How an Indian Saree Brand Grew 161% in 3 Months?

Today we will dive into a Shopify case study of an Indian saree brand on how it grew from Rs.58,650 monthly sales to Rs 1,53,637 with a jump of 140% in organic sessions.

The current Indian saree market is more than Rs.50,000 crore in FY23 and is expected to cross Rs.62,000 crore by the end of FY25. These are not small numbers by any stretch of the imagination.

It is for this reason that the online market has already attracted big players like Avantra by Reliance Trends, and Taneira by Tata as well as marketplaces like Myntra, Meesho, Flipkart, Amazon, etc.

The good news is that smaller brands that work directly with weavers and have unique designs and craftsmanship can compete with these established brands.

However, there is a common mistake that a new brand usually makes when they launch their e-commerce store.

They rely “only” on paid marketing. They undervalue the potential of organic traffic and the ROI it offers over a longer period.

This is what I noticed when I onboarded Forsarees, a Mumbai-based saree brand. The source of traffic and leads was heavily dependent on the ads they were running on Instagram and Google.

About ForSarees

Shopify Saree Ecommerce Store

Forsarees was founded in 2018 by Ritu Oberoi for the sheer love of sarees. Ritu is a first-time founder with zero experience in the business and fashion industry, she built her brand with her unique storytelling and hard work.

She would actively post pictures of herself and her friends wearing sarees on Instagram. Those real authentic pictures resonated with avid saree lover women. As expected, women wanted to buy those beautiful sarees. She started getting orders on Instagram and the e-commerce store.

With Shopify, you can easily place and track orders and inventory. This allowed her the headspace to work with weavers and expand her business.

Soon she started investing in SEO and online ads.

The ads did help in boosting the number of monthly orders but organic traffic did not increase as per her expectations. She had to rely on ads and social media reach. But this dependency can be tricky for any business.

If you Google any saree, you will notice that the first page of Google shows almost the same brands in both ads and organic results. Every brand wants to acquire as much real estate as possible in the online world for better conversions.

In today’s competitive world, you cannot ignore ads or organic search results. You have to be there wherever your customers are hanging out in the online world. 

So it is evident that if Forsarees has to scale and reach the next level, it has to level up its strategies.

How did I achieve 161% growth in 3 months for this Saree Brand?

Forsarees Google Search Console indicating when SEO started

Before and After Data

Let us look at the numbers and data to understand where the brand stood in terms of organic traffic before we started working and after the first round of optimization.

Forsarees was approximately getting 905 users/month with 1017 sessions/month as of Nov-2022 from Google search. I started working on the Shopify store on 19th Dec 2022 and in less than 3 months the number of sessions increased from 1017 to 2464. That's a whopping 142% growth in the number of sessions.

Forsarees report showing organic sessions and revenue on monthly basis

An increase in the number of sessions is crucial for any brand. It increases your chances of conversion/sale by multiple folds.

As an SEO consultant, my first goal is to increase organic traffic. The CRO or conversion rate optimization techniques will be more effective once you test them out on a considerable amount of traffic. The copy, UI design, relevancy, quality of products, etc have to be on point for a good conversion rate.

How much was the increase in saree sales?

In 2022, the average monthly sale of sarees was Rs.55,000. After I started working on the store, it reached Rs.1,50,000+. That is again a 161% increase in sales.

Forsarees saree brand monthly sales

What are the SEO Optimizations I made in the Shopify Store?

Most SEO-related changes are broadly categorized into technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.

I did not invest any time or money into off-page SEO or building backlinks. There were two reasons.

Firstly, the store had quite a work sorting out technical and on-page optimization issues. It made no sense to focus on all areas of Shopify SEO simultaneously.

Secondly, the client had a limited budget and it makes more sense to make sure the store is in proper shape to leverage full advantage whenever backlinks are built.

I always keep a journal for each store I work on. It helps me to keep track of every change I make. It is the easiest way to see any sudden changes in traffic. I get to learn what changes have more impact when dealing with certain kinds of issues.

Shopify SEO journal entries

Here are some key changes I did in terms of Technical SEO and On-page SEO with my comments on why they were needed.

