Raghav Somani found that when he went shopping for electronic gear in India, most big retailers had very little information about the products they were selling. Without the right product information, shoppers were getting lost in trying to find the gadgets they needed. Believing he could create a more personalized and informative shopping experience, Somani started Headphone Zone.

While so many stores have a broad product focus, Somani decided to focus on one niche and only offer quality headphones and earphones. In doing this, Headphone Zone has become a one-stop-shop for audio gear, and it’s certainly been successful for the brand.

However, this wasn’t always the case.

From Brick and mortar to exclusively online

While the brand has found success through their Shopify store, Headphone Zone didn’t actually start out online. Somani first opened the business as a chain of 12 brick and mortar stores in Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai. After just three years, the declining retail industry in India drastically changed the future of Headphone Zone.

“We witnessed the devolution of offline retail as a whole and our retail stores were badly hit,” says Somani. “As a result, we had to close down all our retail stores.”

Somani was forced to pivot the business and transformed it into an exclusively ecommerce brand.

“Going online was the best business decision we ever took,” says Somani. “Headphone Zone is successfully able to leverage the growth today in the ecommerce space and reach out to customers all across the country.”

Evolving with their customers

Somani and his Mumbai-based team of 50 now focus on developing Headphone Zone’s online presence based on how modern shoppers are consuming product information.

“For product discovery, consumers have moved from showrooms and malls to informed online research,” says Somani. “We are very proud of our content and the way we have presented it on our product pages. We believe we have the most comprehensive and accurate information about our products on the internet.”

Being niche means being an expert

Somani saw the hole in the market for both quality products and the experts who could sell them.

“We believe that India is a massive music listening market, and the largest smartphone market in the world, but amongst the smallest markets for headphones in the world,” says Somani. “The online buying experience and the level of service and support were simply not adequate enough to enable a well informed consumer decision, especially given the intricacies and nuances of high-end audio.”

By filling this void and focusing exclusively on headphones and earphones, Headphone Zone has become a leader in its industry and the go-to online store for audio gear shoppers.

“We certainly are working hard every day to be the best at what we do,” says Somani.

A large product catalog requires a powerhouse theme

Headphone Zone now hosts over 35,000 visitors in their Shopify store every month. This growth is thanks in large part to the brand’s team investing time and energy into becoming experts within their niche. However, being a one-stop-shop for headphones and earphones means Headphone Zone has a huge product catalog.

“We pride ourselves on providing the largest collection of headphones and audio gear from around the world,” says Somani.

Even though the store has numerous products and tons of product information, Headphone Zone chose Out of the Sandbox’s Turbo theme to create an easy and visually attractive shopping experience for their customers.

Customer service is at the heart of the brand

The Headphone Zone team prioritizes customer service above all else, something they learned during their brick and mortar retail days.

“Being at the store dealing with customers every day taught us the importance of great customer service and being personal in our interaction with every customer,” says Somani. “Treating every customer just the way we would like to be treated is key to building a great, personal, and trustworthy buying experience for something as personal as headphones.”

Find meaning and success will follow

Somani advises fellow ecommerce entrepreneurs to start a business based on what they believe in.

“Find meaning and purpose in what you do,” says Somani. “Let your online store communicate that to your audience. Your customers need to share the same passion for your products as you do. These are key ingredients for any online store to go far.”

See all the Outstanding Shop Awards winners right here!