Offline fabric retailer Fabricroot takes its business online with Zoho Flow
In 1987, Subhash Ahuja started Fabricroot in Delhi, India. Being a first generation fabric entrepreneur, he started selling fashion fabric out of a 500 sq ft shop in New Delhi. His son, Siddharth Ahuja, joined him in 2017. Over the years, Fabricroot has built a strong and loyal customer base by offering a variety of quality fabrics from across India at an affordable cost.
The challenge: Starting an online store
After joining the family business, Siddharth soon realized the value they were offering to their customers and wanted to offer them more. He started by expanding their product offerings. They added suiting, shirting, ladies suits, saree, and manufacturing fabrics— along with piece garment items—to their existing portfolio. In 2020, Siddharth's passion project of offering the same inventory online and offline was realized when he launched their online store on Shopify, ensuring their fabrics were accessible to customers all across India.
"Since the start, our business has functioned only on pen and paper. Our system was never designed to incorporate technology. Our stockkeeping was based on memory and entered in books at the end of the day." - Siddharth Ahuja, CEO, Fabricroot
The need for a custom solution
The process of selling fabric is unique, in that it's measured by length rather than weight. After a customer has selected their desired fabric and specified its length, an employee will then cut the material accordingly. The cut fabric is then sent to the billing counter along with a piece of paper containing the details required to create an invoice. This is a tedious process, as the details of the purchase have to be entered manually to create an invoice. The other challenge in this process is maintaining inventory in real time.
"The biggest challenge for about 95% of fabric stores across India is that there is no solution catering to their needs. One needs to build a custom solution, and they're expensive, so they still prefer to work with pen and paper." - Siddharth Ahuja, CEO, Fabricroot
Even though the process was tedious, it worked for them. But soon they realized, to maintain inventory in real time across both stores, they needed a custom solution. That's when they started exploring Zoho's product offerings and got in touch with one of Zoho's partners, Kuuljiit and Harnoor Abroll, from TruAct.
The solution: Integrate their custom-built solution with their online store using Flow
Fabricroot started its digital journey by creating a custom inventory and billing solution in Zoho Creator. They entered all their stock as SKUs and created an organized inventory management system and process. This helped them keep track of their inventory and made their billing process more efficient.
Now the purchased material reaches the billing counter with a QR code, which helps them reduce the time required to create an invoice. Creating a custom solution also helped them manage their inventory for their offline store in real time.
But, even with this custom application in place, they were still facing a challenge in managing their inventory on their website. Their website was not able to take orders and had become a source for receiving purchase questions rather than sales orders. They had to manually check the availability of stock when a query was received, and then confirm the order, which required at least 3 hours.
When the inquiry couldn't be fulfilled, they had to reject it. This negatively impacted their customer base, customer loyalty, order confirmation rate, and brand reputation. Understanding the need for integration between their website and custom solution, TruAct suggested they explore Zoho Flow.
Using Zoho Flow, they integrated Fabricroot's Shopify website with their custom solution in Zoho Creator. With this integration, Fabricroot was finally able to take orders on its website. They were now not only able to display the available fabrics but also the available quality on their website.
Now, when they sell fabric offline or online, their stock gets updated in their custom solution and on their website automatically. This has ensured that their website receives sales orders and not purchase query requests.
"Zoho Flow has helped us add a new sales channel. It has helped us integrate our existing and new sales channels, and manage our inventory in real time." - Siddharth Ahuja, CEO, Fabricroot
Benefits and ROI
Fabricroots has seen a 65% increase in their online purchases and an increase of about 85% in recurring customer orders. They were able to achieve this by reducing customer purchase time from three hours to just a few seconds, all while maintaining their inventory in real time. Zoho Flow has not only helped them achieve all this but made Siddharth's passion project come to life.
Zoho Creator has helped effectively maintain and manage Fabricroot's inventory between their Shopify and physical store. Their manual process of maintaining and managing inventory was then automated using Zoho Flow. Without Zoho Flow, the project would have taken longer to integrate and encountered unknown challenges. Zoho Flow now acts as the backbone of their online business. - Harnoor Abroll, Technical and Operations Head, TruAct
Abroll Consulting and Technology (TruAct), a Zoho Premium Partner, helps businesses, across industries, adopt the Zoho Suite. With client relations at its core, they have created a niche for their services and become a preferred partner by offering relationships built around trust, reliability and uniqueness for their clients. They ensure that all their deliveries come with solution understanding, quality, innovation, collaboration, accountability, communication, consistency, and cost containment.