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Why Jaypore is going offline

As the e-tailer opens its first physical store in New Delhi, co-founder Shilpa Sharma explains the perks of cross-platform retailing

The new Jaypore store in Delhi.
The new Jaypore store in Delhi.

The e-store Jaypore, which sources and curates everything from home linen to jewellery from over 500 crafts communities around the country, opened its first physical store in New Delhi’s Greater Kailash area last week. Within the sprawling two-storeyed space, tablets will facilitate in-store browsing, allowing customers to find related products. Lounge spoke to Shilpa Sharma, co-founder and head of product curation and retail at Jaypore, about the way digital and physical interfaces complement each other. Edited excerpts:

At a time when retailers are moving to digital retailing platforms, why did you decide to open a physical store?

Jaypore is visited considerably by older women, aged 35 and up, who might be consuming a lot of social media in the form of Facebook and Instagram but not particularly spending a lot of time shopping online in a way that 25-year-olds might. We find that our customers care for being able to touch and feel something before buying it. This is as an extension of the digital platform, to allow a more tactile experience.

So the digital and physical platforms complement each other.

Absolutely. There are arguments on both ends. The range we can offer online is far more than a finite physical place would allow. But the physical store creates a sense of comfort and trust with the brand, and gives you the opportunity to experience what’s special about a craft, let’s say, the quality of the weave. We are looking at our offline interactions as an enabler to drive traffic to the website because that’s where the variety is. We can also learn from the physical store. We can get instant responses to products in an offline space that are not possible online.

What has been the biggest challenge in going offline?

People have gotten used to constant updates in collections online. The physical store is meant to be a representation of the online store. For that, it also needs to be a dynamic space where we will bring in new products on a weekly basis. We don’t want people to come in and say, “Oh! This is what we saw here last time."

Another challenge is that people are used to seeing styled ensembles; looks that are creatively put together, jewellery that is coordinated with the outfits. The physical store would always have the challenge of replicating that experience offline.

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