If there is one sector that has been red-hot in recent times, it’s e-commerce. In the past couple of years, we have seen a lot of players entering this space and experimenting with new business models such as flash sales, online marketplace, social shopping, and more. However, not all of these ventures have been successful. There has been a lot of experimentation and failure along the way. So, where do we go from here? How can you create an e-commerce business that thrives? We have listed key learnings from some of the top e-commerce marketplace companies in India to help you get started with your venture.
5 Lessons to Learn from Top E-commerce Marketplace Companies in India
1. Partner with the right influencers.
One of the key learnings from the top e-commerce players in India is that partnering with the right influencers can help you drive sales. You can partner with bloggers, YouTubers, and Instagrammers to build brand awareness and drive sales. However, you cannot just sign up anyone. You need to partner with people who have a large and engaged audience. You can achieve this through a joint promotion or an affiliate program. You’ll also need to decide the terms of the partnership. It can be anything from a one-time promotional post to a recurring sponsorship.
2. Hire the best team members.
One of the biggest challenges e-commerce startups face is high turnover rates. It is mainly attributed to poor salary structure and the inability to retain top talent. Hiring the right team members is essential if you want to survive in this competitive industry. According to a study, just 13% of employees are engaged and fully committed to their work. The other 87% are either indifferent or disengaged. It poses a significant risk to your brand as an indifferent employee is unlikely to provide a great customer experience. This is why it is important to hire the best team members.
3. Learn from your mistakes.
There is no better way to learn than from your own mistakes. There is no doubt that e-commerce is a highly competitive industry. So, it’s only a matter of time before you make a few mistakes. It’s essential to learn from these mistakes and avoid them in the future. They can be broken down into a few key areas:
- Pricing strategy: It’s essential to understand your customer’s psychology and provide them with a value proposition that resonates with them. Pricing your products too high will drive customers away. However, pricing them too low will affect your margins.
- Inventory management: It’s vital to forecast demand and optimise your inventory. If you have too much inventory, you will face extra costs. However, you will lose customers if you don’t have enough inventory.
- Website performance: A website that loads slowly or is difficult to navigate will deter customers. Make sure you implement the latest web technologies to optimise performance.
4. Focus on the customer experience.
The rise of online e-commerce marketplaces has altered not only the way people shop but also the way they interact with brands. Today, consumers prefer to shop online over visiting a retail store. The reason for this shift is the convenient and personalised shopping experience that e-commerce sites offer. Customers expect their online shopping experience to be smooth, seamless, and personalised. They want to be assured of authenticity, timely delivery, and a hassle-free return policy.
The most successful e-commerce companies have invested in technology and data to provide their customers with a personalised experience—including product recommendations, payment and shipping options, or how they communicate with the customers.
5. Steadily build up trust among customers and supply chain partners.
Online marketplaces continuously invest in building systems and processes to create a secure environment for both customers and sellers. For example, they provide a trust seal on their website and offer a hassle-free return policy with product replacement. In addition, some of the top e-commerce players in India have diversified their revenue streams to reduce their dependency on advertisement revenue.
For example, Amazon has moved beyond the e-commerce model and is now generating revenue from cloud computing services, advertising, and subscription-based services.
Seek Inspiration from the Top E-commerce Marketplace Companies in India
The Indian e-commerce market has proliferated over the last couple of years, thanks to a young and tech-savvy population coupled with low penetration of traditional brick-and-mortar retail. India’s top e-commerce players have invested heavily in the sector and are constantly raising the bar on new customer experiences, warehouse management systems, and delivery processes. These marketplaces have also devised innovative ways to tackle their most significant challenges while scaling up their businesses rapidly.
Here are some key takeaways from India’s top e-commerce marketplaces:
Lesson received: Offer a seamless website/app experience to the customer.
BookMyShow started as a ticketing marketplace for events in India and has expanded its offering to include travel, leisure, and movie tickets. Currently, it is the biggest e-commerce marketplace for events in the country. With the advent of online ticketing services, a significant portion of the Indian population has started using this application to buy tickets for events.
What makes BookMyShow stand out as an e-commerce platform:
- Cities, venues, and movies are extremely easy to search for.
- Offers discounts and coupons, along with no complications in making payments.
- You can browse through reviews and trailers without leaving the site.
- It has a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate mobile app.
