Everyone's guide to sell online profitably

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  • Proven Ways To Bring Traffic To Your Ecommerce Store

    online-sell

    Every visitor that comes to your website is unique –– bringing along with them various life experiences and points of view that changes the way how they perceive your site and products. It is so crucial for you to understand your buyer personas.  

    It is important to understand: –

    What do they like?
    Why do they do what they do?
    What are their unconscious motivations?

    If you intend to build a successful ecommerce business it is critical that you have an ecommerce site that is designed keeping in consideration the answers to the above questions.

    For any online business, traffic is paramount for it’s success, If it can’t  attract traffic to its site, nothing else will matter.

    Search Engine Optimization
    It may not be wrong to break down the entire process in to three phases, first phase is all about metadata, keyword density and basic structure. Second phase is about generating the relevant content which makes content the King and third phase and most resource consuming of all, has to be content that is the most meaningful, unique, comprehensive and share with regards to anyone else on the chosen subject.  It is also important that business also strives to attain the community influencer status. It should have deep and meaningful connections with relevant communities. Identify reputed forums, sites, journalists and aggregators relevant to the industry and become invaluable to them, by writing post, answering questions, that is become an expert and share your expertise.

    Three parameters that are crucial for SEO are quality, quantity and relevance of links

    Quantity: For search engines volume of links is important, that implies that business have to connect with potential partners, write guest blogs, create as much as possible quality and sharable content.

    Quality: Search engines attribute more value to addresses that end in .edu and .gov than .com, and more value to .com than .xxx. Moreover, links should be from site which has lot of credibility with search engines; the more impressive the domain, the greater the link value.

    Relevance: Search engines also take into consideration the relevance of the referring website, for instance if a retail website has links from some random nonrelated websites then those links are of no value.

    Social Media
    Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become intrinsic to every aspect of life, ecommerce is not an exception. Social media is promotion, sales, links, and shares; it’s something to be taken seriously and time and effort must be devoted on it. Social media can be the single most important part of an ecommerce traffic strategy. On social media platforms sharing must precede promotions. Ideally several pieces of excellent, meaningful and non-promotional content should be shared before a sharing an aggressive promotion. Social Media profile should be exhibit personality of brand, that is it should be well designed, responsive to inputs from users and must be informative, attention seeking and fun.

    It is important that a business’s action on social media are helpful to the people it is  trying to attract. it means seeking opportunities to actually help them. Choosing right platform is also critical, find out which social media platforms have the most influence and relevance. If it is B2B, LinkedIn will be more relevant and if retailing apparels is the business then Instagram will be more relevant.

    A huge percentage of all ecommerce shopping is now done on smartphones. Most of the time people are using their phones, they’re using an app like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Snapchat. Therefore, it is important to ensure that content looks and plays perfectly on mobile.

    Social medial requires business’s commitment, it isn’t an activity which can be delegated to an intern, it demands utmost attention and commitment to be fruitful.

    Search Engine Marketing
    The quickest way to bring traffic to ecommerce site is to pay for it, but Pay Per Click is not easy as competition is directly with bigger retailers, putting strat ups and smaller organizations at clear disadvantage as market sets the bid and it can be prohibitively high. But that is not end of it, few things can be done.
    Ad Rank in AdWords is a result of Quality Score and bid. Outbidding bigger players may not be possible but they can be beaten by better quality Scores with smart, focused effort. Ad Extensions are just one way to improve your Ad Rank. Furthermore, ads can be planned for a specific time of day or for select geography. Moreover, meticulously placed Phrase Match keywords can help keep costs in check and give the desired exposure. Conversions have to be segmented from remarketing, to avoid wasteful spend, Lastly don’t be limited to Google only, other search engines / portals  have to be explored where competition is less intense or which are more relevant to business.

    Affiliate networks including Google shopping
    It is the new frontier of paid search. Unlike conventional ads, user can see the image and price of the product they are scouting for, they can also compare its price with other ecommerce retailers. It is paid, just like AdWords, but the interfaces and the rules are all different. A modern ecommerce retailer must be proficient in winning these comparison shoppers. Most importantly these customers are the last mile customers, who have already undertaken the research and are ready to buy, therefore it is important that budget is allocated adequately to these affiliates

  • Another step towards Cashless Society: Unified Payments Interface is now operational

    Unified Payments Interface .PURPLESTORES.

