A good online marketing is useless till the time you do not deliver the promised product or service experience to your customers.
In recent times, there have been a lot of e-commerce companies burgeoning around thinking in line to the growth story of big time e-commerce companies like Amazon who may be tossing up with new ideas like ‘Drone delivery’ or ‘logistics arrangement with Indian posts’. The success of e-com ‘poster boys’ remains the key attraction & motivates them, without knowing that much of this is hyped to entice the investors and people to compel invest or buy in their product or service concepts.
Every product company or an online marketing website feels like they can come online and sell without addressing to the fundamentals in running an online business. The AAP movement can be picked here as a case-study to understand what all you would need besides the idea (published by ET).
Lets’ have a look at the key elements before you plan out:
- Product offerings (for the customer this is online product expectation)
- Target market (is how you clearly set expectations)
- Reaching selected target audience through target based marketing (connecting your channels)
- Communication (keeping communication alive with your target audience)
- Delivering the product or service (without any wrong commitment)
Having a website does not entitle you to say you run an e-commerce business until you are clear on above thrust areas before launching your product/service online. I recently did a transaction for my data top-up and found that despite of attempting it for 5 times at 2 different portals, the service was not delivered. At one side, as a customer the account gets debited and the service i.e. the top up is declined. As a user, when we wrote to the customer care, they did not bother to even respond to the email (they promise the response time is 5 hours), whereas, in real scenario this is a cheating, first by debiting your account and then by not delivering the service and then by saying they would need 48 hours to reply back to the customer grievance.
A bunch of website development companies are miss-selling you a site from any price starting INR 9999 but when you really start using it, you feel misguided later as its just 10% of what you know, rest you learn while you start the business.
What should you consider before starting an e-commerce business:
- You should think of customizing the site as per your product requirement, if not owning the source code
- Supply chain, warehouse and logistics (if you are selling a product on inventory model)
- Please be prepared for situations when even after the payment receipt, the logistic company does not pick your packet leaving you approaching another logistic partner
- The payment/COD module (ease and acceptance)
- Budget- you should allocate budgets for online advertising, affiliate marketing
- Key resources like an online manager, support staff and of course a good PR agency as your core team
- The transaction would start happening onto your platform anytime between 1 to 3 months, after launching your online site
- Basic marketing - including sending launch emailers, SMS or creating some awareness in your social contact list is the first activity
- Build the business ( takes around 6 Months to 12 months to show substantial traction on to your site)
- Investments ( approximately for first 3 years to help you sustain & build the user base)