Eito-Brun R.,GMV Inc
Profesional de la Informacion | Year: 2013
Technical solutions for content management have reached a high level of maturity. Under the heading of ECM (enterprise content management), several technical approaches for the management of unstructured information have been grouped. The acceptance of content management in different contexts is indicative of the value that these practices contribute to organizations. There is, however, a risk of interpreting this maturity as a synonym for being past its prime: we should consider whether there are still some opportunities for improvement and niches of activity on which to focus efforts, or if instead there is little room for innovation. The author contends that once we have laid the foundation for the deployment of such solutions and content management has become a familiar term for information technology (IT) users, there remain many opportunities related to: a) the analysis of data usage and user experience, including complex issues such as opinion mining, and b) the design of ECM solutions that combine best practices in the areas of IT and information management.
News Article | April 27, 2015
Craftsvilla.com today is a fast rising star in the e-commerce ecosystem in India creating a real business in an industry which otherwise is plagued by a conglomerate of “unreal, ethereal, unclear” businesses. Our three dimensional differentiation — Unique Supply of Ethnic Products, Profitability of Business, and Global Appeal of Our Products — differentiates us from others who bask in the glory of the “Great Dollar Swamp” created in India currently. A simple answer which I give a lot of people who ask me the question — How did we do it? — is a mathematical analogy to how we solve multivariate problems on paper without the use of supercomputers. The theory of solving these unbounded complex equations lie in the concepts of creating right boundary conditions, limiting solution set, removing noise parameters, creating test parameters and combining like terms. Without getting too complicated let me put down this ‘Theory of Constraints’ in layman’s language by drawing an analogy to Craftsvilla below: 1. Fixing Boundary Conditions: Given that we had to generate cash in e-commerce, we fixed a lot of boundary conditions on how we operated. We had no money in our bank account. I and Monica sold our only house to get that extra cash. Our team was bare minimum to 10 people with one technology person, one finance person, two customer care, one in seller care, three in international logistics and two of us founders (Manoj and Monica). We held zero inventory and we asked our sellers to take care of logistics, product upload and even customer care. We operated like a true open marketplace where we juiced out the maximum possible benefits of an online marketplace. Magic happens when you are trying to find a solution in a “resource constraint” environment. Magic happens when you are told to dance on a table with one leg. Magic happens when you are asked to scale the slippery walls of a well with bare hands. Somehow that magic happened for us too. 2. Limiting Solution Set: Our solution set was very clearly to generate profitability so that we can stand on our own. We, therefore, focused a lot on building a unique supply on Craftsvilla.com since that was least costly for us. We did not go for GMV scale or thought about creating other offline businesses etc. Since we were very focused on what we were seeking, it was easier for us to decide on our actions. It was easier for us to find solutions. 3. Removing Noise Parameters: Noise is very detrimental to finding solutions as it can diverge another converging solution. Hence, one of our biggest tasks was to remove noise in our ecosystem. Whether it was removing employees who were creating a harmful environment to closing our ears to discounts/coupons to simple things like turning off our mobile phones to solve problems at hand, it was all an effort to avoid noise to poison our solution set. 4. Creating Test Parameters: Testing equations with educated guesses of solutions is a great way of quickly and intuitively arriving at a few solutions. We constantly tried a lot of new concepts, including charging sellers for marketing on Craftsvilla.com, creating online agents for sale of our products, putting ugly looking big banners on Craftsvilla.com for effective merchandising to putting Google adwords banner ads. All this was done to generate more cash so that we can converge better to our solution set of profitability. 5. Combine Like Terms: When you combine like terms, you change the number of unknown variables a lot. You come closer to a solution. Which means you hire/retain employees who have similar thought process as yours, who share the same vision and passion and who are focused and devoted. We all sat in a small dingy room so that customer care can quickly resolve issues with tech person and seller team can quickly respond to payment related queries. We reduced the need for extra employees by solving each other’s problem quickly. We made our employees like us. This meant we had more Manoj’s and Monica’s in the room. We were closer to our solution set — the profitability. The theory of constraints is a necessity for individuals, societies and businesses to evolve in an otherwise harsh environment and create magic. I hope entrepreneurs do not get swayed by today’s “Dollar Rush” and stay rooted and focused. Let’s continue to create businesses by believing ourselves that we live in a resource constraint environment even if you have millions in your bank. Let magic to happen! Manoj Gupta is Founder/CEO of Craftsvilla.com and was previously Principal at Nexus Venture Partners.
