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Magento is the most popular e-commerce platform. Here’s Why!

Posted by Ranjeev on March 21, 2013 in e-Commerce Information with No Comments

If Magento is the most popular e-commerce platform or not, might still be debated, even though numbers prove that around 50% of the new online sellers are choosing it as their preferred platform. In my view, some of the areas where Magento outdoes competition are;

  • Talent Pool: One of the largest availability of talented resources, across popular e-commerce platforms.
  • Contemporary features: One of the most mature and feature rich platform, continuously being supported and enriched by a large pool of talented developers and partner companies.
  • Magento’s ecosystem: Magento has developed a vast ecosystem of solution partners, industry partners, Payment partners and hosting partners. There is a chance that for any business requirement you have, there is already something build by more than one of their partners. This saves not only a lot of time and effort in building something from scratch, but it also saves your planning time.
  • Extensions & Themes: The large number of already developed Extensions.
  • Magento Go, Community & Enterprise: Magento has a solution for every customer segment.
  • Technology Vendors: there are multiple options for technology vendors, across geographies, and different levels of expertise, to undertake Magento projects. There are freelancers, small tech startups, and some established tech companies. There also are companies which are regarded as expert magento solution partners. Even these solution partner companies have various levels of partnerships with Magento.

There can be more reasons, and our readers can add other points I might have missed here. It will be interesting to hear their reasons behind choosing magento, from some buyers.

Retain your online buyers: Avoid these

Posted by Ranjeev on December 11, 2012 in e-Commerce Information with 1 Comment

Indian e-commerce market is no more seeing the crazy growth of last few years. Seems, India as an e-commerce market is maturing fast, and the coming days will see the industry focusing more on retaining customers, increasing average cart value, and increasing repeat buys, instead of just making new customer acquisition their key target.

At times like these, it becomes imperative that the industry starts looking at the basics of retaining a customer. And the first step to retaining customers is stop doing anything that makes our customers run away from us. Stop the flow before you fill the tank.

Listing below some of the common reasons why an e-commerce company may lose its current customers and therefore things that need to be avoided:

  1. Cancelling accepted orders: Customer’s spend a lot of time searching for the product and going through the complete buying cycle. Shopping is also an emotional trust a buyer puts in with the seller. A customer will never go back to a site which cancels an order after accepting it. And the later you cancel, the more annoyed a customer becomes.
  2. Delayed delivery: a customer expects you to dispatch within a day of accepting the order and deliver within 3 days. Any further delay causes the customer to start doubting.
  3. Wrong product delivery: take extra care, not to send a wrong product, damaged product, soiled product
  4. Unreachable customer care: Customer care contact details are tough to find on the site. And/or tough to reach customer care and the calls to them are unanswered.
  5. Improper navigation: Navigation is not proper, filter and sort options either not there or not working properly. Make it user friendly.
  6. Technical problems: Slow site, transaction failures, high downtimes, no password recovery option, limited payment options, etc
  7. Improper catalog: not the numbers, but the lack of sufficient and right product information.  The days of showing improper images, unclear images, insufficient images are over. So are the days of insufficient & duplicate product information.
  8. Other areas raised by some online buyers I interact with
    • No security/e-trust seal
    • Non-branded products, cheap products. (Why not sell imitation products instead, and promote it that way?)

Our readers can add on other points I might have missed here.

Top Ten things to do for retailers to grow sales in 2012

Posted by Ranjeev on May 24, 2012 in M-Commerce, e-Commerce Information with No Comments


ChannelAdvisor came up with a list of ‘Top 10 e-commerce marketing trends for retailers to embrace in 2012’. The list made a lot of sense to me and hence I am summarizing it below for our readers;

1.    Diversify – It spreads your risk of investment. Promote/Sell on as many platforms as possible. Advertize not only of Google, but also on other prominent search engines. Sell not only on Amazon, but also on eBay and other marketplaces. If you are targeting single geography currently, add other important geographies as well. A lot of what we are talking about in the following points is also an offshoot of this point.

2.    Reach other Countries – make partners, sell via marketplaces or have your own subsidiary! Do whatever works better, but reach the markets where you can sell.

3.    Amazon (Junglee in India) – be available and be found here. Optimize your price, availability, feedback and A-to-Z guarantee to differentiate yourself from others.

4.    eBay – eBay still does substantial transactions and if you are not on eBay, you are missing out. EBay is moving away from auction-selling; instead 60% of eBay listings are now fixed-price format. EBay is also much focused on large merchants and improving the buying experience for consumers.

5.    Marketplaces (established as well and emerging) – TaoBao became a Mecca for all sellers in China. You never know what works for you unless you list yourself there. Be on the lookout for emerging marketplaces and list yourself.

6.    Pinterest! – Not many would have heard of this in India. Pinterest is the fastest site to reach 10 million unique visitors. More on Pinterest here (http://www.smarte-commerce.com/pinterest-an-introductory-guide-for-marketers/ ). As channeladvisor puts it ‘The best way for retailers to become a part of this infectious hobby is by capturing consumers’ attention with appealing and relevant images.’

