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There might be 1000's of E-commerce websites in India selling Mysurpak to Mud Pot.  On a land where donuts, pizzas, bottled water and napkins took decades to penetrate the market, is it possible for an unexplored business model to give results in short time.

Only magicians can try to make it happen and not for second time. It may be discounts and cash backs which drives most of the sales for E-commerce companies in India but the fun fact is most of the online buyers still don’t trust E-Commerce businesses of India. (Image Courtesy: Nasscom)

Building a successful User Experience is a nightmare for all product development organizations. The reason is, most of the customer challenges in navigation are informed to the support executives. But unlike the end user, they are already trained to navigate their product or may be even their competitors. This turns them blind to the reality as they can hardly realize the UX or UI challenges from the point of view of a common user.

A solution could be that, you have to build a strong feedback network which has to be openly discussed with the development team. Development team cannot accept incessant change requests with ever changing requirements. So it has to be handled in a phased manner and customer support team has to jump in to address these issues in coordination with the operations team to ensure better customer satisfaction. A collaborative, open to ideas team spirit and work is a big and definite requirement here.

Founders are always obsessive in supplementing good features to the customers but are they actually obsessive in taking it to the market with Minimum Viable Product? In my experience no, they are not prepared.  Delay in going to the market is the best way to kill a company unless you are a pioneer who has to pay a large cost (Flipkart is a good example for pioneer cost by E-Commerce portal growth in India). You can think big but to succeed you have to start, take that first hard step. Start with zeros and ones.

Founders need to understand that they are running multiple industries under E-commerce portfolio. It takes time, efforts and resources to master the trade and there is no point in building a “ME TOO” company just because someone else is successful on outlook. Differentiate (Most of the founders perceive Price to be the edge, but NO, now if you browse internet you can study hundreds of failures with this model price edgy  E-commerce stores)

So which is the good place to start?

Just replace your physical store, serve a small set of customers and extend it once you understand your business. Work with vendors while you start working on different products. They can teach you more about UX and UI in their own language. Go social, don’t ask for money but ask for reference from a customer or a vendor whom you meet and don’t expect them to reply.

Use templates and other readily available low cost solutions to test the grounds and then move on. Investing on research at the right time and sufficient resources helps when you want to expand.

Understand the basics; no one is bothered about your business unless you care for them. Founders, be available for your customers at the initial stages and delegate when you have people around you. If you don’t get it online increase your offline efforts to bring hits to your portal.

Take your time don’t feel thwarted E-Commerce will be at peaks after 2017 and will be more profitable after 2019, so you have time. But that doesn’t automatically give you the freedom to be too slow. After all, you need revenue to settle accounts at the month end.

If you are a eCommerce start-up use the available market places to generate some income and also create some visibility through customer service and interactions. This will help you survive the first couple of years and you will also have time to work on building your UI and UX.

Become Visible! Stay Alive!! Keep Growing!!!

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