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Ohi: D2C Brands Must Leverage Instant Commerce To Provide The Best Possible Customer Experience

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 26, 2021

Ohi offers D2C brands an intelligent fulfilment platform that allows them to give its customers sub-2hr delivery at a low cost in major cities. I met with Ben Jones, CEO and Founder of Ohi on how it all got started and what marketing leaders can learn and apply to their own businesses. 

Jones: “It was actually a very personal experience that caused me to start Ohi. I had a bad back injury quite a few years ago when I was in the UK that left me paralyzed for a period of time. During the recovery process from that I was very limited in terms of what I could do. I could not go to stores, and instead I had to order everything online. One of my biggest frustrations was that I could order from Amazon and get things the next day – or even the same day, but ordering from any other e-commerce brands I wanted to shop with would take at least three days which just felt like an eternity – I ended up getting the majority of my shopping on Amazon.”

It occurred to Ben that this was a misallocation of resources within e-commerce, with brands spending time, energy and money on a great pre-purchase experience on their website, brand, and marketing but not able to provide an effective post purchase experience.

Jones: “It’s how convenient is it? The brands interaction with the customer extends beyond checkout all the way through to when the customer opens up that box or that package. There was no good platform out there to enable brands to offer those amazing experiences. We use the phrase ‘instant commerce’. I think it is inevitable that consumers are going to expect everything they buy online to come in less than an hour.”

Although currently being driven as a trend by larger marketplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target all investing heavily in delivery services, Jones argues that every independent e-commerce brand also needs to compete with that same convenience – an effect accelerated by the Pandemic.

Jones: “ I think Covid has massively accelerated the desire from consumers for what I experienced due to injury. You’re stuck at home. You’re unable to go to the store. One of the things that we found when we started out is that when you’re getting product to consumers quickly – our average delivery time is less than an hour – the consumer is willing to stay engaged with the brand in a way that they’re just not with any traditional shipping option. We opened up this new space that has never really existed before. That’s what we’re really excited about.”

Ohi aims to help brands offer unique experiences to their customers from checkout all the way to the box opening – an exciting proposition that can be further expanded upon provided the company can find the right talent. 

Jones: “We’re growing very quickly. We’ve doubled revenue in the last four months and are continuing a very rapid pace of growth. Much of my time right now is spent hiring. We’ve gone from about 11 people at the start of 2021 to number 50 joining today and we continue to grow the team. We’re also going to be expanding geographically later this year. We’re currently in five markets within the US. We’re in Brooklyn, Manhattan, L.A., San Francisco and Chicago, and we will be in at least three other markets by year end. We’re going to continue that rapid expansion across the US and then start looking globally. There’s a massive opportunity in Latin America, in Europe and the Middle East.” 

For this leader of a scaling organization, belief is clearly key to motiving the team as it grows. 

Jones: “I also have always had very high conviction that this is going to happen, so it is exciting to see that vision coming to reality. The thing that I like most about building it is the team. It’s the coolest thing to have all these really smart people to reach out and say they love what you’re doing and want to help build it. Obviously as a start-up there’s always things that are constantly going wrong that you need to fix and improve. It is definitely a roller coaster with highs and lows. But overall, I feel confident in what we’re building.”

With over 30 brands on the Ohi platform already, it is clear that the company is on a very exciting trajectory. The company’s focus on ensuring a great customer experience means that they come back again and again. It is not hard to imagine consumers getting addicted to this type of service and buy even more due to it – Ohi’s own data shows that cumulative repeat purchase rates can go up by as much as 27% for thier customers vs. traditional delivery options.  

Ohi has recognised that there is a new type of consumer who is looking for an instant delivery window and is a lesson to other entrepreneurs – it is possible to compete and come up with innovative solutions despite larger companies competing in the space.


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