    India completes yet another step towards a cashless society. Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the contrivance  of the Reserve bank of India (RBI) is now operational. RBI sanctioned the use of UPI apps for prompt digital payments.This system is modeled to bring in a revolution in peer to peer payment system in the country. The bank applications will be made available on the Play Store for download for users.

    The payment system was launched officially by RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on April 11 in Mumbai.But it still needed modulation and was in the final stages of integration and testing with the banks and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

    It is finally ready and available for users. By this system, the payment system is now more simplified. For instance, if you have chosen COD [ cash on delivery] as an option upon your online order with this new UPI app there is no more need to do physical transactions or handling the cash. You just need to provide the delivery guy your unique  UPI (Unified Payment Interface) app, insert the e-commerce firm’s unique identifier and payment is done within seconds.

    How to get started:

    The infograph below clearly outlines the simple steps through which one can get started with this app. Have a look.

    Unified Payments Interface ..PURPLESTORES

                                                   Image Source- NPCI.NFS

    Let us analyse some of the important points of the functionality of this app:

    • The services for the app system now prolonged along spheres such as entertainment, shopping groceries from a local market , paying for dinner bill at the roadside Dhaba, acquiring tickets of railways/airline/bus, payment of insurance premium and even charity purposes.
    • UPI will be operational  24*7 every day in a week, throughout the year
    • Transactions as low as Rs 50 to as high as Rs 1,00,000 can be done using UPI apps
    • This app is presently available in Google Play Store for android users but if you are an iPhone user then you need to wait for 4-6 months for getting their UPI apps

    A.P. Hota, MD AND chief executive of NPCI, notified that RBI has given the approval for a public launch and several banks have been asked to upload their UPI-enabled apps within few days. As soon as the apps are placed in the application store, public in general could use it.

    Instantaneously after RBI’s final stamp of approval, there are numerous banks that have already launched the app or in between the process of doing it. The list of participation includes banks such as:

    • UCO Bank
    • Union Bank of India
    • United Bank of India
    • Punjab National Bank
    • South Indian Bank
    • Vijaya Bank
    • Yes Bank
    • Axis Bank
    • Andhra Bank
    • Bank of Maharashtra
    • Bhartiya Mahila Bank
    • DCB Bank
    • Canara Bank
    • Catholic Syrian Bank
    • Federal Bank
    • ICICI Bank
    • Oriental Bank of Commerce
    • RBL
    • IDBI

    ICICI Bank that already have an app will upgrade their existing iMobile app and Pockets App to  accommodate UPI-based payments. Axis bank will also upgrade their apps with  UPI .However big banks such as HDFC, SBI and Kotak Mahindra Bank are yet to have an UPI app but they  are in the process of developing the application in coming 2-3 weeks.

    Unified Payments Interface ..PURPLESTORES

    Image Source – thehindubusinessline.

    The app proposition has got quite an overwhelming response from banks all over. If you access Google Playstore, you can  found UPI app from banks such as Punjab National Bank, Union Bank, DCB Bank, South Indian Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, already available.

    Each bank has launched a different product for their UPI interface app so if you are looking for the app but unable to find please refer to names listed below in accordance to the individual bank:

    1. Federal Bank-Lotza
    2. Bank of Maharashtra-Maha UPI
    3. TJSB Bank- TRANZAPP-UPI
    4. Karnataka Bank-KBL SMARTZ (UPI)
    5. DCB Bank    -DCB Bank UPI App
    6. Union Bank-Union Bank UPI App
    7. Vijaya Bank-VIJAYA UPI
    8. United Bank-UNITED UPI
    9. Punjab National Bank-PNB UPI
    10. Axis Bank-Axis Pay
    11. South Indian Bank-SIB M-Pay (UPI Pay)
    12. Catholic Syrian Bank-CSB-UPI

    Bank officials also seemed very inundate by this evolution. Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank explained that they are already in between the process of development and certification of the UPI-enabled app and they plan to launch it in 4-6 weeks.

