Are you an entrepreneur working hard to tackle eCommerce and get the best out of its offerings? ECommerce has established itself as a key sphere of operations for businesses all across the globe. For an entrepreneur, decoding Ecommerce in India is crucial to the growth of their ventures.
In September 2021, NSRCEL and Amazon kicked off its #EComDialogues with Amazon. The decorated panel comprised of:
Sumit Sahay, Director -Selling Partner Services at Amazon
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder and Director, Wakefit
Archana Jahagirdar Managing Partner, Rukam Capital
Ganesh Balakrishnan Co-Founder, Flatheads
Vikyath Nanjappa Head of Incubation, NSRCEL
Devanshi Kanoi Chitlangia Co-Founder, Chaika Tea
The virtual discussion touched upon the increasing reliance on e-commerce from customers and consequently, D2C companies along with various windows of opportunities created by the digital universe.
The recent pandemic was a period synonymous with disruption and uncertainty for businesses. The impact was felt by consumers and businesses alike. However, it also churned out new trends on the various new demand patterns brought on board by sellers and consumers. With the initiation of the first lockdown, online sales witnessed a big hike. Amazon witnessed customers from tier 1, 2, and 3 cities use eCommerce. Usage frequency in terms of consumers and sellers propelled beyond measure and the geographic markets also expanded.
It is important to survey customers and understand their needs. If you and your team have the humility to be led by customers without your biases coming your way, your venture can go places. The customers of today are highly aware of their needs. With every passing day, they seek better products. As a venture begins to build its categories, customer expectations change and the venture is posed with new challenges that make the process all the more exciting.
India is known to be underserved when it comes to brands. Consumers mostly make judgments on price and availability. Consumers want to be able to identify with a brand. They look for products that mirror their personality and lifestyle. In today’s day and age, the opportunities to build brands across all categories are ample. These days, D2C has taken a place of great importance. It is a space that provides ventures with vast amounts of data. Here you have the window to fail and rise.
When you take a look at bustling markets such as USA and China, you would notice that the brands that service these countries are very domestic. Irrespective of your offerings, you have to be close to the consumer. It is very rare for a legacy brand or an MNC to understand the practicality consumers are looking for in the product. One can’t build a brand without understanding the consumer inside out. It’s pretty clear that products emerge because consumers want them. You can make a brand that adds value to people’s lives only if you intrinsically understand the target market.
With regards to the capital that companies raise, it is obvious that they need a fair amount of money to build a brand and its story. Founders and investors must make the most of the Indian market. You must first focus on capturing the attention and loyalties of your domestic market. Strengthen your brand at the domestic level and then look towards expansion.
Investing isn’t just about money or products only. Founders form an important piece of the puzzle. Founder quality is an important aspect. The ones who succeed are the ones with strength and resilience. Early-stage investors don’t have any fixed formula to judge founders. It’s a mix of personal chemistry, lessons learned from mistakes, and many other factors. It’s both qualitative and quantitative. Startup founders put all their efforts into math and valuation. In early-stage startups, there isn’t much data available. In such a scenario, being naïve is actually a good thing. If you have the baggage of experience, you have more reasons to wonder why something won’t work. Being naïve helps you take chances that will become big chances too.
Early-stage startups don’t have any robust finance functions internally. This poses a big challenge. Any sort of financing beyond equity is challenging as startups need to have in-house finance functions. When startups look toward revenue-based financing or venture debt, they have to be aware of the pros and cons. The founder must worry about what might happen when things take a turn for the worse as well.
Amazon also provides sellers and manufacturers with a wide set of customers and non-core functions such as product shipping, stocking, etc. It reduces the hassle on part of the manufacturers and early brands. It prevents them from defocusing on their offerings.
They also provide quick feedback mechanisms. As your consumer base grows, it often becomes difficult to follow them closely. Such online marketplaces help entrepreneurs funnel consumer response and help them understand what consumers are looking for and what they feel is being served well. Customer reviews are a good place to find meaningful insights. Using these insights helps ventures sharpen their product proposition in terms of features, usability, pricing, etc.
The talk also touched upon how businesses can create customer delight by giving customers attractive offerings along with the product. Examples of these include masks, pencils, accessories etc. These are the simple delights that leave a lasting impression on the customers.
Here are a few tips that you can follow while selling your products on eCommerce platforms such as Amazon:
1) Customers want a larger variety of products at reasonable prices with timely delivery. Make sure that your actions are geared towards improving your performance in all these aspects.
2) Ensure that the information consumers require to choose your product is well represented. Don’t overload them with information, only provide them with specific information that helps them choose your offerings over the others.
3) Make sure that people recognize your company and see you on searches. Make sure your pricing is right and invest in the right marketing strategies.
This is the decade for brands in India. Companies must leverage consumer needs and insight. If you can build a product that meets the needs of a segment of consumers who need something very critically, you have a product. Building the brand story and customer experience is equally important. Building a website, logistics channels, payment gateway, and warehouse is now a seamless process. Make sure to invest in these aspects as there is enough opportunity to be captured!