Disclaimer: This article was authored by Deepa Thomas, e-commerce evangelist, eBay India on ETRetail.
An online marketplace encourages merchants of all sizes an opportunity to trade seamlessly and reach out to a wide customer base both in India and across the world. Both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs can adopt eCommerce as a sales channel by setting up a store on popular online marketplaces.
The entrepreneurs needs access to a laptop, a camera or a smart phone and a source of supply to set up an online presence and the marketplace takes care of the demand creation, website management, payments & enables logistics tie ups for the shipments. Marketplaces also have teams equipped to provide training on eCommerce and how to sell and help aspiring merchants understand the expectations of the often demanding online customer. Trust and confidence is again the responsibility of the marketplace who offer customers secure online payments and money back guarantees or replacements. Along with the feedback system or online reputation score, a previously unknown entrepreneur can build a credible brand online. Customers trust the marketplace company brand and feel confident to shop there and hence give even new merchants a chance to establish themselves.
Many entrepreneurs are taking to eCommerce and benefitting from a quick start to their business due to the negligible set-up costs and the convenience of selling. This platform is also ideal for women entrepreneurs.
If you look at the entire business spectrum, women today are successful entrepreneurs. But, due to infrastructural costs, logistical issues, dominance of established players in the market and personal time conflicts, they are often unable to tap their full potential. A marketplace such as eBay India offers women the flexibility to conduct their business at their own convenience. With minimal costs, women are able to start and expand their business by operating from their own comfort zone. They can also leverage the global presence of eBay India by exporting their products across the globe. For instance, the Tier 2 or 3 cities of the country are known for their traditional genre of products which have high demand in foreign countries. So, a women entrepreneur from a place like Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu can export her exclusive sarees to 145 million active buyers in 201 countries across the globe on eBay India without worrying about demand generation, marketing costs, delivery challenges and so on. She simply photographs and lists the sarees and the marketplace takes over from there.
There are many examples of women entrepreneurs using online marketplaces to showcase their products and growing their respective businesses. One such example is Ms. Keyuri Goshar, a Mumbai-based entrepreneur. A teacher-turned-entrepreneur, Ms. Goshar started by selling toys, books, games for kids and stationery, among other things through the eBay India marketplace. As a former school teacher, she was keen to have a business related to childrens products. She services 30-40 orders daily from eBay India now and has an enviable business set-up with 4 employees helping her source products, list and ship. She also talks about her confidence and self-esteem benefitting from her online success. She is one amongst many women entrepreneurs who have taken the online marketplace route to sell a host of products from apparels to toys and jewellery. It helps them overcome the barriers of high cost overheads and limited geographical reach in the offline world.
In the last few years, there has been a significant surge in the number of women who have started selling and expanding their business on eBay India. This is primarily on account of the fundamental business model that allows one to function as per their own convenience. Being the nucleus of the family, it is often imperative for women to strike a balance between their work and home. By taking the online marketplace route, these women entrepreneurs can do just that, and more.
Having all the determinants of a competent business professional, women entrepreneurs gain more exposure as they reach out to a larger audience by selling online. Online marketplace eBay India, enables them to use any of the 39 eBay worldwide sites to export to 145 million active users around the world. This empowers them to not only amplify their reach but also gives them international exposure, thereby building confidence. Ms. Parul Arora, a Delhi-based woman entrepreneur, started selling on eBay India eight years ago as an experiment. Today, she runs a successful online store from a separate office, has global customers and employs 9 people.
Online shopping has now become a way of life for young, online Indians. With affordable and easy access to high speed internet as well as increased awareness, we see many more consumers latching onto online shopping. The time is thus right for women entrepreneurs to establish their presence on online marketplaces and realise their true potential. Their time is here, their time is now.
After dwindling with her family business, into travel and hospitality, for more than 3 years, Pooja Vishant found her true love in writing. Happy-go-lucky and cheerful, she loves pink; so pink is the way to go if you want to get into her good books. The Associate Editor keeps track of even a leaf that has moved in the ecommerce world!