Rupa Ganguli, Founder and CEO of Inclusive Trade, a United Kingdom-based e-commerce platform that allows consumers to shop by impact to benefit social, environmental and development goals.
Using sustainable trade guidelines from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Inclusive Trade connects customers with ethical, high-quality fashion, accessories and homeware created by artisans based around the world.
Immediately after the pandemic began impacting “business-as-usual” in London, the team at Inclusive Trade shifted to rely more even heavily on digital tools to keep the business functioning successfully.
Internally, Ganguli pointed to Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp as essential tools in day-to-day operations. “I don’t think we could survive without these. This is what is keeping our discussions live with our suppliers and brands as far as Guatemala and Singapore,” she explained.
Productivity is another priority when it comes to digital strategies and mechanisms. “Without a planning app like Monday.com, we would find it really hard to work remotely and still stay focused and on track,” noted Ganguli.
From product selections to buying decisions, these communications tools are enabling the business to stay connected to their staff and various parts of their supply chain in the most transparent way possible. Video conferencing is also allowing Inclusive Trade to participate in e-trainings with their network. “One of our brands ran a training on immunity building using natural products which was attended by a number of interested customers.”
In response to widespread uncertainties, Inclusive Trade expanded its use of email tools such as newsletters. “We are able to stay connected and send positive messages and stay in touch with our global community,” Ganguli shared, while encouraging customers to support her business and the entrepreneurs who sell on her e-commerce platform.
Further, social media groups, such as their I #shopbyimpact® group on Facebook, enhance Ganguli’s ability to speak with their community in real-time. It is used to exchange views and support one another through suggestions, recommendations and debates on sustainable lifestyle and ethical shopping.
In light of constantly changing surroundings, Inclusive Trade is staying up-to-date by pivoting marketing strategies accordingly through social media and their website. Towards the beginning of the pandemic, they introduced “Stay Home Essentials,” a compiled collection of products to make staying at home orders and social distancing easier, including items encouraging staying positive, fit and stylish while at home.