All you need to know about B2B ecommerce models

Currently, our B2B ecommerce market is estimated to reach $ 40Bn this year and expected to reach 2.5 times of B2C ecommerce market in 2020. B2B ecommerce segment is showing signs of rapid digital acceptance which is going to feed the considerable rise of entrepreneurs and MSMEs from the Indian hinterland. Also, many MSMEs are exploring the era of online selling and thus, accessing new customers across the country.

All you need to know about B2B ecommerce models_WebBlog

(Source: ‘THE GREAT INDIAN ECOMMERE BAZAAR’ by Ecumen)

It has been observed that MSMEs which adopt advanced level of digital engagement, experience annual revenue growth that is 27% higher than those of offline businesses. This is because of factors such as reduction in marketing and distribution costs, shorter time to market, etc.

Aggregator Model

It’s an ecommerce business model where a firm doesn’t produce or warehouse any item but collects (aggregates) information on goods and/or services from several competing sources at its website.

The aggregation mechanism works best in the following settings:

  • Purchasing is done through pre-negotiated contracts.
  • The supplier universe is highly classified.
  • The cost of a purchase order process is higher than the cost of items procured.
  • Products are not commodities but are specialized.
  • The number of individual products or SKUs (stock-keeping units), is extremely large.
  • A meta-catalog of products carried by a large number of suppliers can be created.
  • Buyers are not sophisticated enough to understand dynamic pricing mechanisms.

Business Purchasing Pattern

Purchases can be classified into-

  1. Manufacturing inputs: Raw materials and components that go directly into a product or a process as from industry to industry, these goods vary considerably. And these goods are purchased usually from industry-specific or vertical distributors and suppliers.
  2. Operating inputs: On other hand, they’re not the parts of finished products. Often called MRO (maintenance, repair, and operating) goods, they include things like spare parts, office supplies and services. They’re frequently purchased from the horizontal suppliers – vendors such as Tolexo.com and Industrybuying.com.

In business purchasing, the second snag is how services and products are bought. Companies can either engage in spot sourcing or systematic sourcing. As far as spot sourcing is concerned, the buyer’s goal is to accomplish an immediate requirement at the lowest possible cost. This approach is exemplified by commodity trading for products such as steel, energy and oil. Spot transactions seldom involve a long-term relationship with suppliers and surprisingly, buyers on the spot market often don’t know from whom they’re buying! Systematic sourcing includes negotiated contracts with qualified suppliers as the contracts incline to be long-term, the buyers-sellers mostly develop close relationships.

Future of Aggregator Model

With the steady rise of B2B ecommerce in India, the aggregator model is playing a key role in bringing equilibrium within organized space across various sectors. While still at an emerging stage, it can be concluded for now that the aggregator model will witness greater adoption among numerous market players in the near future, enabling the creation of an ecosystem that benefits all parties involved.

Today, any ecommerce business is thriving on the subsidies and incentives that they give customers and suppliers to gain market share and traction. Even the major players will not sustain if the trends continue to remain. The aggregators will have to actually test the model by eliminating subsidies and incentives and then, figure out whether it’s doable or some twigging is required in the model.

Key Challenges

Unorganized Almost 95% of ecommerce B2B market is unorganized and dominated by local vendors. Lack of education on using right technology among customers (to buy) and sellers (to list) create a disadvantage for the sellers because they don’t have access to buyers via internet. Plus, small-scaled sellers aren’t able to scale up and sell to the multinationals at more competitive rates than those of higher-scale producers. Critical feedback for these small sellers to improve operations is also lost by remaining offline.
Preference for credit Historically “Credit” is a preferred mode of payment in offline B2B transactions where payment in offline trade is made 30 days after receipt of goods. However in B2B ecommerce, payment will have to be made upfront and at the most, Cash On Delivery will be accepted.
Nomination for PSE (Public Sector Enterprise) Currently there is a lack of a transparent and efficient competitive bidding route to choose the PSEs. It restricts Public Sector entity or Public Exchequer from getting the best options for service providers.
Lack of expertise in peripheral activities As the merchants move to online channels, they lack expertise in peripheral activities where they seek the support of ecommerce platforms and logistics partners such as managing inventory, handling invoicing and providing consumer insights.