    Through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) reimbursement  can be made between friends, to merchants. How it will be helpful is yet to be analysed. Let the time speak.

    For deeper insight  check out the video:

    Article curated by eCommerce Consultant @ purplestores

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    saas ecommerce store

    For an expert consultation on opening an online store, SMS <my online store> to 09990117888 OR to try out PurpleStores for your business for FREE click here.

    Information Source- economictimes

    Feature Image- Link

     

  • Why Content Marketing is the Best Way to deliver Ecommerce Sales Targets

    Content marketing for ecommerce.

    Wondering what content marketing is? So as not to break into marketing jargon, we’ll break this down for you. For content marketing, you must:

    • Step 1: Identify your Target Consumer Group, and ensure it is a well-defined audience; Identify your Goal as well, i.e. what you wish to achieve by marketing to this Target Group (Visits and followers, purchases, shares?);
    • Step 2: Create positive, relevant and value added content. Valuable content is the kind that people would even pay to know, and relevance is where truly knowing your Target Group comes in;
    • Step 3: Using efficient, informative and interactive methods, direct the content created in Step 2 specifically towards the Target Group identified in Step 1;
    • Through Step 1 to 3: Remember that the objective driving you through the previous three steps is a combination of consumer interest and profitable consumer action.    

    Reasons why eCommerce companies should care about Content Marketing

    With there being talk of ecommerce businesses replacing physical retail space in India and ecommerce businesses mushrooming all around, how do you make sure that your target audience even knows of you?

    Content marketing – executed strategically –makes you visible to your Target Group. It enables the search engines to index your valuable data and present it to the audience. It allows you to interact with your target group, answer queries, seek constructive feedback for improvement, build your brand identity, increase sales and much more. Here is a short list, of what all a wise content marketing strategy, executed well,  can give to your business:

    Reason 1: SEO & Content Marketing: The Moguls

    content and SEO Image Source: brafton.com

    Google is the key to lighting the path to most ecommerce websites, and Great and valuable Content is key to SEO.

    For your business to show up on Google above your competition, Google has to crawl through the content you have made available on your merchandise and brand online.

    Reason 2: Content Marketing for community building:

    Reaching to your target group is one side of the coin while retaining them, engaging them and creating a loyal customer is other side. In an eCommerce platform where businesses face a new entry almost everyday, it is important that your customers remain connected to you in spite of tough competitors. A well strategised, problem solving, engaging and valuable content can help you fulfill the purpose.

    Reason 3: Content Marketing for a better and easy Social Media Reach:

    Images and videos play a vital role in social media success of a business. Great content that gets shared or liked on social media has a huge potential to reach out to new followers. A banner ad on social pages coupled with regular updates on fresh arrival, tips and tricks can help businesses to engage more potential than ever before.

    3

    Reason 4: Content Marketing towards Top of mind awareness:

    With the increasing competition in every product/service field in eCommerce, it is vital that you remain on top of mind of your TG. The more regular content updates reach to your potential consumers, the higher is the probability that your brand ticks their mind the next time they make purchase.

    Reason 5: Content Marketing- A sales Tool:

    Content marketing can be a fantastic lead generator and a selling tool, if planned and executed properly. After all revenues are what that keep you in the business.

    How Important is your content, when and where to share

    Content is the backbone of your marketing, so it’s absolutely critical. The content you create; it could be infographs, blog posts, videos, newsletters, guest post campaigns; is what creates awareness of your product and your brand. Your content can include details such as why you are selling, where it is sourced from (i.e. for responsibly sourced materials), what your brand motto and your mission statement is, how your merchandise is distinct from your competition.

