NUT got a golden opportunity to have answer-question session with Bagallery, the biggest Fashion and Beauty e-commerce shopping centre in Pakistan. A few lines on Bagallery’s goals, commitments and future vision are appended below:
NUT: How can we introduce Bagallery and what are its target audience?
Being the biggest Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle e-commerce shopping destination, we started as a destination for women shoppers to buy imported beauty and fashion brands and Bagallery has been transformed into a preferred destination for women and men alike for their beauty and fashion shopping needs.
NUT: What are Bagallery expected sales this year?
While we can’t disclose actual sales however, we are projected to reach 30 million people, cross 50,000 SKUs with 2000+ brands.
NUT: What is your response to unsatisfied customers and how have you improved your services?
We have seen our customer service get impacted recently, however, it is important to understand why the issues happened. COVID-19 hit which disrupted our entire supply chain and demand for online shopping quadrupled. This put immense strain on our operations and customer service. However, we have significantly improved our customer service by delivering over 90% of the orders within promised time. We have also launched an omni-channel CRM helpdesk which enables customers to reach us on call, live chat and emails which will give customers the confidence and ease of getting their problems resolved urgently.
NUT: How can we distinguish Bagallery from the rest of the e-commerce businesses?
Bagallery has the biggest authentic portfolio of the categories that we operate in i.e. makeup, skincare, haircare, beauty tools, watches, fragrances, fashion accessories, shoes & bags, home décor etc. We also have one of the most distinct marketing strategy, with 50% of our sales coming from influencers and social commerce.
NUT: Your future vision, challenges in the Pakistan market?
We have recently launched our Vision 2030 that states: “Be the #1 online shopping destination for Costumers, Fashion, Beauty and Home Decor products in Pakistan. delivering authentic and quality products with best-in-class customer service.
With this vision, we aim to acheive PKR 33 Billion PKR ($200 Million) sales by 2030 creating 2500+ jobs in Pakistan, equally for men and women.
NUT: What is your Product Procurement process?
It is important to understand that step 1 for us is to ensure 100% authenticity of all the products that are listed on the website. Our imported products are either sourced directly from brand websites, official distributors or resellers. Our local products are sourced from local distributors and brands. We have a strict quality control team who checks for any lapses in product quality and frequently furnish proof of purchases and payments if the customer’s request it.
NUT: What about your warehouses, expansion plans and management?
We currently have one warehouse which we recently expanded in Karachi. The facility is spread across 10,000 sq ft. with an option for further expansion. Under project Punjab, we are also building a warehouse facility in Lahore. This will not only enable a closer proximity to consumers and sellers in Punjab but will help us reduce lead times and costs for the business.
NUT: What would you says about your business/customer support for the local industry?
There are 2 major initiatives that we have taken in the past 1 year to support the local industry, specifically women entrepreneurs. The women entrepreneur program at Bagallery allows women owned brands to have a dedicated section with additional visibility and marketing extended to them. Secondly, we have also pivoted with over 50% of the brands on the website now sourced from Pakistani entrepreneurs.
NUT: What do you expect from government for e-commerce in Pakistan?
We think there is a serious need to reinforce the e-commerce policy. The problem there is two-fold:
- E-Commerce business are not aware about the policies specifically pertaining to taxation
- The country lacks government sponsored incubators for entrepreneurs who want to work in an environment where they’ll get talent, investment and tech resources.
NUT: Are local investors helping Bagallery’s startup?
I think while the local VC culture is still in its nascent stage, it is fast growing. Lakson Investments have been of huge help to us with their initial belief in the startup helping us raise $900,000 in our pre-series A round of funding. For any startup in hyper growth, working capital is extremely important to sustain the high levels of growth. LIVC have also helped us in developing partnerships with experts across the industry.
NUT: Can Pakistan develop such e-commerce platforms for worldwide services?
The biggest problem in expanding internationally is the lack of a regulated payment infrastructure. A robust and transparent payment gateway will remove the ambiguity and inconvenience of the current system. Secondly, while there are a lot of brilliant businesses who are able to export their services and products, the government needs to be more involved in giving them access to foreign markets and buyers.
NUT: Advice for new entrepreneurs.
First of all patience. For any young entrepreneur it is important to understand that success is never achieved in a day. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Teams will deliver, not individuals. A good team is ultimately what will separate a successful startup from a startup that fails.