News Article | April 7, 2015
Update: Myntra will shut its website from May 1 to become a mobile app-based retailer, a source related to the matter told The Times of India. Fashion retail website Myntra is expected to shut down its website in favour of moving all operations to its mobile app, according to a report in The Times of India. Myntra was acquired by Flipkart last year for a sum of Rs 2,000 crores. The report states that Myntra pulls in about 80% of its traffic and 60% of sales through its mobile application. It has plans to take the sales number to 90% by the end of the year. When that happens, the fashion e-tailer will most likely shut down its websites according to sources familiar with the matter. If it does indeed happen, it will be the first instance of an online e-tailer going mobile-only from web + mobile format. According to Mukesh Bansal, co-founder of Myntra and CMO of Flipkart, the growth on the mobile platform has been rapid because fashion shopping is quite impulsive. Myntra is focussed on the mobile platform and will be making major investments on this platform going forward. Myntra is on course to complete Rs 2,000 crore in sales or gross merchandise value (GMV) for the current financial year. GMV refers to the overall revenue generated by online retailers through sale of goods on the online platforms. Out of the total GMV, the e-tailer makes around 5% to 20% depending on the category. In the fashion category Flipkart/Myntra’s biggest rivals remain Amazon and Snapdeal. Amazon recently started the fashion category in India, whereas Snapdeal too is on course for a $1 billion in sales under the fashion category. After electronics, fashion is the category which makes the most moolah. It accounts for nearly 30% of the GMV according to a report from Morgan Stanley.
News Article | June 24, 2015
It has been nearly five years since MySmartPrice started operations as a team of two laptops and two extremely ambitious engineers in 2010. When I joined MySmartPrice in 2011 as the sole member of the marketing team, the site had a traffic of 2 million visitors and a promising Alexa rank of 500. Nearly 3 and half years later, today MySmartPrice caters to over 10 million users and generates business worth $120Mn in a year in GMV terms. But we haven’t ever done a television advertisement, or hired giant hoardings, or built on the back of celebrity investments or controversies. This post is not self-praise; it is aimed at guiding some other aspiring people on what the right steps to take are, in building your business from the ground up. While some of these may be applicable to your business, some may not be, because of the very nature of the internet. Search Engine Optimization has spurred the growth of many great websites and startups, both in India and abroad. Today, the term is almost abused by content companies and “consultants” who promise quick traffic at cheap rates. SEO is more a science than an art, and not one to be handed over to an agency or even done in-house half-heartedly. The benefits of SEO are too many to list in a simple blog post. But suffice to say, with careful and deliberate effort, SEO shows your site to your target customers. When you rank first on a keyword that best describes your business and is a constant query of your potential customer, you have essentially won over your competitors who spent billions on traditional advertising to convince a small percentage of potential customers. Choose your battles carefully. It is nearly impossible for every wedding photographer to rank for “wedding photographer”. But perhaps you maybe able to rank for “candid photographer”, or maybe you can rank for “wedding photographer in bangalore” etc. Fair warning; SEO is a constant effort, and sometimes a difficult choice for entrepreneurs. By its very nature, SEO is extremely frustrating. Don’t expect SEO to be a one-solution-fits-all or as a quick growth channel for your traffic. Word of mouth and virality play a big part in building your customer base. It is not only important to build shareability into your product and engage users on Twitter or Facebook through posts, but also important to ensure customer experiences are share-worthy. Good companies build a brand more on word of mouth than on advertising. Adopt an informal and friendly tone on twitter, making sure to address all queries your users have. Encouraging users to share the experiences they have had with your brand, and then building on that to tell your story, is just as important as running Facebook ad campaigns and boosting posts. Public Relations through newspapers, blogs and other news outlets is an integral part of building your business’s trust. If your potential customer has come across your name either on a magazine, or a newspaper article, or even on any tech blogs, chances are he may be less resistant to engage in business with you. PR as such is