    If you have detailed content with ample keywords, you’ll come right on top! Here’s how you can merge SEO and content marketing:

    • Create original, quality and evergreen content. The more original your content, the more likely it is that you will get your target audience to check you out and linger on your website a bit longer.
    • Create title tags after due research. Ensure that they are well suited to the medium of marketing you intend to use. For instance, for newsletters and keywords, longer title tags are better. For social sharing on Twitter and Instagram, shorter titles are better as they are easier to re-tweet and share without editing.    
    • Use Image heavy content for blog posts. Photos on how creatively or uniquely your product can be used.
    • For keyword creation (these are the keywords that consumers enter while searching for products), conduct research. Use tools such as these for the most efficient way to merge SEO and content marketing.  
    • For your FAQs, draft creative responses. Include words you would not ordinarily include in the product descriptions etc. Pop up more on search engines and garner more views, and more conversions.
    • Look around and see what is trending on social media. Are there any queries that your merchandise may address, or is there a trend that your merchandise would fit right into? Create content bridging the gap between these trends and your merchandise, so whatever is trending will start pointing towards your brand.

    Once created, it is shared on multiple platforms such as blogs, digital publications, social media sites, search engines submission sites etc. Identify what format of content goes well on what platform. Decide the number of content pieces to be shared on each digital space. To do all this efficiently, create a ‘Content Calendar’.

    Create a Content Calendar. Now when the mediums to distribute the content is identified,– schedule, publish, promote, track and tweet the content. Try and make your content calendar visual and engaging for your marketing team. Align milestones with the schedule, let your team enjoy reaching those milestones.  

    Use analytical tools such as Quick Sprout and Socialcrawlytics to analyze and assess what content is doing well, how well your competitor’s content is doing etc. And then improve your content.

    Content marketing for ecommerce...pg                                                      Image Source: bufferblog

    How to Keep Your Audience Tethered

    The content you create must address the requirements as well as the whims of your target consumer group. Here’s what you should do.

    Blogs, Facebook ads, display advertising, ratings and reviews from other consumers influence the consumer’s pre-purchase cycle. Post-purchase content is a great way to re-engage consumers. Send them personalized emails asking them about their experience with the product, and be sure to incentivize reviews; ensure that your emails are not impersonal, unbranded and simply transactional.

    Be positive, splash your brand over the email (strategically, do not over do it), use colorful and aspirational imagery; include promotions and discounts for other products.

    Encourage cross-selling by showing the consumer something that they may want to buy based on their previous purchase, for instance, if someone has bought a coat or jacket, show them a few of the latest scarves or mufflers you have available.

    Content marketing for ecommerce....jpg

                                                 Image Source: Googleusercontent

    Content marketing is not simply about advertising and selling your products, as much as it is about selling a lifestyle and promoting your brand of eCommerce as the rainmaker of that lifestyle.

    As a medium for enhancing your ecommerce business, you cannot compare it to banner ads etc, as the latter may increase your sales when the consumer sees the banner ad, but the former will cement your brand in the consumer’s psyche. Hence, content marketing is the long term ally that your online business needs to succeed.

    saas ecommerce store

    For any query on taking your business online, give us buzz at writetous@purplestores.in or ring us at 09990117888.

  • Remarkable advice on how Remarketing can help you increase sales

    remarketing_onlinesellertips

    What is remarketing?

    A hungry potential customer check out a new home cooked food delivery website. On surfing, through the delicious menu the customer, who is also a college student finds the prices a tad too expensive.

    He decides to eat at a local restaurant and resumes back to surfing Facebook.

    A new sponsored ad appears to the right side of his Facebook wall. Yes, this new ad, advertises the same home delivery food website, which this potential customer had browsed earlier. But this time, this ad promises a discount of 50% on the first order.

    The potential customer is delighted by this ad. He clicks on this ad which directs him back to the website. He browses through the menu, puts a meal into his shopping cart and makes a purchase.

    How did the potential customer, who earlier left the website without making a purchase, end up becoming a customer of the home delivery food website?

    What made him change his mind?

    REMARKETING is the right answer to the above-mentioned questions. Remarketing is the process of transforming a customer who abandons a purchase, into a sale.

    In this case, remarketing was done by tracking the potential customer’s online behaviour patterns, using cookies.

