In order to reach a wider range of audience, e-commerce portals are now planning to go offline. After Flipkart’s plan of going offline to target smaller cities, now furniture marketplace Urban Ladder is also planning to go offline.
The company is looking to widen offline distribution channels beyond company-owned centres and streamline product offerings. Along with the offline route, the company is also going to create a new brand identity.
With this move, the Bengaluru-based start-up is aiming to evolve from an online furniture store into a brand. As per the company’s CEO, they are awaiting approval from the department of industrial policy and promotion for its single-brand retail licence.
Urban Ladder, which is already listed on online marketplaces such as Amazon India and Flipkart, is planning to launch at least three experience centres over the next 8-12 months in Bengaluru. Further, the company is also exploring large format retail stores by setting up pop-up stalls.
Ashish Goel, Urban Ladder’s co-founder and chief executive, said,
Multiple customer segment identification is the key. Somebody else can own the distribution channel—for instance Amazon and Flipkart. There are also a few things we are trying to do offline, beyond the experience stores, say pop-up stores among others. One piece is partnering with product brands which are operating in the broader space that we are operating. The other is point of sale partnerships with retail stores.
The company has also initiated a branding overhaul with the creation of a new logo and tag line to support its transition from an online furniture store to a brand. Christened “Let’s Create”, the new identity is expected to help the company retain its premium positioning despite the presence of the company on multiple marketplaces.
The new logo of Urban Ladder will have an empty box — symbolising an empty room, with the text below it. The company has also changed the colour of its logo to orange from a combination of orange and grey earlier.
Sanjay Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer of the company, said,
The idea is to convey the message that Urban ladder will bring back the joy of creating, starting with your homes. We call it Let’s Create, where we create homes that reflect the consumer as an individual.
Urban Ladder was founded in 2012 by Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa. So far, the company has raised $77 million in 4 funding rounds from around 7 investors. It competes with Pepperfry, which has so far raised more than $160 million from various investors.