404 Errors and 301 Redirect Issues

404 errors on any site are bottlenecks for crawlers to move freely and understand your content. Don’t make Google crawlers work hard. Therefore removing 404 errors is the first thing I do. I rectified all 404 errors and any 301 redirects.

Out of Stock Products

In most e-commerce sites, this is a fairly common problem and a major contributor to 404 errors. I have noticed many store owners delete discontinued products and sometimes even out-of-stock products. 

This on a surface level does not look like a big deal for them but it creates technical issues. Never delete a product (URL) permanently instead redirect to a relevant product page to pass on any kind of equity it has earned in its lifetime.

Similarly, for out-of-stock products, capture emails to notify the customer when it is available or let it stay as is instead of deleting it and recreating it when it is available.

Site Speed

Site speed is an issue with most Shopify stores and further customization of theme templates creates more issues. As a software engineer, I instinctively go and check code to get the scope of speed optimization. 

In this case, the speed issues were handled by the developer hired by the owner and the Shopify support team. Even though there is some improvement, the client opted to stay with the current theme and code since hiring a more experienced developer was costly.

Messed up Headings

Again fairly a common occurrence, most Shopify themes have heading hierarchy issues. The H2 and H3 were assigned to irrelevant terms like cart, comments, search, subscribe, etc. instead of product names in a collection.

I made changes to the Shopify code and sorted this out.

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Reorganizing Products into New Collections

Most store owners make collections keeping UI/UX in mind. Although this is fine, to attract organic traffic, proper keyword research is required.

A fine balance between the two results in an optimized collection that has more chances of ranking on Google. I took the approach of creating collections that were more niche as broader collections will require more topical authority and a strong backlink profile.

Meta Titles

Meta titles should be apt and to the point looking at the user intent. Also smartly adding your primary keyword without making it look obvious also helped.

Collection Description

I added a description to each collection using related keywords and entities. This provided much-needed information and support to each collection so that they could rank higher.

Added Blog Posts

I also added a few blog posts related to the sarees that were more informative. Also did on-page optimization of existing posts so they rank better with internal links to products and collections.

Renaming Products and Changing URLs

As a part of on-page SEO, many products were renamed based on their key attributes. I also noticed that many product urls were not optimized or used irrelevant words not related to the primary keyword. Hence in many cases, the products and collection URLs were renamed.

Duplicate H3 headings

There were duplicate H3 headings that were being created in every collection that diluted on-page SEO. This was again related to the theme code and I had to dig into the code and make changes. But it was worth the effort.

Duplicate Products

There are a lot of products in every store with minor variations in different collections for a better user experience. They have 95% similar specs and descriptions. They can technically fall under duplicate products but physically they are not.

The best way to deal with such situations is to add appropriate canonical tags or simply use filters if the theme has a feature.

One Year Update (Feb 2024)

Many SEO agencies using black hat SEO techniques can get you results in the short term but then the traffic tanks within a few months. A consistent growth in your traffic is what one should aim for rather than a sudden spike. Genuine SEO is slow but it starts to compound within a few months.

Here in the screenshot, you can see in Jan 2023, the average organic daily clicks were averaging around 30. One year later in Feb 2024, it has grown month after month and is now at 200 daily clicks.

How SEO has helped an Indian Saree Brand to grow traffic

What Next for Forsarees

The client store has a poor backlink profile and it has to be immediately addressed. The website has to gain authority and it can be best achieved with a vote of confidence (link back) from other authoritative sites in related niches.

Due to budget constraints, I was not able to add more blog posts but they are essential in attracting a target audience by creating How-to and What-is guides. The website needs more relevant informational content in the form of blog posts.

Conclusion

I did get a thumbs up from the client but..

Review for SEO by Forsarees Saree Brand

The results from SEO are not always as quick as you saw in this case but they do provide better ROI. It all depends on the current state of the website, history, competitors you are competing with, and the niche.

Hence the pace of results can vary. The best time to start SEO was a year back and the next best time to start is today!

If you want me to take your store to the next level. Get in touch with me now!

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Resources:

  1. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/saree-market-to-touch-61700-crore-by-fy25/article65917452.ece

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