    The home delivery food website then attracted the customer’s attention once again by placing an ad immediately on the next website he surfed. This new ad not only advertised their product but also displayed the benefits available to new customers.

    Such is the power of remarketing, to grab back the attention of a lost customer.

    When and where all can remarketing be used?

    Remarketing need not be used only to retarget customers who did not make a purchase, It can be also used for customers who have added products to their shopping cart and left it before making a purchase. It can be used for customers who have uninstalled an application of the company or unsubscribed to its newsletters or services.

    Remarketing can be used in the form of emails, sent to them to find out the reasons for their respective actions.

    Brand loyalists can be notified of the new products and services through sponsored ads on various social networking sites.

    This will keep them up to date with the new products and services introduced by the company in the market.

    What do business owners think of remarketing?

    remarketing.onlinesellertips

    She also says “It is great for small business owners because it has a lower cost per acquisition, so with the impression conversion rates, you are able to move people through your sales cycle faster and for a much lower cost.”

    Why you should plan your remarketing strategy

    Remarketing helps to reach out to customers who have already shown their interest in a company’s website, so it is cost effective means to increase sales conversions.

    It is also synonymously known as retargeting as it involves targeted advertising or customized advertisements to consumers based on their internet actions.

    Remarketing is a wide spectrum in the field of e-commerce, which if used immediately and effectively can save the time, cost and efforts of using customer retention programmes.

    What is the next step to implement a remarketing campaign?

    a. Tag every page on your site

    Remarketing is nothing but using purchase and web visitor data to promote your related or complementary products. If visitors have spent time looking at running shoes, you can align your remarketing strategies to sell socks, shoe laces, etc. As a result, make sure to tag every product page and category page.

    b. Plan your remarketing campaigns to target specific set of customers

    You can plan to target customers who have already made a purchase, with new products. Or you may wish to target new visits. As a result, you can plan and execute multiple remarketing campaigns simultaneously.

    c. Analyze, strategize and optimize

    This requires a thorough look at your website traffic data. Check for indications about cart abandonment, purchase hiccups, page dropouts etc. And create specific campaigns to target each section of your site visitors.

    The remarketing routes:

    a. Google Remarketing:

    Google Adword remarketing is used by marketers  to show ads to users who have already visited their site while browsing the web. Google remarketing script tags allow to target narrow and focussed group and hence increase more relevancy of the whole remarketing campaign.

    b. Facebook Remarketing:

    These work similar to google Adwords marketing, but here your ads are shown only on facebook and not across websites. Remarketing Is done to custom audiences, who already have visited your website, who are tagged with a code and then while browsing the facebook feed they are shown your ad pop-ups to remind what they are missing. Researchers say that facebook retargeting ads get 3X the engagement then regular facebook ads.

    c. Email Remarketing:

    Targeting the customers via direct mails and offers right in their inbox is a great technique to conversions. Cart abandonment is a common phenomenon with online shops and retargeting that set of customers with emails is the best way possible to convert them into your loyal customers.

    Compare and invest

    I am sure that you have and do run other marketing campaigns (social media, PPC etc), and you should continue to do so, even when you choose to run a remarketing campaign. Analyze the ROI of each marketing campaign (including your remarketing campaign) at the end of the month. Now, compare the customer acquisition cost of each campaign. This will give you a clear indication on where you should invest and what campaigns you should stop running.

     saas ecommerce store

    For an expert consultation on opening an online store, SMS <my online store> to 09990117888 OR to try out PurpleStores for your business for FREE click here.

     

  • A Solid Product is all you need to be successful in Ecommerce Business, says, Ruchika Jain, Beebayonline

    Ruchika Jain- beebay

    A niche targetted business can touch skies if you are assured of your product quality. This is the Mantra of Beebay, they don’t confine themselves to the domestic customers but in a partnership with Purplestores for almost 4 years, they have gained a foot in the international market as well and the loyalties of customers across boundaries remain the same. Here is a detailed discussion with Ruchika Jain, Global marketing executive, Beebay , sharing the Journey of Beebayonline.com and road ahead

    OnlinesellerTips: Tell us about your business and how it all started? What inspired you to go online?