7.    Set your social media right – Engage customers and discuss in an open forum the topics that are of interest to customers. Promotions, giveaways and flash sales that are exclusively available to Facebook fans are the most popular ways to increase fans. Regularly update the products on your page and, more importantly, the discussion topics.

8.    mCommerce – with increasing number of smart-phones, handheld devices are playing an increasingly important role in online sales. Have your site optimized for mobile browsers and ensure that your products are compatible with mobile barcode scanning apps.

9.    Prepare for the shopping season – as ChannelAdvisor points ‘It is never too early to start planning for the 2012 holiday season’. Avoid the mistakes in holiday season panning of the last year. Be ready with your products, promotions, channels much before the mad rush starts.

10.  Google Local – not much relevant in the non smart-phone world, but with the increasing smart-phone access, it’s important for retailers to use it optimally to drive traffic in their stores. Update – Google Local is now entirely replaced by 'Google + Local' 

Tips for cart abandonment emails

Posted by Ranjeev on January 30, 2012 in e-Commerce Information with No Comments

Cart abandonment is a loss of opportunity and loss of sales for e-commerce businesses. What do you do for abandoned carts? You must, if you are not doing anything. Send me my commission for the added sales you will get, if you start acting on the abandoned carts.

Here are few tips and observations;

  1. Send email to the cart abandoners.

    • Send a series of three or more shopping cart abandonment messages, and see upwards of 60% of recovered revenue coming from the second and third mails.
  2. Content of the emails;

    • Personalize – Include name of the buyer
    • Product – show the products in the abandoned cart. Include price of these products.
    • Including recommended products in shopping cart abandonment messages will help increase sales and AOV (Average Order Value)
    • A call to action – all the mails must have a visible call to action. e.g. 'buy now' 'checkout now and get 5% off', 'take your cart home'
  3. Right frequency of emails;

    • Sending the first message one hour after abandonment has the highest conversion rates, but waiting three to six hours results in higher average order value.
    • The second message should be sent within 24 hours of abandonment.
    • and the third one should be sent within 72 hours of abandonment.
  4. Show urgency;

    • inform that the product is running out, that products in cart will be deleted within so many hours, that the offer will expire soon.
    • Don't offer any discounts in the first message.
    • Offer incremental discounts in the following mails. Remember, these are time bound discounts.
    • Last message to inform that the cart will be deleted within such time if no action is taken.

Do write back on to inform me the % increase in sales you got after following these practices. Happy emailing!!

E-commerce: The New Gold Rush

Posted by Ranjeev on July 8, 2011 in Indian e-Commerce Industry, e-Commerce Information with No Comments

E-commerce is suddenly the in-thing and everyone wants to be a part of it, one way or the other.  While the established players are talking about growing at more than 100% year on year for the next couple of years, very surprisingly people still in their planning stage are talking about reaching 10% of their total revenue through e-commerce in the first year of operations. In the e-commerce industry as a whole, Sales are increasing rapidly; new players are mushrooming daily and funding companies are pouring money as if there is no other industry with potential!

Let us have a look at some of the recent investments by Global Venture Funds in Indian e-commerce ventures

Online Apparel retailers – Myntra.com, Zovi.com, Exclusively.In, Yebhi.com (primarily shoes)

Deals and Group discounting – Snapdeal, Deals and you, Fashion & You.

Books to Electronics: Flipkart, Indiaplaza, Letsbuy, BuyThePrice

Baby and Maternity wear: Babyoye.com, Firstcry.com

Closed group exclusive discounting: Fashion & You. 99labels

Some Acquisitions: Chaupaati Bazaar by Future Group, SoSasta by Groupon, PicSquare by Infibeam

Newspapers, blogs and other media forms are talking endlessly about e-commerce being the next big thing. We have humungous numbers being spelt out daily, projecting the industry to grow @70% Y-o-Y to reach $ 10 Billion this financial year. The growth and revenue targets might really sound a tall order to the cynics, but let us compare the figures with some other regions of the world.

USA: $ 210 Billion (Amazon reached $32 Billion)

Western Europe: $120 Billion

Japan: No clear figure but clearly more than $ 100 Billion

China: $ 80 Billion (Taobao.com did $61 Billion and did $150 Million in a single promotional day)

Compared to these numbers, the $ 10 Billion suddenly looks very small. Especially considering that the size of internet users in India has crossed 100 Million, we are only talking about $100 per person in a year. This is less than the online payment it’d generate if it is assumed that half the internet users have broadband connection and they pay their monthly rental online. Or, everyone buys one electronic item a year. Or, only 10% buy their grocery online. Or, only 1% buy their grocery, apparel, tickets, electronics online. Now this number suddenly is dwarfed by the possibilities that the remaining 99% of the market presents.

So, it is very safe to assume that the next gold rush is in Indian E-commerce market. The earlier you jump onto it, the better prospects you have of making a fortune!

About Smart e-Commerce

Smart e-Commerce is the Blog from Embitel Technologies which provides the latest e-commerce trends, strategies, e-Retail Solutions, Magento solution, Social Media Optimization, Blog Marketing, Online Seminars, Search Engine Optimization, Google Rankings and e-Marketing Solutions in India, America, Middle East, Australia, South Africa & South America.

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