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Case Study: Launching Deepika Padukone’s New DTC Brand With an International Shopify Plus Store

Find out how we leveraged our long-standing experience in Shopify development and international ecommerce to bring Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone’s new global beauty and cosmetics brand to life.

Written By
Hannah Smiddy

TL;DR

  • Co-founded by Deepika Padukone and Jigar K Shah, the self-care start-up 82°E is a modern celebrity brand with an international presence.
  • Swanky leveraged its expertise in Shopify Plus development and global ecommerce to build an international online store for a worldwide audience, powered by a first-class tech stack.
  • The brand achieved its month-one target within the first five-and-a-half days of launching, shipping to 30 countries in the process.

82°E: A DTC startup with global ambitions

82°E (pronounced Eighty-Two East) is Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone’s first foray into direct to consumer (DTC) skincare and cosmetics. Together with Jigar K Shah, Padukone founded the company in 2021.

The brand’s core focus is high-quality, high-performance skincare to help users “build simple, joyful and effective everyday rituals to care for the health of [their] skin”.

The self-care start-up has raised $7.5 million in seed funding, led by DSG Consumer Partners and IDEO Ventures.1 The funding round also saw participation from angel investors.

The 82°E website sells various skincare products, including cleansers, toner serum and sunscreen drops. These are all vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and have been carefully formulated and clinically tested for long-lasting results.

Why Shopify Plus was a perfect fit for this new DTC brand

Leading brands in the beauty and cosmetics ecommerce industry, including global names like HiSmile, Kylie Cosmetics and Swanky client Wilkinson Sword, trust Shopify Plus to power their international businesses.

Below, we explore some of the key reasons why the platform was considered a viable fit for 82°E and its celebrity co-founder.

Reliability and performance

With its 99.99% average uptime and unlimited bandwidth and transactions, Shopify Plus is more than capable of serving up a seamless digital experience to a high volume of visitors.

This is perfect for the business of a fan-favourite Bollywood icon who’s amassed a loyal following of over 74 million Instagram followers (for context, that’s more than the likes of Harry Potter star Emma Watson, best-selling music artist Lady Gaga, and the most followed Australian on Instagram, actor Chris Hemsworth).

The 82°E team can face their highly anticipated product drops with confidence, without having to worry about slow site speed or even store downtime. Delivering a flawless ecommerce experience to users, even during peak events, will ensure the brand wins conversions and secures customers’ trust.

International commerce capabilities

Padukone and Shah’s vision was to establish 82°E as a brand that is “born in India, for the world”. Their goal was for people across the globe to be able enjoy their products, whilst remaining authentic to their Indian heritage.

For brands wanting to sell directly to consumers all over the world, Shopify Plus is an excellent choice. The platform’s flexible and continuously evolving technology empowers retailers to deliver an exceptional online shopping experience, no matter where your customers are in the world. Ultimately, Shopify makes it easy to “go global without the guesswork”.

You can learn more about going global on the platform in our guide to international ecommerce on Shopify Plus.

Large ecosystem of apps and third-party integrations

Shopify Plus is well known for its industry-leading ecosystem of apps and third party integrations. In fact, there are north of 8,000 apps available for brands to choose from, unlocking huge potential for innovation. Solution providers typically take a Shopify-first approach when developing new products and iterations  too.

This made Shopify an excellent choice for 82°E, who required the implementation of apps to support functions such as customer service, push notifications, social proof collection, and email marketing amongst others.

Long-term scalability

For ambitious new brands like 82°E, the scalability of Shopify can be particularly appealing. Shopify Plus has proven itself capable of supporting companies’ journeys from disruptive startups to established enterprise brands.

The recent introduction of Commerce Components by Shopify, a new enterprise-only service offering, further confirms the platform’s status and the most scalable solution on the market.

Why Swanky was chosen to help launch this international Shopify Plus store

Having carefully considered a range of agency partners around the world, the team at 82°E selected Swanky and IDEO (an international design and consulting firm) to support them in defining the brand’s identity and delivering a digital experience that communicates this.

IDEO provided their services in branding and packaging design, creating a brand identity described in Vogue as one that “will wash over you with an inexpressible sense of tranquillity, one that captures a mood and a sense of being at peace with oneself”.2

Swanky’s Australian team was tasked with bringing IDEO’s brand concept to life through the delivery of UX design, solution architecture and Shopify website development. This is something our Australian contingent has significant experience in, having built brand new online stores for the likes of Medley (the pure play sister brand of global jewellery retailer Michael Hill), Blackstone Road (a new subscription coffee brand), and Victoria Hill Lamb (a fifth-generation lamb feedlot who recently expanded into DTC ecommerce).

Discussing 82°E’s reasons for choosing to work with Swanky, Sanket Jack, the brand’s VP Technology & Projects, said:

“We at 82°E are building a global, world-class brand and wanted our website to resonate with the brand vision. 

“The Shopify APAC team strongly recommended Swanky as being thoroughly professional and a team that works closely with brands to realise their vision and exceed expectations. This was validated when we discussed our project with Sean and his team.” 

