“Patience and foresight are the two most important qualities in business,” said Henry Ford.
Being able to foresee the “next big thing” can be a valuable business skill, and that’s what brought Headphone Zone online.
Raghav, a 9th-gen entrepreneur, started Headphone Zone as a retail store in a shopping mall and transitioned it into an online brand in 2014. But let’s take a step back and look at Raghav’s journey to creating one of India’s largest online headphone stores.
After graduating from Singapore Management University, Raghav decided to join his family business of distributing and marketing audio-video accessories. He quickly realized how the big sellers in the headphones category—Reliance, Croma, and the like—were unable to provide an immersive experience that audiophiles wanted.
Raghav was convinced he could improve an Indian headphone buyer’s experience, which led him to start the first Headphone Zone store in Bangalore’s Garuda Mall.
Headphone Zone quickly opened new retail stores in several Indian cities, but soon, Raghav realized how offline retail was losing out to online stores that offered better deals.
This is when he brought Headphone Zone online with KartRocket.
Shortly after, Raghav also started another online brand for selling natural soap bars and similar products with Shopify. Impressed with their experience on Shopify, the team also migrated Headphone Zone to Shopify. Headphone Zone has since been a Shopify store and is now an enterprise client, and as we’ll see later, has leveraged several Shopify features to become a category leader.
We spoke with Raghav about Headphone Zone’s journey, why he chose Shopify, and what has made him stick with Shopify for eight years and counting.
Headphone Zone’s success strategy: Commitment to customer service and content-rich product pages
Raghav credits content-rich product pages as a big part of Headphone Zone’s success. Right from day one, Raghav’s goal was to populate product pages with the best content anyone would find on the internet for a specific product; content that was authoritative, exhaustive, and trustworthy.
Headphone Zone has a 160-point checklist for each product that goes live. That’s a lot of data. But the depth of the data makes their content rich and earns them brownie points with search engines. This detailing also makes it easier for their customers to easily gather the information they need to make decisions. This results in better searchability and better customer experience.
While the payoffs are big, so much content can be difficult to manage not just while taking the product live, but also for editing and updating it once it’s live. Shopify makes this management easier for Headphone Zone with Shopify Metafields.
So, what are Shopify Metafields?
Metafields allows businesses to build a repository of product information that can be used on any product page where it adds value or context. It gives them agility by allowing them to change product page elements in bulk and improving interoperability between themes.
After moving to Shopify 2.0, Headphone Zone has added over 200 metafields to its product pages. Raghav also hopes to capitalize on the recently-launched customer and order metafields for taking their marketing and UX up a notch.
Another big element of Headphone Zone’s marketing strategy is its undeterred commitment to offering top-notch customer service, says Raghav.
During the initial months, Raghav and his team interacted with customers themselves. They’d help customers with all sorts of questions and requests — returns, order status, and even making recommendations. It’s that commitment to customer service that has helped the brand grow its loyal customer base over time.
Getting in front of the right crowdHeadphone Zone’s marketing strategy has evolved over the past eight years. They’re now spending more on Google and Facebook marketing than before, and it has been a major growth driver for them, says Raghav.
Headphone Zone has been marketing digitally for over six years now, but they have always had an in-house marketing team.
“If we’re an ecommerce store, then doing digital marketing is a core part of our business. You can’t be a shopkeeper and outsource running the shop to somebody else,” says Raghav.
While it took the team a while to learn digital marketing from scratch, it proved to be vital to their success. Raghav believes that having in-house digital marketing expertise is valuable for ecommerce businesses because it is the combination of domain, market and digital marketing knowledge that makes online customer acquisition successful.
Experimentation during the initial days helped Raghav and his team keep up with the constantly evolving online space. They were on the ground, seeing first-hand what works best for Headphone Zone, and pivoting their strategy as they kept learning.
Dodging ecommerce complexities with ShopifyRaghav loves how simple it is to run an online store with Shopify even if you have no tech or UI/UX experience. Headphone Zone is a fairly large and complicated website, and migrating it without professional help was only possible because of Shopify’s ease of use.
As Raghav explains:
“I love the fact that Shopify allows us to run an online store with zero tech or UX/UI guys. In fact, we don’t even feel the need to go to a Shopify Partner or expert and instead have even done the entire migration to Shopify 2.0 ourselves. And our website is not the easiest to migrate.”
While they don’t feel the need to tap into the Partners ecosystem, Raghav believes that the community and ecosystem we’ve created is Shopify’s biggest strength. Via Shopify, Raghav believes he gets access to solutions created by some of the best developers and UX designers from across the globe who are hard at work trying to solve some of the biggest challenges and complexities in the ecommerce world.
While Raghav loves how Shopify makes things easy, even for the most complex websites, he also likes the comprehensiveness of Shopify’s offerings. Specifically, he likes the value that Shopify apps bring to the table for ecommerce store owners. Raghav has been aggressively using apps for Headphone Zone ever since he migrated the store.
How aggressively, you ask?
At one point, Raghav was spending $1,000 a month on apps. He recalls being recommended to make the switch to Shopify Plus by a Shopify team member to reduce his total spending on apps.
Raghav agreed to switch and has been a Shopify Plus business-owner since, but he continues to evolve his app stack by experimenting with apps.
Headphone Zone’s app arsenal
Headphone Zone has been leveraging the power of apps right from the beginning. They have used some of their apps for years to simplify processes and improve their store experience. Curious what Headphone Zone has up its sleeve when it comes to apps and which ones you can adopt? We give you the highlights below.
Front-end apps are ones that your customers can interact with in your store. Ideally, these should either deliver a better experience to your customers, or help them take action faster. Following are the front-end apps Headphone Zone uses:
- Judge.me: A product review app that lets your customers give you a rating based on their experience with your brand. Reviews act as social proof and are a key asset in improving your brand’s trustworthiness.
- VideWise: An app that helps you embed videos on product pages. VideoWise improves engagement and conversion rates with its interactive video player that can turn videos shoppable.
Back-end apps are ones that you can use internally. They make operations, accounting, and other functions of your business simpler. Following are the back-end apps Headphone Zone uses:
- Data Export Reports: The app lets you export data for accounting, payment, inventory, and other data. It gives you a quick summary and detailed reports, helps filter and sort data, and lets you create your own custom fields.
- FOMO: An app that displays customer activity, including reviews and purchases on your storefront. It has a marked psychological impact on a visitor, especially if your store gets a lot of traffic. FOMO has a 4.9 rating on GetApp and a 100% recommendation rate. If you want to use the FOMO strategy on your store, the FOMO app is certainly worthy of consideration.
- Matrixify: An app that helps you shave hours of manual work by giving you more control over your store’s data. Extremely helpful when you need to bulk update a specific field without changing other data. For instance, when you want to update prices for a flash sale during a small window of time.
Ready to transform your offline business into an online, scalable store?
Raghav’s foresight almost a decade ago prompted him to bring his offline business online. Evidently, he made the right move.
Shopify offers an excellent platform for bringing your business online, no matter how complicated your requirements. Being a part of Shopify opens the door to a world-class ecommerce platform that offers cutting-edge solutions for every challenge.
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