    Ruchika: We have been into the garments business for over 50 years now and we have been garment exporters for big brands like H&M, GAP. Since we already have acquired the expertise in manufacturing, about 7 years ago we decided to launch our own brand name in the market, and Beebay was formed, targeted towards 0 to 12 years kids wear.

    We started with two flagship stores. As we have always worked for international companies and wanted to reach out to our international customer base. As a result, within a year we began our e-commerce operations via Beebayonline.com.

    Both domestic and international markets received our brand incredibly well. People were willing to wait for weeks to get goods delivered. So that inspired us to go full fledged online with various domestic and international online partners.

    And now we have registered offices in Europe and the US. Right now I can easily say that our domestic and international growth is going hand in hand, and customers have responded very well to our e-commerce platform.

    OnlineSellerTips: What is your take on the current Indian e-commerce market? With the new GST bill, what impact you see on businesses?

    Ruchika:I have seen Indian Ecommerce grow since we started Beebay and we were one of first few brands who went online. I have seen the market evolve, but I think it still is sorting itself out. Currently, the competition and emphasis are on the size of the customer base, than a profitable business model.

    I believe that to some extent profitability is coming into play, however, the market is still discount-driven to lure customers. The market will correct itself, eventually leaving a big player who is profitable.

    Now the market is shifting from customer grabbing to profitability. Large customer base dictates the quality of vendors in e-commerce, that is what we are seeing right now. Every big marketplace wants to weed out low-quality sellers. These sellers eventually bring down the reputation of the marketplace.

    GST is going to make e-commerce transactions much simpler for everyone involved in the ecosystem. Especially, managing taxation for all states will become much easier.

    OnlineSellerTips: What are your future plans for next 5 years?

    Ruchika: We are revamping the whole website and soon become an app based platform. We are working on adding new product lines and increasing SKU within the kid’s category so that we have a much broader product base. We know our market and we have tested it over the years, and we have earned good international and domestic presence. We will cash-in on it and try and sell more products through our online channel.

    2

    OnlineSellerTips: What are your strategies to deal with the competition in your niche?

    Ruchika: We are adding more product lines within kids category. We have a very loyal customer base because of our good quality and delivery record. Since we are an international brand we follow international norms.

    We don’t have issues such as loose threads, loose button or color bleed, as we have full control on quality. This stringent quality to match international standards has helped us sustain and shine. Every year  many new brands in this category come up but they are not able to sustain because their fundamentals are not strong and that’s where beebay has an edge. Our basics are right and we ensure tight control on our processes and quality.

    OnlineSellerTips: What piece of advice you want to share with the entrepreneurs who want to tap into the e-commerce world of businesses?

    Ruchika: To be successful in the eCommerce world, one should have a solid product and should capitalize on the opportunities available. Make sure your product and delivery are absolutely in line.

    saas ecommerce store

    For an expert consultation on opening an online store, SMS <my online store> to 09990117888 OR to try out PurpleStores for your business for FREE click here.

  • UrDoorStep is built for Profitability and aims to capture $400 billion Indian essential Ecommerce Market

    UrDoorstep_Dinesh

    In this post, we present you with the excerpts of a detailed discussion with the Founder Director & CEO of UrDoorstep, Dinesh Malpani. UrDoorstep is a one-of-a-kind online platform which caters to people’s essential needs. When we say essentials, we mean groceries, crockeries, socks, pajamas, night gowns etc. UrDoorstep strongly believes that people are reluctant to spend a lot of time in replenishing the aforementioned items, we see this mainly as a chore.

    This is where UrDoorstep wants to become the number one choice for buying essentials on-the-go. The company is a first in running on an inventory model (among online sellers) with a vast network of vendors and farmers. The company is about to invest in a new logistics technology to enhance last mile delivery and in turn customer satisfaction.

    As of this discussion, UrDoorstep is catering to 92 pin codes in Bengaluru and is about to expand delivery in the city. Dinesh’s vision doesn’t stop here, he says that UrDoorstep has plans to go pan-India soon. Here are the excerpts of our discussion with Dinesh.

