Realising the potential, partners spun off a separate ecommerce division of the business to be headed by Viral and Nihal. What did this mix of youth, armed with vibrant ideas, and experience, backed by years of accumulated business acumen, lead to in just a year? A turnover of Rs 130 crore!
Here’s more on the ecommerce journey of Mumbai-based Jumbo Distributors.
Although Nihal and the partners had retail outlets spread across the city, there was stiff competition hovering over them – large retail chains were opening one after the other, which impacted their growth. He started looking at options to expand and grow more.
When Viral joined the business, he was keen on expanding into the ecommerce space. He was able to convince the partners about the potential of the industry when the stock (electronics) worth Rs 5 lakhs was sold in just a few hours of listing on Snapdeal.
By listing on an online marketplace like Snapdeal, they got an unprecedented growth of almost 100% and were able to reach out to a much wider consumer base across newer geographies. They started selling large appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, mobile phones, etc. Overall, they have listed more than 1000 products on the marketplaces currently with daily shipping close to 100 a day.
Early difficulties and challenges
While operating the offline stores, maintaining momentum in sales was a task due to increasing competition and entry of new players. When they decided to join ecommerce, that too came with its share of challenges:
- Questions were raised about the authenticity and viability of the business
- Capital for inventory
- Money transfer process
- Returns management
In the second month, they saw exponential growth with sales amounting to Rs 1.5 crore. Apart from being one of the top sellers, they also enjoyed the status of having the best payment cycle at Snapdeal.
As business started growing at a large scale, challenges started cropping up like manpower, capital, growing market competition etc.
As a significant part of their revenue was from Snapdeal, they signed up for Snapdeal Plus. They were given space to stock their inventory, which helped them to manage large volumes of orders. Snapdeal’s seller team always addressed their challenges and supported them with extended training and technical assistance. Also, they got help in understanding crucial business nuances like packaging, logistics and customer service.
Currently, they enjoy an overall revenue of Rs 8-10 crores per month, with almost Rs 5 crores coming from Snapdeal alone. They ship around 5000 orders per month. They want to advance further by adding more categories in appliances and expanding to newer geographies pan India.
Ecommerce defined, in Nihal’s and Viral’s words
- Ecommerce improves market efficiency through several means. It enables consumers to purchase products directly from the manufacturer, thus eliminating added costs.
- It provides an easy and effective way to acquire pricing information. Consumers can easily search and compare prices on the web and select the best product after analyzing the competitive price in the market.
- Ecommerce provides sellers with price elasticity information that help the sellers to gauge the demand for a product.
They feel that online marketplaces provide an established platform for sellers to sell their products in the online space. For example, joining hands with Snapdeal helped them to learn the technique of working in partnership and adopt the multichannel approach to drive sales.
Here’s how they stay ahead of competition
Constant update of inventory and requirements
Lower payment cycles
Improve cash flows
Employ best manpower
3 critical pitfalls to avoid in online selling
- Selling products below cost price
- Stocking up inventory beyond 2-3 weeks
- Selling poor quality and unbranded products