afaqs!

22feet to pen down William Penn's digital story

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 31, 2011
The retail chain selling writing instrument brands such as Sheaffer, Mont Blanc, Caran d'Ache, Lamy and Cartier plans to tap the e-commerce opportunity.

22feet, the Bengaluru-based digital agency, has bagged the digital duties of William Penn. For the uninitiated, William Penn - the World Pen Store, is a multi-brand retail store chain that sells premium brands of writing instruments, desktop and lifestyle accessories through its 14 stores spread across various locations in four cities -- Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad. It is a distributor and reseller of various writing instrument brands such as Sheaffer, Mont Blanc, Caran d'Ache, Lamy, Waterman, Omas and Cartier.

This is the first time that the retail chain has hired a digital agency to create and execute its digital strategy. Nikhil Ranjan, managing director, William Penn, tells afaqs! in an email response, "We have worked with a web agency in the past, but that was mainly used for the maintenance of our website (Williampenn.net)."

The website was primarily utilised to showcase various brands and models that the retail chain deals in. In the future, e-commerce will be one of the main focus areas of the web presence of William Penn.

"The digital medium will be leveraged to create alternative sales channels for William Penn's brands, apart from offline retail stores," says Vineet Gupta, managing partner, 22feet, in conversation with afaqs!.

Ranjan adds, "We want to create an online experience like our retail store on the e-commerce site. The agency will create and launch special applications such as 'Gift Selector' on the website to facilitate the customers to buy suitable products for different occasions."

He adds, "Apart from the 20 international brands available through us, we will also offer special deals and discounts to our website visitors and try concepts such as clearance sale, which are quite popular on the international websites in our category."

The agency will revamp and re-launch Williampenn.net, with a strong focus on e-commerce, in February.

Apart from revamping the website, there are plans to use Facebook to engage consumers, create awareness and showcase the collection of pen brands.

Says Ranjan, "There is so much to a pen - its history, making, rare facts and other nuances which we can reveal and discuss on Facebook and create a community of pen aficionados. Facebook is also a perfect medium to inform pen lovers about our unique events such as 'Pen Clinic' and 'Ink sampling' activities."

The retail chain may also consider the launch of mobile applications and leverage display and search marketing to reach out to more consumers, Ranjan indicates.

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