    OnlineSellerTips: Tell us about your business and how it all started? What inspired you to go online?

    Dinesh: It was in 2009 that I envisioned UrDoorstep. The e-commerce market in India back then was pretty much nonexistent. I was plying my trade at retail e-commerce at Mahindra. There was and is a need for an elegant, robust platform to stock household essentials without having to invest a lot of time and energy. This is the premise of UrDoorstep. We launched a pilot in 2013.

    There are two categories of shopping, one, where we take pleasure in shopping for things we love and care for (aspirational products such as clothes for occasions). And two, the absolute essentials such as groceries, cups & saucers, boxer shorts and night gowns etc. where people find stocking these as a chore. While the former demands effort from us to visit malls and shops and enjoy the occasion of shopping, the latter, however, needn’t. This is where UrDoorstep fits in.

    OnlineSellerTips: How big essentials (replenishment) eCommerce Market in India is?

    Dinesh: The essential products market in India is worth $475 billion, out of which groceries make up for $400 billion. So, the demand is incredible and challenging.

    2

    OnlineSellerTips: What challenges do you see in the online essentials market?

    Dinesh: It all begins with investors seeking valuation in businesses than long term profits. PE’s should ideally look at rock solid business models like UrDoorstep for guaranteed success on their investments. On another hand, some online businesses in this segment focusing on valuation game, but we are focussed on profitability from day one.

    Fast fulfillment is also a challenge which is being addressed via our new technology to serve the customers better. We are focusing on improving Customer Lifecycle Value (CLV). CLV is one of the important KPIs for sustainable & scalable business.

    We use customer data to analyze and create the ideal and worthy buying experience to each and every consumer. Today we have 50,000 unique customers who visit UDS. Our email catalog campaigns are based on our robust customer data analysis. Based on the purchase and browsing history, we deliver relevant pre and post shopping experience. We strive towards our motto “Customer devo bhava”.

    We put a lot of energy on this as it has a bearing on buyer’s loyalty and business profitability. I have been closely running retail businesses for 25 years (mahindra, Jubilant Retail – Total Malls in Bangalore etc.) hence running a profitable business of this scale is a great opportunity as an individual.

    OnlineSellerTips: What are your strategies to deal with the competition in your niche?

    Dinesh: UrDoorstep is built on an inventory model. The existing players in the market work on sourcing model, wherein they tie up with local kirana stores and source materials. At UrDoorstep, we have built a network of 9000 farmers, who visit our consolidation centers to sell their produce. Our trucks fetch the produce from these consolidation centers and bring it to our state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Bangalore. As a result, we really do not see any competition in this sustainable inventory model, where the quality of products and low cost are met every single day.

    During Chennai floods last year, our network of farmers volunteered and joined hands with us to sell essentials such as dal for just Rs. 20 per kilo, while other players in the market used the abject demand to sell at 5X the actual market price. This is just to show the strength of our relationship with farmers we possess.

    OnlineSellerTips: How do you manage sourcing and delivery in your market?

    Dinesh: Our exceptional strong relationship with vendors gives us an extra edge, which I have earned hard throughout my career. I am a strong believer in creating great relationships with our vendors / partners.

    Sourcing produce from farmers forms the bedrock of our business model. We have established consolidation centers across the city, we transport the produce to our fulfillment center in Bangalore. From here on in, we serve to 92 pin codes in Bangalore through our own dedicated delivery personnel. We are soon to expand in the city.

    OnlineSellerTips: What piece of advice you want to share with the entrepreneurs who want to tap this niche?

    Dinesh: Knowledge and information, are vital to understanding e-commerce and succeed. First, I would wish present day entrepreneurs to understand the concepts, legalities, challenges, pitfalls, technicalities, stakeholders, and online business models before they decide to sell online. It is obvious that some of the business management aspects do remain the same while selling online, however, e-commerce business comes with its own set of hurdles. I suggest entrepreneurs to acquire knowledge and understand if their products can reach more customers and become sustainable without bleeding a lot of resources.

    saas ecommerce store

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