 

Furthermore, Aggregator Model assures small and large enterprises to fulfill their product requirements in the simplest, most efficient and transparent manner. Major three roadblocks for any SMEs during procurement are:

  1. Sourcing
  2. Logistics
  3. Financial Credit

All these three individual processes are challenges for SMEs. In India, Metal Junction and MMRTC only are focusing towards this model through auction model. If SMEs are able to provide benefits to both buyers and suppliers through streamline value chain, it can bring success in near future. Their value chain precisely focuses on reduction of time, cost, inventory and people through transparency and better pricing mechanism.

In B2B ecommerce era, companies are also exploring MRO (Maintenance Repair & Operation) Model, but in this model also, there are some major challenges such as:

  1. Sourcing and Procurement
  2. Inventory Management
  3. Supply chain Management
  4. Govt. & Legal policies

If you want to know which model will suit best for your ecommerce business, talk to our expert ecommerce consultants!

What makes Magento the best platform for marketplace website development

Best examples of ecommerce checkout page design

As you are here, it means either you already have an ecommerce business or you want to do so. Doesn’t matter! But if you’re in ecommerce sector, then it’s essential that you have a full-fledged site and for that, you need to have proper ecommerce website development. You have to make sure that everything is done in correct manner – right from choosing a theme to developing a checkout page.

Checkout page is the heart of your entire website because it takes care of actual selling of your products. So whether you hire an ecommerce development agency or do it yourself, you should make sure that your ‘proceed to payment’ part doesn’t have any loophole. Following are some examples of websites having perfect checkout page, which you can take inspiration from and convert the site visitors into customers:

1. Dune London

Dune-Best examples of ecommerce checkout page design

For any checkout page, it’s essential that the customer can clearly see what is there in his/her cart, what he’s going to pay for. Duke London knows this art better than anyone else. They show the summary of products which are added to the cart. Clearly showing your customer what he/she is going to pay for makes good impact. It enhances the transparency and trust level along with conveying that there is no hidden cost.

2. Simply Hike

Simply Hike - Best examples of ecommerce checkout page design

Simply Hike has also done a good ecommerce website development. They best know how to treat their customers. They offer different shipping options like ‘Express’ and ‘Standard’ to their customers. Along with shipping, they also offer various payment options to assure that their customer doesn’t return just because of unavailability of his/her preferred payment option. This point can treat the issue of cart abandonment at a certain level.

3. Amazon.com

Amazon - Best examples of ecommerce checkout page design

When it comes to ecommerce website development, it’s a common perception for designers and developers to come up with options like ‘Add to Wishlist’, ‘Buy Later’ or ‘Continue Shopping’ on checkout page. But Amazon has something else to offer to their customers – either buy the products that are in cart or close the window. Nothing in between! By doing this, they make sure that once a site visitor reaches the checkout page; he/she must not get distracted from proceeding to final purchase. Thoughtful ecommerce development, isn’t it?

Being in ecommerce sector, you must know the art of attracting and convincing your site visitors so that you can turn them into your potential customers. Above examples will help you understand it in a better way.

If you want Ecumen to help you in converting your visitors into customers, talk to our ecommerce experts!

Magento the best platform for marketplace website development

What makes Magento the best platform for marketplace website development?

When it comes to developing a marketplace website, Magento wins the race of being the most-preferred platform of all. Because of its flexibility and unmatched functionality, Magento has been gaining great acceptance among the web developers and merchants.

Its intuitive interface enables you to customize your marketplace website as per your business requirements. It is an ultimate ecommerce solution to all your needs for developing a marketplace website. Being a feature-rich platform, Magento provides an unrivaled shopping experience to your customers.

