New Delhi, (IANS): Aiming to help small businesses find their customers, e-commerce portal Snapdeal on Wednesday launched “Shopo”, a mobile-based marketplace.
“It is an app platform. It is targeted at small sellers, artisans, individual sellers, and home entrepreneurs. It is a zero commission mobile marketplace with easy registration process and seamless listing where sellers and buyers can chat to buy and sell,” said Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl.
“It is an open marketplace showcasing various product collections and categories. We target one million shops online in the next one year. It is currently available on iOS and Android,” he added.
Bahl said the company witnessed 30,000 product listings from 4,500 shop-owners in the new platform in the last 30 days.
Snapdeal at present has 150,000 sellers from 500 cities, out of which 30 percent sellers are women. It has an assortment of 12 million products. Around 70-75 percent of its orders are made through mobile.
Saying that the mobile is one of the key drivers fueling the growth of e-commerce in the country, Bahl added: “Currently less than 0.1 percent of the small and medium business (SMB) in India have online presence and Shopo is trying to address this opportunity by creating a platform which is very easy and convenient for the shop owners to set up their shop.”
Launching your own e-commerce store is easier than ever nowadays, and even though the market has become quite crowded, there are still plenty of opportunities that one can take advantage of. It’s important to know how the system as a whole works and what issues to be on the lookout for. You also need to be prepared to take a hit financially if things don’t work out.
The Right Balance in Niche Competitiveness
Perhaps the most important question you’ll need to answer in the beginning is what niche you want to work in. There are tons of options in this regard, and new ones keep popping up on a regular basis. There are advantages and disadvantages to both ends of the spectrum that you should consider. Being in a highly competitive niche means that you’ll have lots of potential customers and a lot of references to get inspiration from, but it also means more stores competing for the same chunk of the market. On the other hand, choosing a less popular niche may be a slower, but steadier option.
Use an Established System
Unless you have a very good reason not to, you should always go with a pre-made e-commerce system. There are lots of those on the market today, and many of the popular ones are really easy to set up and get running. You’ll just need to worry about your inventory and promotion, instead of having to deal with security, payments, layout and a huge number of other issues.
People aren’t just going to come to your site randomly, you need to guide them there. Invest enough in constant, ongoing promotion and ensure that it hits the right targets. It’ easy to waste a lot of money on marketing that does nothing in the long run, and without analyzing your results and doing enough research, you’ll never know if that’s not the case for your own business. Whatever you do though, don’t stop experimenting until you’ve found a formula that works.
Control Your Money Wisely
This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s common to see entrepreneurs in this field spending all of their funding on various things that don’t make sense. Or, alternatively, not knowing how to acquire additional funding when they need it. If you qualify for a business loan, it can make a huge difference if you’re in a situation where additional investment can boost your business significantly. There are many ways to ensure that you’re utilizing your financial potential to its fullest, so make sure that you look around the market regularly, not just when you need the money.
Reward Loyal Customers
Loyalty programs will never go out of style for a number of reasons, and it’s a good idea to look into them if you want to maximize the potential of your e-commerce business. It will make people more inclined to come back to you and shop again, it will improve satisfaction rates, and it will also give you some extra data to work with for your analytics. All in all, it’s a great move that can improve the state of your business significantly, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to implement either.
You should also be prepared to face some failure, especially if you’re going into a riskier niche that has more competition. If you can’t afford to see your business closing down, then perhaps it’s not the right time to be starting something like that in the first place, so get the rest of your affairs in order and do enough research before proceeding.