How often do you see a retailer directly connecting artists to customers? Happy Wagon is that rare marketplace where gifts are designed exclusively by various artists generated mainly for the millennials. In an era where social networking sites have become a source of income through thrift shops and social media marketing, Happy Wagon has successfully marked its presence in the industry with over 120,000 followers on Instagram.
In an exclusive interview with NewsKarnataka, the founder of Happy Wagon, Saurabh Sharma (30), expressed his journey with the brainchild. Launched in mid-2018, Happy Wagon has achieved 100 per cent growth every year! Speaking of the unique marketplace, the founder asserted that Happy Wagon works with renowned artists worldwide to design and create products that produce happiness and hone creativity in immeasurable bounds. “The objective of Happy Wagon is to spread happiness through design-led products,” he added.
What makes Happy Wagon different from other online retailers? Saurabh affirmed, “our exclusive partnerships with artists is what makes us unique. You find exclusive products and collections that are only designed in partnership with artists for Happy Wagon customers.” The number of 100,000 customers (and counting) substantiates his claim!
The pandemic has birthed many novel ideas that have transpired into entrepreneurship, business models, and so on. However, there is enough evidence that the lockdowns succeeded by the Covid – 19 elicited pandemic have driven many companies to losses.
In conversation about the same, the founder of Happy Wagon explained, “as social animals, the need for people to belong only increased during the pandemic. We were pleasantly surprised to see how our orders increased as more and more people wanted to shop online to send gifts to their loved ones. We came up with timely gift boxes to aid the growth.”
Social media: A prevailing business tool
On the other hand, social media has been a critical driver in Happy Wagon’s expansion and accessibility to wider demography in India. “We curate light-hearted content by various artists on our social media page and that brings a lot of eyeballs to our page. They learn about our values and what we stand for through social media posts,” Saurabh mentioned. This, in turn, provides the potential customers with a window or a hole to peep into Happy Wagon and its proceedings, especially with the ‘Reels’ feature on Instagram.
The dynamics between artists and customers
Social media has provided a space for artists that could help them directly connect with their potential customers. Happy Wagon utilises this space to recognise the artists’ interests and the younger generation’s demands. The founder contended that the team realised that artists create with a lot of passion that touches many people. Unfortunately, the whole manufacturing process, supply chain, and marketing aren’t easy for artists to manage independently.
“That is where we come in; we have built an experienced team of professionals who love bringing the artist’s work to life and helping it reach the masses. Through our manufacturing partnerships, we produce products, involve the artist in the sampling process so the output is something they can feel comfortable to put their name on,” he said. Apart from the difficulties in brand building, marketing, and growth, Happy Wagon, as affirmed by the founder, has risen above with its various strategies to overcome these challenges.
Honest reliability in their work and letting their customers be their advocates have proven beneficial in building its name for different types of gifts such as planners, calendars, mugs, Kitchen linen sets, etc. “We focused on improving our customer experience every step of the way, right from when they see one of our advertisements on social media to the time when they receive their order. Every touchpoint was thought through and redesigned to invoke happiness. This has surprisingly benefited us by customer referrals and great positive reviews, thereby helping us build a strong brand image and tackle growth challenges,” the founder maintained.
Speaking of future endeavours of Happy Wagon, the founder disclosed that they intend to enter new categories like art and crafts, pet accessories, kids gifting, and so on in the upcoming year. “We would like to work with more artists to expand the offering. We have heard a lot of people say there’s a limited selection of gifts for men, so probably this year we will try and bring in more gender-neutral products and designs as well,” Saurabh signed off.