Key Features of Magento Development

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Marketing, promotions and conversion tools
  • Catalog browsing and management
  • Product browsing
  • Order management
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Mobile commerce and more…

For marketplace development, these features have made Magento the most favorite ecommerce solution among all. It gives tough competition to its rivals. Let’s check out how it defeats other platforms:

Magento Vs. Shopify

A number of excellent templates and extensions is what Magento has to offer! On other hand, Shopify, being a smaller platform, has just a few templates to offer. Comprehensiveness is another perk on Magento’s side as Shopify doesn’t exhibit as many options for customization and reporting as Magento. However Shopify is good for developing small websites, Magento wins the race here!

Magento Vs. BigCommerce

Magento has a simple and easy-to-use framework. However BigCommerce is easy to set up, it has some issues such as complex plug-ins, limited third party support and more. So for developers, ecommerce development with BigCommerce is really a fuss whereas with Magento, marketplace development is easy and efficient.

Magento Vs. Miva Merchant

Although not much pricey, Miva Merchant is paid whereas Magento is open source – absolutely free! It’s true that Magento doesn’t provide you any loyalty programs or reseller discounts but it allows you to use the wish list features and product reviews. So one more time, Magento wins!

Ecumen has been the most-preferred technology partner for a number of marketplace businesses across the globe. If you also have an idea to develop a marketplace website, then we can offer you a demo how your marketplace would look like when it’ll go live.

So reach us now and get a FREE marketplace demo!

WordPress 4.6 Pepper: Ultimate Guide to What’s New

WordPress 4.6 named ‘Pepper’ brings amazing new features with focus on important things. Named Pepper in honor of jazz baritone saxophonist Park Frederick “Pepper” Adams III, the new WordPress version offers you everything you wanted out of WordPress and gets you where you need to go faster.

Top 5 Features of WordPress 4.6 “Pepper”

The new WordPress version certainly promises to add spice to your WordPress experience and work wonders with its slew of features. Apart from various performance and stability improvements under the hood, what exactly does WordPress 4.6 offer? Let’s have a look:

Faster Experience:

The new WordPress Pepper is faster. Whether it is about adding a theme, updating your site’s plugin or even navigating the WordPress dashboard, the new iteration helps you focus on the important things and gets them done efficiently.

Simpler Workflow:

It offers a simpler and faster workflow for adding and activating new themes or plugins on your site. It also offers streamlines updates on the same page, so even as you update, install and delete your plugins and themes you can stay on the same page and still get it all done more efficiently.

Improved Editor in WordPress 4.6:

The new WordPress offers a smarter and improved WordPress editor. It introduces many new features that include:

Inline Line checker: The new update introduces Inline Link Checker that automatically checks links to ensure that they are free from errors. So you can be rest assured of no more broken links.

Content Recovery: Saving your content now become easier than ever with content recovery as WordPress automatically saves the draft content to the browser as the user types it.

Native Fonts:

Your native fonts that you use on the desktop now find themselves on WordPress too. This translates into faster page load and better performance.

Developer Features and Changes:

The various under the hood performance improvements for faster and better performance include:

  • Resource Hints for better performance
  • Robust Requests improves standard support.
  • WP_Term_Query and WP_ Post_Type
  • Multisite performance improvements
  • Update to  various JavaScript  libraries
  • Improved translation loading
  • API for Customizer  validation and  notifications
  • Expansion of  Meta  Registration API

Excited to take your website to the next level of performance? Contact our expert WordPress developers at Ecumen today and see them work wonders with WordPress 4.6 ‘Pepper” on your ecommerce portal.

5 Popular social media plug-ins for WordPress

As social media is one of those online activities in which people engage the most, it can be most advantageous to promote your online business and the products. And for this, what can be better than directing them to your social media channels from your website?

This is possible by syncing social media to your online store through some plug-ins. Here is a list of 5 most popular plug-ins that can be used for a WordPress site:

1. Ultimate Social

Price: $15 for regular license

It lets you choose from more than 25 social buttons with over 20 display locations. It features fan counts, color control, multiple languages and skins and much more. Its multiple integrations cover Jigoshop, BuddyPress and WooCommerce.

2. Monarch

Price: $69 per year

It lets you choose from more than 20 social media networks for display. To create a custom collection, you can add and arrange any number of networks which you want to show your visitors. It also offers six different automatic pop-up and fly-in triggers to allow unique user interactions.

