Do you want to setup and run your own eCommerce business and create a brand for yourself? Check out the steps below for the mantra to achieve this goal!
1. Know your differentiators
Jabong was not the first entrant in the Indian eCommerce industry, but it carved out a niche for itself by focusing on fashion and accessories as a category. Ekbote Furniture, a solid wood furniture manufacturer from Pune, understood the strength of its offline brand and knew it had the capability to take on the likes of Pepperfry and Fabfurnish and offer high quality products at a competitive price. Similarly brands like AQ Shop and SportMyLook dug into their deep understanding of the sector to provide the right products at the right price points. Hence, it is important to know what differentiates you and makes you stand out while you are taking a plunge into this space.
2. Balance short term benefits versus long term goals
In the short term, you need to focus on learning the online business and acquiring loyal customers. If you learn and adapt well in the short term, you will hit profitability within 6 to 12 months from launch. The key to succeeding in eCommerce early on is to ensure that you invest your time and money wisely in the beginning. Haldirams Online, for example is one of our users at Shoptimize, it currently offers free shipping pan India irrespective of the value of products purchased. The objective is to develop a habit of buying mithai and namkeen online among young Indian consumers and Haldirams knows that the aura of its brand will ensure that no other competitor in the country can achieve that.
3. Pick the right technology partner
Your eCommerce business needs to be ably supported by state of the art technology. There can be no sacrifices in terms of performance or scalability. More importantly, you should be able to focus on your core business and leave the technology as your partner’s responsibility. If you are technically adept and can make technology decisions yourself, a ‘do-it-yourself’ solution like Shopify may work. If you would rather rely on experts on the technology front a full service pay-as-you-go solution is perfect for you.
4. Master customer acquisition
Now that you have all the bells and whistles in place, your next focus should be to reach out to the right kind of potential customers. Having an effective digital marketing strategy in place is necessary. The first few months should be experimentation of ideas in the digital world till you narrow down your tactical plan that works and scales. Boutique fashion jewellery brands like Aadyaa have very successfully used social media avenues like Facebook and Twitter to not only acquire customers, but also to generate regular sale.
5. Focus on post sales service
In e-commerce, unlike physical retail, the service comes after the sale. Most brands don’t think through this and end up having to re-acquire customers every time. This usually starts the downward spiral and prevents brands from reaching profitability. Several brands such as Aatman send personal thank you notes with the first order or call customers personally to ensure they were happy with the experience. Incentivizing shoppers for sharing their happy stories on social media also works wonders.
Follow each step carefully, use your own discretion, put on your seatbelt and get ready to witness some encouraging results!
Shoptimize provides a full service eCommerce solution that includes creation of the online store and mobile app, integration with payment gateways and logistics, generating traffic to the online store and mobile app and driving conversion to actual orders. It is a “mobile-first” company focused on designing and developing eCommerce technology of the future. Most importantly, it takes complete ownership of the eCommerce technology to let the merchants focus on their core business.
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