All the smaller brands and manufacturers want to be global in their appeal and want to adapt the eCommerce strategy, but at the same time there are not so serious players who can develop a strategy and walk the path with you. What they need is not just an e-commerce site (not even cheaper ones), they need a complete strategy. I have tried listing down the essentials which they need to understand before signing up:
- First and the foremost, you need to measure or understand; is your BRAND known in the market? If not, think about innovative ways to get more popularity, all of us know and understand every brand (small brand) cannot spend/ burn money parallel to the bigger brands. Make use of internet/ digital medium where you can ensure every penny you spend can be tracked and effectively used. So have basic web presence in the first phase. Get your website’s SEO (search Engine Optimization) done by good service provider, it’s not easy and everybody’s cup of tea to deliver good results on organic SEO
- Now that your basic site is up and running, get on to all the aggregator e-commerce sites available in your trade/ vertical; e.g. fashion garments or accessories can get in touch with Flipkart/ Myntra/ Jabong/ etc. Further also try and use the market places on these sites; do not forget ebay.in and amazon.in – But do not get into an exclusivity contract with any of them.
- Now that you are all set – You start getting the orders and your learning curve starts here – logistics/ sourcing/ delivery/ payments (charge back)/ returns/ customer care/ retention. This step will add tremendous value to your BRAND, people will start knowing about your brand and give brand recollect to your previously unknown brand in the market and trust me, this will be the most cost effective way as practically you have not spent any money, these aggregators have created your BRAND and sold your stuff too.
- Start creating your brand pages and interact with prospective clients as per your TG (target group) on social media channels – ENGAGEMENT is the key on the social media. They also offer amazing value proposition in pay per click campaigns, but do not expect great sales through this medium. If you have the resources or if you can HIRE any agency to handle this for you, then you could expect some good engagement levels on social media.
- Now you will also see that your website traffic has also increased and this increases your reach in the market.
- Ask yourself, are you comfortable handling e-commerce, now launch your own eCommerce enabled website and continue with your SEO efforts, but also understand that the eCommerce in India is still not matured, you will need to nurture your eCommerce site for at least 2-3 years and then expect great returns from it. By this time eCommerce in India would have finally arrived and you would be eCommerce ready to reap benefits.
I need to conclude by saying that smaller companies can effectively leverage the use of technology in today’s growing business place. With the right use of strategy, small retailers or eCommerce business owners can improve brand appeal, lessen operational costs and widen the impact of the company’s sales plan.