3. AddToAny

Price: FREE

The AddToAny features floating share buttons, analytics integration, share counters, custom icons, vector icons and placement. This plug-in helps your audience share your posts and other content to over 100 social media and sharing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and WhatsApp.

4. Social Media Feather

Price: FREE

This WordPress plug-in offers the light-weight social sharing as it doesn’t add any unnecessary burden to your website. By clicking on various modern-looking sharing buttons, you can simply and easily direct your website visitors to your social media pages.

5. SumoMe

Price: FREE for Basic plan, $40 per month for Pro plan

It can amplify your WordPress ecommerce site with some powerful engagement tools such as image sharer, heatmaps, contact form and many more. Its share tool lets the site visitors share your content on more than 16 social media platforms.

The app-only strategy bursts!

In recent past, many ecommerce players came-up with app-only shopping campaigns for mobile phone users i.e. no mobile web! But day-after-day, ecommerce mobile apps are losing their novelty and hence, users are uninstalling the apps from their devices in order to free memory. In some cases, uninstall rates are as high as 90%, as per a report.

Earlier this month, one of the ecommerce giants – Flipkart had to restart their mobile website to retain the customers. After going app-only on May 15, Myntra also has witnessed a sudden drop in shoppers and ultimately, they’re also planning to come back with a mobile version of their website.

Snapdeal gets almost 70-75% traffic from their mobile website. According to the Chief Product Officer at Snapdeal, the mobile web era had never died and it was a faulty decision to move to the app-only strategy. For ecommerce service providers, going App-only was never an option, you have to go parallel with the both (mobile web and app).

As per a report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and market research firm IMRB International, India is expected to have around 400 million mobile web users by June, 2016.

It was known that although marketing heads and entrepreneurs rushed to maximize the app downloads, they didn’t necessarily result in higher growth. Ultimately, their emphasis moved to customer engagement and in this scenario, their high expectations of an app-only strategy couldn’t be materialized. As a matter of fact, there are two key reasons behind this:

  1. In small cities and towns, there are many first-time internet users who don’t have those expensive smartphones with massive memory storage. So they prefer using their mobile web browsers for surfing and probably buying something instead of downloading multiple applications on their phones.
  2. Due to an inconvenience of frequent app updates and notifications, customers like to get rid of applications and are ready to uninstall several apps from their mobile phones.

That is why now, in order to improve their mobile web offerings, both – ecommerce startups and majors are focusing more towards investing resources in mobile websites rather than going with applications only. They are moving to build mobile web apps with some extra features which customers were given with the mobile apps so that they can have superior experience and convenience. Once again they are paying same attention to the mobile web because for a successful return on their investments, it is essential to have a strong presence across all the platforms.

Big brands – bigger ecommerce strategies

If there is one thing that is on everyone’s mind these days, it has to be ecommerce. Since the time big brands got online, it is a rat race to become as popular in the online scenario as they are offline.

One of the big brands, Adidas recently announced its plan to integrate 750 stores into an ‘endless aisle’. In India, the Adidas Group has rolled out its omni channel strategy to integrate 200 out of its 750 stores with shopper friendly technology by March 2016.

“We have already integrated 50 stores in the north with the ‘endless aisle’ technology and will cover 200 stores in all by March 2016”, said Abhishek Lal, senior e-commerce director for Adidas Group in India.

Adidas Group follows the franchise model and currently has 500 stores under the Adidas brand and 250 stores under the Reebok brand. “By 2017, we will cover all our existing stores, and are targetting a 10 to 15 per cent rise in revenues from every store through this technology integration”, Lal said.

The second phase of the omni channel strategy involves having a brand that is only available online in order to target the youth. The brand is called “Adidas Neo” in India.

“We have launched Adidas Neo exclusively online, and are also looking at retailing certain products for cyclists online going forward”, Lal said. And once these products become popular, they will introduce them in the physical stores.

“Integrated online business is only going to increase, and our plan is to make all our retailers gear their focus towards this”, he said.

