Offline acceleration: Earth Rhythm prioritising kiosk expansion to reach new consumers
Earth Rhythm, formerly known as Soapworks India, was launched in 2015, by former banker Harini Sivakumar.
On April 22, the company announced that it had raised $8m in its Series A funding round led by FSN E-Commerce Ventures, the firm behind leading beauty retailer Nykaa.
Nykaa, which started out as an e-commerce platform, has been accelerating its physical footprint in India and today has over 100 brick and mortar outlets.
The company’s move into physical retail will be essential for Earth Rhythm, which has trying to expand its offline footprint.
“I think after reaching a certain scale if we don't go offline, we're missing out on a huge chunk of the population. There are some consumers who are not on the social media channels at all and for us to reach them we have to be present offline,” said Sivakumar.
Earth Rhythm recently launched its first kiosks which have brought in sales of around $6,400 to $7,700 within the first few weeks of launching.
“This is a very decent start. With no marketing spend at all we’re able to generate this revenue easily. We already have plans to open around 50 kiosks across India,” said Sivakumar.
At the same time, offline channels can help the brand circumvent another growing challenge – customer acquisition.
“The customer acquisition costs are so heavy these days. Now, with each new offline transaction, we are collecting customer data that will be utilised by our customer retention team to ensure we are staying in touch with the customer and try to encourage them to make a repeat purchase online,” said Sivakumar.
She added that the partnership with Nykaa would help the firm accelerate its brick-and-mortar ambitions.
“Being a small digital brand, trying to go offline would take us a lot more time and energy. Partnering with someone like Nykaa would make it slightly easier for us in terms of understanding the tricks of the trade and expanding offline much quicker.”
While there will be a huge focus on offline, the company will also be investing in digital developments.
For instance, the firm is building a new website as well as a mobile application.
“I think today, not many of us access a desktop website anymore. A mobile app would give us entry into the consumers’ phone and when we can sit in their phone, we will be able to reach them through a push notification – that’s the power of building a very good app,” said Sivakumar.
She added that the company plans to reinforce its loyalty programme.
“We are a brand with very high repeat purchase rates – about 47% to date. And this means we can build very good loyalty programs that consumers can benefit from.”
Product development partnership
In addition to being a retailer, Nykaa also develops its own beauty products, such as Nykaa Naturals and Nykaa Cosmetics.
With its capabilities in research and development (R&D) and manufacturing, Earth Rhythm also hope that in the future it will be able to support Nykaa in developing and building products in the future.
“Manufacturing is one big thing we can bring to the table. We will explore synergies of manufacturing and R&D for Nykaa in the future,” said Sivakumar.