How Swanky helped

International Shopify Plus store development

With a wealth of experience launching global brands on Shopify Plus, we were well positioned to build an international ecommerce website capable of serving 82°E’s customers both in India and across the globe with a seamless user experience. The site can ship to 200+ countries, helping fulfil the brand’s vision of a truly global offering.

Patricia Monteiro, Senior Manager of Technology & Projects at 82°E, explains their experience of using Shopify Plus so far:

“Firstly, compliance has never been an issue for us on Shopify Plus, as the platform has the highest compliance standards and is frequently upgraded to alleviate security threats. 

“We also find it incredibly easy to add features to our site, as Shopify Plus has the largest ecosystem of partners offering apps that are extremely easy to install and integrate. 

“Finally, Shopify’s outstanding service and support has facilitated a hassle-free experience for us.”

Marrying brand and user experience

One of the challenges of the build was maintaining the carefully considered look and feel as per IDEO’s brand guidelines, whilst ensuring that the customer journey is seamless. We applied UX best practice to effortlessly marry form and function, creating a site that not only looks beautiful but allows shoppers to browse and purchase with ease.

The customer experience is intended to be every bit as simple and joyful as the self-care routines that 82°E enables with its products.

We also reflected the brand’s modern approach with elements such as full-width imagery, a visual mega menu, and image movement upon mouseover.

    

App recommendations

Swanky was also able to consult on an ecommerce tech stack to integrate with the brand’s Shopify Plus store, based on our in-depth understanding of 82°E’s commercial needs and goals. We provided guidance on app recommendations which helped the brand ship internationally from day one.

“Many of 82°E’s requirements and processes were different to those of our European and North American clientele,” explains Sean Clanchy, Managing Director of Swanky Australia.

“These were both interesting to explore and challenging to solve.”

Patricia Monteiro added:

“The Swanky team ensured compatibility and effective integration between our chosen technologies which were India-specific. They invested time and effort in understanding our preferences, evaluating compatibility issues, and finding the best approach to do this.”

An immediate global impact: Shipping to every corner of the world in 1 week

The 82°E website launched in November 2022. Here are some highlights from its first week online:

  • 24 hours after launching, the store had received over 100,000 sessions.
  • Within five-and-a-half days of being online, the brand had already achieved its first month’s revenue target.
  • After its first week as a live brand, 82°E had shipped orders to 30 countries, across each of the globe’s seven continents.

To see such a notable impact in just a matter of days is no mean feat, especially when you consider that 82°E completely relies on its website to sell its products and has no offline or marketplace presence yet.

These results speak volumes about the popularity of this new brand and its resonance with consumers, as well as the capabilities of Shopify Plus in serving a global audience.

Sharing his reflections on this success, 82°E Co-Founder Jigar K Shah said:

“Within the first month of its launch, 82°E has received a phenomenal response from customers in India and 35 countries across the world. 

“The brand website provides in-depth information on products’ ingredients and usage, which is impressive.

“The company has won significant consumer trust in this short span; it would be interesting to see the technological advancements that we plan to introduce in the near future.”

A scalable solution to enable rapid growth for this international startup

Together with the 82°E team, IDEO and our technology partners, we have helped to transform Deepika Padukone’s and Jigar K Shah’s DTC vision into a global ecommerce reality.

The brand’s global Shopify Plus store will allow it to scale at pace, comfortably supporting eagerly anticipated future product launches whilst immersing people from all over the world into the 82°E story.

Sharing his experience of partnering with our Queensland team, Sanket Jack of 82°E commented:

“Swanky’s inputs, thought process, and approach toward the project was brilliant as they always understood our requirements and value-added from their expertise in Shopify and UI/UX. This was further validated when we started working with Swanky, and the team delivered above and beyond our expectations. The Project Management was so beautifully done that my team and I had no issues understanding the project’s progress.”

And sharing his thoughts on the project, Swanky’s Sean Clanchy said:

“Typically, working across agencies can be really difficult. Each entity is protective of their designs, experience and technical expertise, and while all want the right outcome for their mutual client, occasionally each entity’s vision of ‘the best’ differs. 

“In the case of the 82°E project, working alongside IDEO and even more closely with the 82°E team was an absolute pleasure. It’s hard to be anything but proud of the work we have done and the outcome we have collectively achieved.

“It’s lovely to finish a challenging project like this and walk away with a happy client who is already exceeding their goals. Thank you to Deepika, Jigar, Sanket, Patricia and the wider team – we really enjoyed working with and getting to know you.”

Explore the full 82°E website here.

The international Shopify Plus agency for ambitious DTC brands

Here at Swanky, our team of Shopify Plus Experts are trusted to deliver complex and innovative ecommerce solutions for international clients. We’ve helped brands of all sizes in the beauty and cosmetics industry to successfully navigate the complexities of cross-border ecommerce, from startups like 82°E to established enterprise brands like Wilkinson Sword.

To find out more about how we can kickstart your Shopify Plus journey and unlock your ecommerce potential, contact us today.

 

For reference:

[1] https://inc42.com/buzz/deepika-padukone-d2c-startup-82e-7-5-mn-funding-launch-new-products

[2] https://www.vogue.in/beauty/content/deepika-padukone-on-why-82e-is-not-just-another-celebrity-skincare-brand

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