Lessons to learn from Flipkart

Among all other online marketplaces in India, Flipkart is undoubtedly the most popular one. They started way back in 2007 and have made a mark for themselves since then. They have a customer recall created through frequent advertising. They have had a journey of adding new categories with time as and when they expand.

Let us have a look at the Timeline of Flipkart:

September, 2007 Launch of Flipkart: Flipkart was launched with an initial investment of INR 4 Lakhs by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, an IIT duo. It was supported in early days by their respective parents who used to give an INR 10,000 as a monthly allowance. This continued for 18 months.                
October, 2008 Incorporation of Flipkart online Services Pvt. Ltd: Formally incorporated as a company, it started as an online books retailer. The site was launched from their two-bedroom apartment in Koramangala, a primarily residential locality in Bangalore. First order was placed 10 days after the launch, from Andhra Pradesh for the book ‘Leaving Microsoft to Change the World’ by John Wood.
November, 2009 Accel Partners (India) invest $1million in Flipkart: The first investment of USD 1 million came in from Accel India at a valuation of INR 16 crore (USD 2.61 million). The venture capital (VC) company, whose India operations are headed by SubrataMitra, has been funding internet, software and technology related companies for the past few years.
March, 2010 Revenues near $2million in 2009-2010: In the financial year 2009-10, Flipkart recorded a revenue of INR 11.6 crore (USD 1.89 million) along with a loss of INR 91.27 Lakh (USD 0.14 million). It was a high jump from the previous INR 2.5 crore revenue and a loss of INR 1.37 Lakh in 2008-09.
June, 2010 Tiger Global invests $10 millions: The company raised USD 10 million from Tiger Global in the second round of funding and at an evaluation of INR 220 crore (USD 35.93 million). Tiger Global’s private equity partnerships have ten-year horizons and invest in growth companies in the global Internet and technology sectors. The funding was used by Flipkart for building more capacity in supply chain and logistics, upgrading technology capabilities and expanding marketing initiatives.
December, 2010 acquires book recommendation network we Read: Acquired weRead- a social network based book recommendation and review portal. We Read was set up in 2007 by Ugenie, a start-up based out of Bangalore.
February, 2011 Adds camera and computers in electronic category: Flipkart’s category expansion continues with the addition of electronics such as cameras and computers.
March, 2011 Announces target of $1 Billion GMV by year 2015: Flipkart projected target of reaching to USD 1 billion (about INR 5,500 crore) in sales by 2015
March, 2011 Analyst revise FY13 expectation by 6x: Expected to record a revenue of USD 16.6 million for FY 2011-12 and planned to hit USD 100 million by FY 2012-13, a six-fold jump from the existing year’s sales
March, 2011 revenues grow 5X to over $8million: In the financial year 2010-11, Flipkart had revenue of INR 50 crore (USD 8.186 million).
April, 2011 Launches First TV commercial: First TV commercial- a fairytale featuring an old grandmother who is able to magically order books with her pet mouse.
June, 2011 Tiger Global invest $20 million: The Company raised USD 20 million from Tiger Global in Series C round of funding. The investment aimed at building the consumer base of the company.
August, 2011 Adds Home Appliance as a category
October, 2011 Adds TV and Video as category: This includes CDs/DVDs of movies and Hindi/English TV Shows.
October, 2011 Acquires music streaming portal Mime360:Flipkart made its second acquisition in form of Mime360, a Mumbai based business digital content platform company which hosted music streaming for labels like Saregama, Universal Music and Inreco. Amount was undisclosed.
October,2011 Caryle, General Atlantic in talks to invest in flipkart: Founder duo travelled to New York in order to convince General Atlantic Partners’ investment committee to invest USD 150-200 million into Flipkart at an overall valuation of somewhere between $750 million to $1 billion. However, General Atlantic refused to participate in Flipkart’s funding due to issues in its presented valuation.
November, 2011 Adds Stationary and Kitchen appliance as a category
November, 2011 Acquires Bollywood news site Chakpak in distress: Chakpak was third in Flipkart’s acquisition series. It was a Bollywood news site that offers updates, news, photos and videos. Before acquisition, Chakpak has raised an amount of USD 5 million from Canaan Partners. However, they soon run out of money and were acquired by Flipkart for US$ 2 billion
November, 2011 Launches prepaid wallet: Launches prepaid Wallet feature that lets users shop up to Rs. 10,000. Also, it allows shoppers to store money on the site and use it to purchase items, without having to reach for their credit card for each transaction.
January, 2012 Raises $150 million in series D: Raised $150 million from MIH and ICONIQ Capital along with existing investors, Tiger Global and Accel Partners at a valuation of USD 850 million (INR 4675 crore). The funding aimed at fueling their growth plans and help achieve the stated ambition of hitting $1 billion in gross merchandise value by 2015.
