EP #2: Mastering Customer Experience In A Hyperlocal Business

EP #2: Mastering Customer Experience In A Hyperlocal Business

About This Episode

Abhishek leads User Growth at Dunzo; a company backed by Google India. He is an ex-Sokratian who handled the e-commerce team (SOFIE) for scaling early-stage e-commerce business. Abhishek believes that growth can’t be a hack and rather is a continuous experimentation process.

In this episode…

We speak to Abhishek Patil about his journey as a marketing professional and discuss the nitty-gritty of growth marketing, which includes:

i. Exploring specifics of the hyperlocal business’ growth strategy
ii. Understanding how Dunzo tackles its churn rate
iii. Diving deep into Dunzo’s customer engagement and retention strategy
iv. Battling challenges in the hyperlocal industry
v. Keeping up with the ever-increasing customer demand-supply chain


Here are our top 3 picks from the episode:

1. Growth is overrated and how to rate it correctly

Priyam: I wanted to get down into business and understand what is the definition of growth at Dunzo? Almost everyone in the business today knows what Dunzo is so I wouldn’t linger around the business model, there must be certain KPIs for success which would have been defined, tell us a little bit more about that.

Abhishek: Sure! I feel growth is a largely over-rated term in the current startup scenario, everyone wants to go ahead and look at transaction numbers or GMV numbers, right? Very few companies actually pay attention to how unit economics looks at the transaction level. For us, Growth is priority one: how do you get sustainable while growing at the transaction level. The major KPIs are always around the number of orders but the secondary KPI which we follow is how much are we burning from our pockets to run that transaction. We also understand the demand and supply in an efficient way to get the demand density in order to have the correct set of channels and categories. Around this time last year, we were doing 100 to 4000 orders and now we are attending to 20x of that number. This number could have been achieved in 6 months but we wanted to get the unit economics right.

Priyam: Amazing! It’s so refreshing to hear that. All of the vanity metrics that most companies are after, Dunzo is going beyond that. The factors which you mentioned like unit economics of the transactions really do have a far greater value.

2. Building brand loyalty through customer experience

Priyam: People in India are very price sensitive that’s one fact, but for an evolved consumer if he/she had a string of great experiences, do you think the brand loyalty comes into the picture purely on the basis of a great experience compared to the other competitors?

Abhishek: So you are about Aha! Moments right? Giving Aha! Moments to users then looking at retention and brand loyalty. I am not really buying into the concept of brand loyalty but if you ask me then there are 2 aspects of it; behavioral loyalty and emotional loyalty. Emotional Loyalty is only built by the experiences, it can’t be built by giving discounts. However, Behavioral Loyalty can be built only through the product and not experiences. If you have a product, just make sure that you always have a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) factor built-in. You can then go ahead and build emotional loyalty on top of it. There are 3 types of customers; a price-sensitive customer, an experience craving customer and an early adopter. I don’t see for any one of these that there will be a brand loyalty if something better and faster comes up. At least these people might go and try the other product multiple times before taking a call on which one to choose. Brands need to build better and better products, they can build on top of existing products but they really need to look at the problem which they are going to solve and how to convey the same to the user.

Priyam: Thank you so much for the insight. I think what you are saying and what we are observing is that the customer has evolved. All of the hunky-dory features of the products have gone out of the window. Absolutely!

3. The importance of personalized experiences in the customer-centric world

Priyam: What is the importance of personalized experiences for you? So many people are talking about Hyper-personalization and just-in-time communication for the right users. Is Dunzo focussing on delivering a personalized experience at scale or is it something that Dunzo has plans for the future?

Abhishek: Imagine you are a last-mile service, would you want your service to be reliable or personalized? Leaving the use-case of Dunzo aside, let’s take an example of an online diamond portal, there you need to be very personalized also the cost needs to match the buyer’s budget along with the experience. In this case, personalization is necessary and will make a lot of sense. It’s mainly the context that holds importance while doing any kind of marketing or re-marketing. If you think that personalization is going to jump up your customer experience then you should definitely do it.

Priyam: True. So the idea is to think long-term?

Abhishek: Yes, Absolutely.

Closing Notes

This detailed conversation with Abhishek Patil from Dunzo has put forth many crucial insights on building a customer-oriented product, handling the churn through data analysis, scaling growth teams, the importance of an engaged customer and a lot more.

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Abhishek Patil Product and Growth, CRED

Abhishek Patil is in the Product and Growth team at CRED - a members-only credit card bill payment platform. He was earlier heading User Growth at Dunzo - a hyperlocal delivery startup backed by Google India. He is also an ex-Sokratian where he handled the eCommerce team (SOFIE) responsible for scaling the business. Abhishek believes that growth can't be a hack and rather is a continuous experimentation process.



Priyam Jha Lead - Brand Marketing, WebEngage

Priyam looks after Brand Marketing at WebEngage, learning the ropes of building iconic brands in the B2B space. He is striving to develop EngageCast into the leading podcast for user retention & engagement with cutting-edge, top-quality content. When he isn't busy looking after brand marketing & PR initiatives, he likes to dabble in a bit of photography, listen to rock music, and indulge in PC gaming.