difficult to be done by just an agency and requires just as much effort from within the company. It is more about creating a good story than about which papers know of you. Building good stories, however, is extremely difficult. Not everyone can rely on controversy. Not every company gets massive amounts of funding, and, even worse perhaps, not every company has enigmatic founders who look good in print. What is important however, is to tell interesting stories through data, through product, or through innovations in some aspect of business, be it marketing, product management, hiring or even day to day operations. In today’s competitive market, the same strategies can’t yield the same results for everyone. What matters most is focusing on your core strengths and appealing to your customers in your own unique manner. While one company may build on strong SEO and gather visitors through careful and long-drawn-out strategies, another may gather huge returns by being more social. It may be so that your company makes more headlines in the newspaper than is affordable through paid advertisments. There is no one size fits all. The truth, however, is that most companies must find a recipe that best fits them. It may include a bit of all three in varying proportions. Here’s hoping that you find your own recipe for success. Ashwin Sreekumar Nair is a marketer and an occupational tech freak with avid interests in smart phones and modern gadgets. He is currently the Head of marketing and PR with MySmartPrice, a price comparison site that finds the best price for users for products ranging from Mobiles, Cameras to Personal Care.
News Article | June 29, 2015
The e-commerce market is becoming more and more mature in India with each passing day. All the major e-commerce players like Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal have a long road to cover for becoming completely mature e-commerce players. And in this battle to become the customer’s favourite online shopping portal, these brands are always offering attractive offers and discounts to retain loyal customers and gain new customers at the same time. According to the data from Internet analytics firm comScore, Amazon India now gets more traffic than Flipkart and Snapdeal. Amazon.in received 23.6 million visitors as compared to 23.5 million visitors of Flipkart and 17.9 million visitors of Snapdeal in May 2015. Last year, in May, Flipkart was leading the traffic trend with 13 million unique visitors/month while Amazon.in and Snapdeal were both close to 10 million unique visitors/month. This translates to a whopping 142% increase for Amazon.in, 90% more visitors for Snapdeal, and 80% surge in traffic for Flipkart. Industry experts believe that the most important factor for measuring the popularity of any e-commerce portal is its number of repeat visitors. The number of repeat visitors can be used to estimate the ‘loyal and stickiness’ of customers to a specific website. ‘Unique visitors’ means new visitors visiting a website, and is a sure sign of the growing popularity of any website. But it can’t be used to determine if those visitors are likely to visit the website again or not. “While unique visitors is a metric to show the growing interest in e-commerce, a better metric to speak about a company’s performance would be the number of repeat customers an online retailer gets,” said Arvind Singhal, Chairman of retail consultancy Technopak. He also said that the online retail offers available options and price comparison by ‘just a click’. GMV is another popular parameter used by e-commerce portals for reflecting the total sales value depicting the total volume of their business. Amazon.in doesn’t share the details of the sales of its 25 million listed products, but it reportedly crossed the $1 billion mark in GMV in September 2014. Flipkart expected its GMV to touch $8 billion by December last year and is now hoping to go beyond the Rs. 76,000 crore mark in its GMV. As per the reports, Snapdeal is also targeting to reach $8 billion in GMV by the end of the current year. GMV is an important metric as far as size and scale of the company is concerned in e-commerce, but it is not the sole metric to gauge the health of business. In a marketplace model, the revenues for an e-retailer, which are a small margin of the sales, should also be taken into account,” Arvind Singhal added. We had earlier reported in 2014, how these e-portals were still making incurring heavy losses instead of huge investments. While Flipkart was the leader in net revenue, it was also on the top of the chart when it came to losses. The trend of online shopping has now started to pick up pace in India. It is still at a nascent state at the moment, so it would be too early to comment anything on customer loyalty. But it has definitely started to give tough competition to the offline stores. , out of based on ratings.