February, 2012: Acquires Online electronic store lets buy: Flipkart made its next move in its acquisition spree-acquired Letsbuy.com, the country’s second-largest online electronics retailer for speculated USD 20 million. The deal, however, cached a lot of controversies.
February, 2012Launches digital music store flyte: Flipkart made its entry into the digital world with the launch of Flyte Digital Music Store. The move was said to the next logical step after acquisition of Mime360.
March, 2012 Losses touch $18 million: Flipkart recorded a loss of INR 109.9 crore (USD 17.98 million) and revenue of INR 204.8 crore (USD 33.51 million). The expenses for the year reach to INR 265.6 crore (USD 43.46 million) with cash balance dropped to INR 236 crore (USD 38.61 million).
April, 2012Adds Fragrances as a category: Two categories viz. Perfumes and Deodorants were added both for men and women.
August, 2012 Adds baby care as a category
October, 2012 Adds menswear as a category: Realizing the potential of growing online apparel segment, Flipkart marked its entry by launching men’s apparel category on the store. In the same month, it also launched sports and fitness and footwear as a category.
November, 2012 Adds e-book as a category: Flipkart Forayed into the eBooks category through its digital store Flyte. The Flyte store had an initial collection of over 1 lakh books starting from as little as INR30. Readers can purchase and download the books from the e-showroom using their mobile devices.
November, 2012 Government Raids Flipkart warehouses: Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided Flipkart warehouse in Bangalore on probing alleged violation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regulation. Important documents and computer hard drives were confiscated to be submitted to the cyber forensic department for further investigation.
February, 2013 Adds women’s wear as a category
February, 2013 Sells WS retail: WS retail was the B2C division of Flipkart. However, Flipkart sold WS Retail to a group of investors led by former On Mobile COO Rajiv Kuchhal. The step was taken in order to help Flipkart to comply with the foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations.
March, 2013 Revenues crosses $200 million in 2013-14:In 2012-13, Flipkart reported a revenue of INR 1180 crore (USD 193.09 million) and a loss of INR 281.7 crore (USD 46.09 million). The expenses of the company reached to INR 1366 crore (USD 223.53 million) with cash balance dropped to INR 166.2 crores.
April, 2013 Launches Seller market place: Launches its seller marketplace with an aim to place a virtual mall giving shoppers access to multiple brands and sellers under one roof. Initially, the marketplace got 50 sellers on board.
May, 2013 Shuts down flyte: Realizing the music downloads business in India will not reach scale unless several problem areas such as music piracy and easy micro-payments etc are solved in great depth, Flipkart stepped back and shuts down the service.
July, 2013 Launches Payment Gateway service Payzippy: Founders, who earlier went on to mess around with inventory model retailing as business have now finally found their cup of cake in technology by first moving to the marketplace model, and now launching a payment gateway service, initially only opened for Indian merchants.
July, 2013 raises $360 millions: In series E-Raised USD 200 million from existing investors Tiger Global and Accel Partners. Soon, controversies prevailed on its valuation and facts submitted. 3 months after, it again raised USD 160 million from Tiger Global, Dragoneer, Morgan Stanley, Sofina and Vulcan Capital making the total raise to USD 360 million.
August, 2013 Launches Flyte book app: Introduces Books App for iOS, Windows Phone and browser. Flipkart books use a propriety format and cannot be read in any other format.
August, 2013 India wants to know campaign: In order to educate the consumers about the benefits, ease and convenience that ecommerce as well as Flipkart offers, it spoofs Arnab Go swami’s, ‘India Wants to know’ in new TVC.
September, 2013 Launches Flipkart Android app: Introduces Android Application that offers users the ability to browse and purchase from the online shopping website’s product catalogue from their smart phones.
October, 2013 Adds Mobile as a Category
November, 2013 Flipchart valued at $ 1.6 million: After its latest round of funding, the firm was valued at approx. INR 9900 crore (US$1.6 billion) by MIH India. MIH India, a part of South African media company Naspers group, said that it bought an additional 8.6% stake in Flipkart Pvt. Ltd in July for Rs.851.7 crore.
November,2013launches iOS app
December, 2013 Launches one day delivery: Launched ‘One Day Delivery’ for INR 90 in selected cities. This includes Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad. Orders need to be placed before 6pm on the previous day.
December, 2013 Launches consumer wallet Payzippy: consumer Wallet was launched in partnership with several ecommerce stores. The service allows users to store their card information just once and use it on Flipkart and other partnered website.
December, 2013 Analysts project $485 million revenues in 2013-14: Analysts expected Flipkart to generate sales revenue of INR 3, 000 crore (USD 485 million) in FY 2013-14.
March, 2013 Reaches $1 billion GMV run rate: Company touches the annual GMV run rate of USD 1 billion at a valuation of INR 2000 crore. The founders are now expecting Flipkart to become a mobile commerce platform in the near future with features customized to individual users.