Here are a few learnings from BookMyShow:
- Optimise your website for mobile – It is crucial to ensure that your website is easy to navigate and provides a seamless experience. It’s a major e-commerce learning that you can apply to your business. A customer who visits your website will instantly form an opinion about your brand. Make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices. This will help you retain customers and drive more traffic to your website.
- Build trust with security badges – People are wary of sharing their credit card details online. Make your customers feel safe by displaying trusted security badges such as SSL and Verified by Visa.
- Offer customer reviews – One of the best ways to build trust is by offering customer reviews on your website.
Lesson Received: Offer a wide range of products and personalised experience.
Nykaa is an online beauty and wellness e-commerce marketplace. It targets the high-revenue-potential beauty and wellness sector because it is fragmented in distribution, advertising and marketing, and discovery of products. It has an extensive network of beauty and wellness stores across the country, and its customers can choose to purchase online or offline, depending on their preferences.
What makes Nykaa stand out as an e-commerce platform:
- It offers a mix of online and offline sales.
- It provides its customers with a wide range of product choices.
- You are offered a highly personalised experience throughout.
- All the products available are authentic.
Here are a few learnings from Nykaa:
- Personalise to win hearts – You must make customers feel that a product/ service is specially made for them. Add elements of personalisation with unique combos, tutorials, stories, etc.
- More choices, more customers – When you offer different types of products or various categories of one product, no customer will ever leave empty-handed. Offer range and options in whichever way you can, but without compromising on quality; this is what makes Nykaa the best.
Lesson Received: Customer experience should be the core of any app/website.
The best e-commerce websites in India focus on more than just the product or sales aspect. They concentrate on delighting customers and providing them with an exceptional experience.
What makes Myntra stand out as an e-commerce platform:
- The innumerable benefits it offers to its regular customers. For example, Myntra Insider scheme and purchase points.
- Product details are very specific and accurate, leaving no questions or doubts among customers.
- Myntra makes it highly convenient for customers to reach them for help with quick responses over calls, messages, and emails.
Here are a few learnings from Myntra:
- Excellent customer service – This is extremely important, especially when you’re dealing with a large number of customers. No one likes to deal with a rude or unhelpful customer service agent. Myntra makes sure their team members are always courteous and helpful.
- Keep up with the latest trends – If you have a fashion or lifestyle e-commerce site, it is important to keep up with the latest trends. It’s a lesson to learn from Myntra as it stays updated and informed.
- Make your site easy to navigate – This is particularly important if your website gets a lot of traffic. Make sure your site is easy to navigate so visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for. Myntra is one fashion app that is extremely user-friendly with brilliant customer service.
4. Tata 1mg
Lesson Received: Focus on gaining the reliability of customers.
Established in 2010, Tata 1mg is a healthcare e-commerce marketplace connecting patients with the best doctors and lab tests. The company has been a game changer in the healthcare sector in India.
What makes Tata 1mg stand out as an e-commerce platform:
- It is popular in making healthcare affordable.
- A wide range of medicines is made accessible at the doorstep.
- It has included not only allopathic but also ranges of both Ayurveda and homeopathic.
Here are a few learnings from Tata 1mg:
- Word-of-mouth marketing – Tata 1mg is based on word-of-mouth marketing. It boasts of quality services and reliability of customers, which is one of the most prominent lessons to be learned by any brand to flourish organically.
- Easy to search – Make your product/ service search without any complexity or added embellishments. The search bar should be evident, and the search results should be very accurate.
- Provide offers – Discounts are attractive. Everyone loves discounts, and people are definitely coming your way when you provide the same product cheaper than other platforms. Tata 1mg offers discounts of various types, from individual items to bulk orders.
What do you need to succeed in e-commerce?
To build a successful e-commerce business, keeping a few things in mind is significant. First, you need to identify a niche that is not too crowded. This will help you create a unique selling proposition (USP) and gain traction quickly. Next, you must have a foolproof plan to acquire customers and ensure they are retained. Thankfully, e-commerce is all about scale.
Therefore, the whole process becomes easier over time when you have the right strategy in store. It would help if you also had a solid financial model in place. E-commerce is an investment-heavy business. Therefore, you need to plan your cash flow and investment carefully. You must also ensure that your website has the right technology to avoid glitches or snags.
Building an e-commerce business takes work. It is a long and challenging journey. However, if you follow the learnings from the top e-commerce players in India, you will be able to build a successful business.