How learning digital strategies on Google Primer helped a watch startup

Co-Founder of Tsar Watches tells exchange4media how he implemented digital tools & techniques that he learnt on Google Primer app

TsarWatch

The increasing popularity of social media among Indian users over the last five years has led to rise of Facebook and Instagram stores where entrepreneurs share pictures of their products and put them up for sale. In addition, large e-commerce portals such as Amazon and Flipkart have become avenues for local sellers and the ecosystem for SMBs has exploded. 

Navigating this huge maze of the digital world becomes tough and complicated for everyone, especially small & medium-sized businesses with limited resources. This was around the same time that Abdul Kadir Bhandari along with his friends Haider Ali Lashkar and Abbas Akbari kickstarted their premium line of wooden watches - Tsar Watches. 

Even though they had very little background in digital marketing, Abdul, Abbas, and Haider knew that being present on all major platforms was basic hygiene for a startup like theirs. But they did not know the best strategy to make digital work for their venture. 

Abdul says that finding the right digital strategy was hard at first. “That was when I began using the Google Primer app.”  

The Google Primer app offers bite-sized, jargon-free business and marketing skills on the go. Abdul says that the tricks he learnt from the Primer app helped him compete with the legacy watch brands that own maximum market share.

He says as a young first-time entrepreneur, Google Primer became his go-to app for any doubts about digital marketing strategies. “The best part was that Primer was not limited to Google tools alone. The app helped with business strategies for other platforms, be it social media or e-commerce.” 

Abdul says that with the plethora of digital marketing tools that are now available, he is able to reach not just a local audience but also an international audience. Tsar Watches, launched in 2015, has shipping operations across the globe. Tsar Watches has an online-only approach because that’s where Abdul could “convert every penny invested,” he says. 

To him, the Primer lessons were sacrosanct. He says, “there was a time when I would shut down all my work for the day and learn new things on Primer. The very next day I would apply these new techniques to test them out by running pilots for a week.”

Abdul and his team have learnt and implemented influencer marketing, image building, PR strategies after reading about them on Primer. Tsar Watches also introduced a loyalty programme and a seven-day return policy based on tips from Primer. Where Primer really helped was with offering deep insights into digital tools and strategies, Abdul says. “We were aware of the various tools and how to use them, but the insights helped us tune our implementation of these tools.” 

Implementing digital business techniques as suggested by Google Prime has helped Tsar Watches bring in 80 per cent of its business online. “Half of our business comes directly from our website, 30 per cent from other marketplaces and 20% from offline sales,” reveals Abdul. “These are great numbers for us because these days it is very hard to get direct traffic to your website and selling directly to users.” 
 
He says that apart from the business strategies impacting revenue, what Primer has done is also help with sharper business communication techniques and helped Tsar Watches build trust among consumers. “We used to have a lot of returns earlier, now that has reduced significantly. And people trust our brand because of how we communicate with them.”

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