What can we learn from Flipkart?

Sachin and Binny Bansal started off with books- a low capital investment and fast turn-around time. The best thing they did was that they understood that to be successful in India, they need to be the God of distribution. In India, it is the amazing logistics that prove to be the game –changer and that’s exactly what the folks at Flipkart have done.

Operational Strategy:

Flipkart’s business model is much deeper and much expansive.

Following are the few key points –

  • Rationalized supply chain – Inbound logistics
  • Strategic warehousing and distribution capability – Operations
  • Well aligned fulfillment process – Outbound logistics

All the three processes are extremely well integrated – first by a sound strategy, around which the organizational structure is built.

They have a complementing structure to support their strategy. The third critical success factor for Flipkart is technology as an enabler. A strong information system is at the core of the organization, which drives visibility and end-to-end integration across their supply chain processes (inbound operations – outbound) resulting in a well lubricated efficient machine.

Flipkart first: They have started this as a subscription model in order to engage the customer for long term. Following are the benefits that they cover under this:

  • It offers customers unlimited access to In-a-Day guarantee delivery
  • Free standard delivery with no minimum purchase price
  • Same-day Guarantee delivery at a discounted price and a bonus of 60 day replacement guarantee, instead of usual 30 day period.

Marketing Strategies:

  • Word of mouth (initial marketing, even now they want to satisfy customer so they come back for more)
  • Good use of SEO
  • Flipkart says “We DO NOT sell old books or used books. All the books listed at Flipkart.com are new books. The books listed at Flipkart.com are now available for free download in e book or PDF format”
  • Good use of SEM

Thus, it is safe to say that Flipkart and its journey is a good case study for the new entrants who wish to join the Ecommerce bandwagon. If you want to know more such facts,

IRCTC delivers. Literally!

You might have purchased some product from an online marketplace. But have you ever tried booking a ticket on IRCTC website? How was the experience?

Most of you would have faced some or the other issue. Tatkal (short notice) booking is like running a marathon against time!

But all this has a solution now. Thank God for Ecommerce!

Bookmytrain.com is your savior. They are the brilliant mind behind the idea of COD and doorstep delivery of e-tickets. Well, rejoice; you have a reason to plan more holidays now! 😀

We have had a journey from standing in a long queue for railway tickets, to bribing the TT when travelling without a ticket, to having a preference about the window seat or the lower berth, to wanting good food for dinner in trains, to booking tickets online (the transformation took forever, but it did happen), to now finally getting tickets delivered at your doorstep.

The brainchild of a Gurgaon based start-up Anduril Technologies, people can now book e-tickets and pay for them after they are delivered at their place. It is majorly targeted at the rural population and people who do not own debit/credit card and/or are not comfortable with internet banking.

