of the popular Kalyan Group, Kalyan Silks is one of the most trusted and prominent names for sarees, especially in the southern regions of India. Kalyan Silks was founded in Thrissur, Kerala, in 1909 as a store specializing in silk that later flourished into Kalyan Silks. Kalyan Silks has been dominantly known as a South Indian brand but has aspired to become a national and then global brand. With elaborate expansion plans, today they have India’s largest silk saree showroom network. With 34 world-class showrooms in India and international showrooms in the UAE and Oman, 1,000 weaving centers, 300 design centers, 100 production units, and 6,000 employees, Kalyan Silks is a formidable force in textile retail.

Key Learnings of the Case Study

This case study sheds light on two major aspects that are significant for other traditional offline retailers and key regional players like Kalyan Silks:

1) How Kalyan Silks set a futuristic vision for the brand's expansion and overcame the initial inhibitions

2) How Kalyan Silks got support at every step in the unknown realms of online expansion

Background

Despite dominating offline retail and being a key regional player, Kalyan Silks had a minimal to zero presence on ecommerce, especially on 3P marketplaces, for the longest time. This situation is common among traditional retail leaders who achieve massive offline success and have a strong foothold in the regional market. Somehow, not many brands break free from the offline space, curbing further growth into other avenues like ecommerce. However, Kalyan Silks embraced the online realm with its forward-thinking vision.

Being an iconic brand under this domain, it has also served as a flagship example for other such brands, inspiring them to follow suit. So, before delving into the initial challenges faced by Kalyan Silks during its online expansion journey, let us understand the background by considering some common dilemmas and inhibitions of such traditional names.

Common Challenges for Traditional Retailers

1) The fear of the unknown

Ecommerce remains an unknown, sometimes even feared, territory. The unfamiliarity of online retail processes and 3P marketplaces’ regulations can be daunting to these established players who are accustomed to the traditional brick-and-mortar model. The shift to ecommerce requires different kinds of investment in technology, logistics, operations, and digital marketing expertise, which can be perceived as risky and uncertain.

2) The fear of fierce competition

Traditional brands are well acquainted with their regional competitors as well as customers, but the competitive landscape of 3P marketplaces is vastly different from offline retail. The presence of global giants and the need for aggressive marketing strategies can intimidate traditional brands, leading to apprehensions about their ability to effectively compete in the online space.

3) The fear of losing brand identity

There may also be concerns about diluting the brand's identity or losing the personalized touch that offline retail provides. Regionally dominant brands, in particular, may have deep-rooted ties to their local communities and fear that expanding beyond their familiar territory could result in a loss of connection with their loyal customer base.

Riding the wave of change

Kalyan Silks overcame the above inhibitions with sheer willingness and vision to expand aggressively, and embraced change. With this visionary approach, Kalyan Silks strategically partnered with Fynd to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities of online expansion.

Fynd played a pivotal role as a consultative partner, providing valuable guidance beyond their traditional scope and empowering Kalyan Silks to overcome barriers, broaden their reach, and enhance customer experiences.

Here is a walkthrough of how Kalyan Silks overcame the challenges of onboarding on 3P marketplaces, starting from scratch, by leveraging Fynd’s support.

Note: The following actions undertaken by Fynd were beyond the standard services offered to brands. Recognizing the brand's limited knowledge and experience, Fynd went above and beyond to fulfill its role as an end-to-end consultative partner. Leveraging their expertise gained from working with over 2,300+ brands, Fynd provided the necessary support required by Kalyan Silks.

Challenges, Solutions & Impact

Challenge #1: Style assortment

Kalyan Silks has 20,000 styles across all stores. However, the brand decided to go with a small batch for a pilot run. Only 150 styles had to go live in the first stage.

Now, the challenge lay in making the right selection of these 150 styles from the 20,000. 

Solution

Fynd conducted an assessment and gathered insights to create an assortment logic for the identification of 150 ideal styles. Fynd also collaborated with Myntra’s category team for insights on the top-selling styles under the saree category and analyzed factors such as price range, pattern, material, color, ideal inventory depth, and ideal style width.

Impact

Top-selling, most suitable 150 saree styles identified

Challenge #2: SKU barcode mismatch

SKU barcode mismatch

Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) and barcoding are used by retailers to identify and track products. While SKUs are unique to each product, more than one product of the exact same style, color, and size can have the same barcode. And this is how all 3P marketplaces accept inventory.

Kalyan Silks had been traditionally tagging each SKU with a unique barcode, which is not supported on 3P marketplaces.

Solution

Although changing the existing barcodes of 20,000 styles across all stores was not feasible, Fynd guided Kalyan Silks on new barcode creation for the selected 150 styles and to adopt the new barcoding process for forthcoming collections.

Impact

1. Marketplace acceptance of revised barcodes

2. Brand awareness on the way forward for new barcoding

Challenge #3: Ecommerce Specific Photoshoot

One of the basic requirements to go live on a 3P marketplace is to have a product catalog with photographs in compliance with the marketplace norms. 

