[Seller Speak] Starting an ecommerce marketplace

There’s always this talk about the many things one can do to start an ecommerce business. Maybe there’s not one right way; something would work more effectively for someone and maybe not so effectively for someone else. Online seller Premshri Jain shared his thoughts and experience on the topic in the article below.

Multi-category vs Niche Marketplace:

To start a multi-category marketplace, the first thing to consider is competition and which is more lucrative- because of the stark catfights between Flipkart, Amazon and many more because the network matrix of e-commerce says more buyers attract more sellers and vice versa. After all, everyone wants bite of the big pie!

But in the case of niche marketplaces, the first thing to be considered is ignored categories or categories were you can have upper hand in supply chain or products -because e-commerce is more about the product than technology, because of the very nature of products. To illustrate, Lenskart brings its own supply chain methods and resources to cater to the requirement of lens spectacle of its customers. The lack of options either in sizes or special designs can lead to niche marketplaces for e.g. Zivame which is known for its product assortment and needs of the women lingerie, adult health wellness and many more.

Team Building:

Getting people and their experiences to work for your start-up is an awesome feeling for the founders because a start-up is more about people than business itself as they are adhoc , people’s company and more over DIY ( do it yourself ) type of companies. Team building is challenging but essential.

Streamlined focus:

Many e-commerce companies are part of the ‘me too!’ syndrome or a clone of already successful ecommerce companies. In doing this you are doing more harm to your start-up as people remember only unique companies. You are killing the USP of your start-up; instead you should streamline focus on particular subjects. This helps you to bring your best and the best example of this is Flipkart, which started from books and widened to electronics to multi-categories.

Keep your expenses low:

If it’s a new venture, scratch it off and keep your monthly expenses / burn rate low to allow your marketplace to run for marathon instead of sprint which is like additional months of oxygen for your venture.

How to get initial vendors:

Flipkart’s founder had to personally talk with each of suppliers initially and had to convince them day in and day out and that too repeatedly! This means conviction and persistence play in big role in getting the ball rolling to get initial vendors from other marketplaces for starters, trade websites and from manufacturers.

Focus on Community Building:

Limeroad.com, instead of becoming just an online marketplace of fashion and apparel, went ahead by offering users the option of community where they can share what they like and also the Discovery platform for users to share and ‘love’ their shares.

Collecting data and personalizing the experiences is key to keep letting new users come at beginning, convert at the middle and loyal customers at the end and helping users to do that is way of finding more; that is by preferences which in this case is done beautifully by amazon.in

Most importantly believe in your dream, because no matter how many tips you get from others, it is you who have to do it so BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAM and MAKE IT…..

Credit: Prem, Onlinewale.in



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1 Comment

  1. Tanya Reply

    Great article about useful e-commerce tips, would love to hear more from experienced sellers online!

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