When the world’s biggest direct seller Amway signed up Bollywood actor-cum-director Farhan Akhtar as the face of its flagship brand Nutrilite a year ago, he was the company’s first brand ambassador in two decades of its presence in India. For more than a year, Amway went all out running TV, print and outdoor campaigns.
The high visibility campaigns would set the tone for the company to pursue its omnichannel strategy to reach more consumers. In the past one year, Amway not only went online – moving from being a B2B player to a B2C player; but also set up 32 pick-and-pay stores across several cities in India where consumers can walk in and pick up their products directly. Their target is to have 50 such stores by the end of 2018.
It’s only natural that Anshu Budhraja, CEO, Amway India is excited about the company’s new strategy. “We want to place the company in a position of strength where it is well-entrenched in the click and brick model. These consumer-centric stores are located in high footfall mom-and-pop setting where the brand will have high visibility,” says Budhraja.
He is quick to clarify that at the core of its being, Amway will remain a direct selling company and the new channels will help the existing direct sellers. “I would say it complements my channel, and doesn’t conflict with it. Any consumer can walk into the store and buy Amway products seamlessly like in any other store. At the back end, we assign a local distributor to help customers know more about the products that they can buy later. The distributor then becomes a good touch point for further discussions about the brand,” he says.
Richa Kumar, who has been an Amway distributor for the past two years, feels that the opening up of stores and sales via the company’s website have helped generate additional customer leads without effort. “The contact details of direct buyers are shared with us. In my experience, some of the customers have shown interest in engaging with the distributor to know more about our range or purchase products in the future. The discounts and incentives are given only if you become a part of the chain, so they continue to enga