Kalyan Silks needed to build a catalog with images in compliance with Myntra’s guidelines.

Solution

Kalyan Silks leveraged Fynd’s support in finding the right photoshoot agency, negotiating the prices, and facilitating payments. Since the agency was Mumbai-based, Kalyan Silks benefited from the collaboration between Fynd and the photoshoot agency, and the transportation-handling of samples from Thrissur to Mumbai. 

Impact

Photoshoot of 150 sarees done in compliance with Myntra guidelines

Challenge #4: Stumbling blocks on Myntra

2D CAD image for myntra

Myntra has specific guidelines for listing saree products, which led to a challenge for Kalyan Silks. Myntra refused to list Kalyan Silks’ sarees without a 2D CAD image for the blouse piece.

Solution

Fynd reached out to the catalog photoshoot agency, and they actively helped out Kalyan Silks by creating the required 2D CAD image for the blouse at no additional cost.

Impact

Kalyan Silks could conveniently list their products on Myntra with the 2D CAD images for the blouse.

Challenge #5: Product listing

Once the photoshoot was done, Kalyan Silks needed a catalog in the right format for all the targeted marketplaces. Every marketplace lays out a specific catalog format for listing products. While an existing listing file can be converted into a marketplace-specific format with the catalog transformation service by Fynd, Kalyan Silks did not even have the base listing file.

Kalyan Silks also lacked the knowledge to add strategic product descriptions to their listings for higher product discovery.

Solution

1. Fynd worked closely with the brand team to first create a base listing file

2. Ensured to incorporate relevant search keywords for sarees on Myntra and AJIO 

3. Aligned the process for the right match of listed products and photoshoot saree images

4.Assisted Kalyan Silks with catalog creation for Myntra & AJIO

5. Uploaded the listings onto the marketplace seller panels 

Impact

Successful launch and inventory visibility on Myntra & AJIO

Challenge #6: Marketplace packaging material

After getting the basics sorted, it was time to commence operations. Each brand selling on 3P marketplaces needs to pack products adhering to marketplace guidelines. The brand needs to procure this packaging material in different sizes for each marketplace. Being a first-time seller on marketplaces, Kalyan Silks lacked awareness on the process of procuring this packaging material.

Solution

Fynd facilitated the procurement of marketplace-compliant packaging materials and connected Kalyan Silks with suitable vendors.

Impact

Kalyan Silks stores equipped to efficiently package online orders and had smooth supply of Myntra & AJIO packaging material

Challenge #7: Setting up a designated ecommerce team for Kalyan Silks

While the onboarding was taken care of, Kalyan Silks still needed a designated and qualified team to look after the daily operations, dispute handling, reconciliation, and day-to-day marketing activities on marketplaces.

Solution

1. To get the brand started, Fynd educated the brand team on the necessary team structure to drive their e-commerce business forward.

2. Also assisted the brand in creating job descriptions, defining experience requirements, and salary slabs.

Impact

Kalyan Silks hired an ecommerce manager, marking the start of the right team in place and a robust process for efficient business management

Way Forward

Setting all systems in place, Fynd kick-started Kalyan Silks on a great note, and the brand made its successful debut entry in June EORS with just 150 styles. (Stay tuned for more on this in our upcoming blog on Kalyan Silk’s business growth on major sales events on 3P marketplaces.)

The partnership between Kalyan Silks and Fynd continues to evolve, with several initiatives planned for the future:

  • Listing complete range of styles on Myntra & AJIO, catering to a wider customer base
  • Plugging-in Kalyan Silks’ website on Magento with Fynd’s omnichannel platform, ensuring a seamless online shopping experience for customers
  • Warehouse integration on Myntra’s PPMP model for maximizing inventory listing and enhancing order hoping
  • Scaling the monthly e-commerce business, driving sustainable growth and profitability for the brand

Conclusion

By leveraging Fynd's expertise and consultative approach, Kalyan Silks overcame barriers and embraced new avenues for growth and success in the dynamic world of ecommerce.

This case study showcases how traditional names can embark on digital transformation with a forward-thinking approach. It is great learning for other brands in the same domain who may be daunted by the challenges they foresee on 3P marketplaces.

To further address the apprehensions of traditional brands, the case study also highlights how a neo ecommerce brand can be well supported by value-added services and the consultative role of a holistic omnichannel partner like Fynd, and help you sail smoothly through all hiccups in your journey. 

Reach out to our experts and help them understand your needs and curate an onboarding plan for your omnichannel expansion on India’s leading marketplaces like Myntra, AJIO, Nykaa, Nykaa Fashion, Tata CLiQ, Tata CLiQ Luxury, Amazon, Flipkart, Google Merchant Center, CRED, and MagicPin.

Customer Story
Kalyan Silks - draping 3P marketplaces success by breaking transition to transformation
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