According to IRCTC currently, 42% of people buying tickets online use Internet banking, 24% use credit or debit cards and the rest use prepaid cash cards or other mediums.

To avail COD, an additional charge of Rs. 40 for sleeper class ticket and Rs. 60 for AC class ticket would be levied. Terms and conditions of the website indicate that the booked tickets would be delivered two days prior to the journey date (three for certain far-away locations).

Cash on Delivery bookings can be made up to five days before the date of the journey. Wait-listed and RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) tickets can also be procured using the service. Payment must be made within 120 hours of booking the ticket, or it would be cancelled.

The service has been launched as a pilot project and COD would be available in 200 cities, a PTI report indicated.

In case of cancellation, the money would be refunded to the bank account number provided, or by cheque to the customer’s registered address. In case of the latter, courier charges would have to be borne by the passenger.

This move is going to affect competitors like Makemytrip, Yatra and Cleartrip, as they provide online booking of railway tickets but do not provide a Cash on Delivery option.

“Cash on delivery helps widen your customer base and this move will help IRCTC to reach out to Tier II and Tier III and the rural markets where consumers do not have access to net banking or credit or debit cards,” said Saurabh Srivastava, director at consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“At present, we book around 10,000 tickets online per minute, which is beyond our expectations. When we launched this service, our target was to book 7,200 tickets per minute. With over 200,000 agents booking through IRCTC, we are gearing up for higher ticketing rate per minute,” said Rajni Hasija, Group General Manager—Information Technology at IRCTC.

Without Net Neutrality, Ecommerce will not remain an equal platform for all!

Imagine a situation where you are trying to shop from an online marketplace and that page doesn’t load at all!

The page loads but the products take time to load, one by one…

You somehow get to select the product you want to buy (Alas!)

But you are then stuck with adding it to the cart!! (Oops!)

And cannot even pay for it with ease!

Well, this scenario is not far! With new rules and regulations in place, Net Neutrality (our right to surf any site on the internet with the same speed) will die. (RIP literally)

What is Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

Net Neutrality is the Internet’s guiding principle: It preserves our right to communicate freely online. This is the definition of an open Internet.

Net Neutrality means the Internet that enables and protects free speech. It means that Internet service providers should provide us with open networks — and should not block or discriminate against any applications or content that ride over those networks. Just as your phone company shouldn’t decide who you can call and what you say on that call, your ISP shouldn’t be concerned with the content you view or post online.

Without Net Neutrality, cable and phone companies could carve the Internet into fast and slow lanes. An ISP (Internet service provider) could slow down its competitors’ content or block political opinions it disagrees with. ISPs could charge extra fees to the few content companies that could afford to pay for preferential treatment — relegating everyone else to a slower tier of service. This would destroy the open Internet.

Net Neutrality is crucial for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who rely on the open Internet to launch their businesses, create a market, advertise their products and services, and distribute products to customers. We need the open Internet to foster job growth, competition and innovation.

Net Neutrality lowers the barriers of entry for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses by ensuring the Web is a fair and level playing field. It’s because of Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive on the Internet. They use the Internet to reach new customers and showcase their goods, applications and services.

No company should be able to interfere with this open marketplace. ISPs are by definition the gatekeepers to the Internet, and without Net Neutrality, they would seize every possible opportunity to profit from that gatekeeper control. (Source: savetheinternet.com)

Equality across the web is critical to Ecommerce:

It is very important for Ecommerce websites to make their browsing experience and purchasing items as quick and efficient as possible. It has been proven that slow loading of web pages lead to higher page abandonment rates, thus bringing down the conversion rate of an online marketplace. Successful conversions are essential to make an ecommerce venture successful.

Will be a piece of cake for big players

Big players have big budgets and can afford to pay for the “fast lane” version of the internet to ensure that their customers have an uninterrupted shopping experience.

But small players will suffer

But smaller online retailers will face a problem as they will not be able to afford the “fast lane” and will have to settle for “slow lane” which will in turn affect their margins. Customers will prefer sites with better speed and big players will benefit from it.