What would be the growth rate of e-commerce or online startups till 2020?

2016 turned out to be a hectic year for the Indian eCommerce players as the industry witnessed the entry of a number of new players. Although online retailers are expected to take at least five years to become profitable, the eCommerce industry has been successful in positioning itself as a viable business option in India.

A report by the Indian financial services unit of UBS Group AG stated that online retail sales could vary between $48 billion to $60 billion by 2020. Industry association ASSOCHAM has stated that the Indian eCommerce domain is expected to become worth $38 billion by this year, witnessing a 67% rise over the $23 billion revenues seen last year. These impressive numbers are compelling me to think that digital commerce has established itself in India despite the recent closures and insufficient funding impacting the startup environment.

Currently, the e-commerce market is booming and expected to continue its pace but I am still doubtful due to a number of reasons. It is an open secret that India’s eCommerce sector is not making the profit as prominent eCommerce players like Zomato and Flipkart were recently devalued, sales are declining and many are cutting regional operations. Funding crunch is a major concern and making many biggies suffer.

I strongly believe that India’s eCommerce sector is maturing but only time will tell how things will shape up in the near future.






The best marketing strategy in Indian e-commerce business

Nowadays, online retailers are needed to manage a lot of things on their own such as personalizing the shopping experience for users, improving the search functionality, optimization of the website structure, etc. When you are keen on making your online store profitable, it is key to get rid of all those things that can cost a business heavily. In this post, I will be pointing out few of the key pointers that the Indian retailers are not including in their marketing strategies to ensure the success of their e-commerce stores.

Focus-driven retention strategy

Many e-commerce business owners are spending heavily on social media marketing to bag more eyeballs. It has been seen that considerable monetary investments are being made by businesses on PPC ads for branding but fails to pay attention to client retention strategies.Personalized emails are effective for boosting client retention and increase their happiness

In-depth product descriptions

The absence of improper product information drives away prospects. Never choose to display mediocre images and share only a few technical specifications as a good product copy can greatly affect the sales. Moreover, this is one of the best ways to successfully describe the product and offer a virtual experience. A product description should follow a persuasive tone to drive the sales figure. Well-developed product descriptions help in lead conversion and lure more people to the website. Good product descriptions help in ranking and bolster boost product visibility across search engines.

Effective use of email nurturing

Many e-commerce store owners choose to bombard the consumers with emails the moment they opt for email subscription with the aim to sell their product. They are unable to understand that not all the time subscribers or audiences visit an online store to make a purchase. Sometimes, they are just researching about a specific product. Hence, e-commerce stores should not aim to sell and rather target the consumers based on their intent without looking too sales-focused.

Open to experiment

If an e-commerce store owner lacks the zeal to experiment, there are chances he/she is losing out on what the audiences want. Implementing a program that has been successful with other online stores can’t guarantee success for other e-commerce stores as well. The key is customization in accordance to the site and consumers. Also, measure the results of your campaign to maximize the impact.If you are committing these mistakes, rectify them at the earliest so that your bottom line is not negatively impacted.



What are Shopify.com’s biggest weaknesses?

No eCommerce solution is likely to be perfect, Shopify has been able to build user trust in the shortest possible time. Despite being a recognised name in the eCommerce domain, few flaws are making businesses not to opt for this platform.

There is no denying that Shopify has been helping businesses achieve their targets, one of the key problems is the limited focus as an eCommerce solution provider. Another issue businesses witness with Shopify is the complicated programming language it uses.

Few of the disadvantages of Shopify are as follows –

  • Intricate technical initial setup

The initial setup process for an online store requires users to have good technical understanding mainly when it is about getting your domain name correctly redirected.

  • Rising costs

Similar to most hosted eCommerce platforms, Shopify is costly as compared to the self-hosted stores that can run and function all by themselves. If you have a small shop and enjoy technical know-how, Shopify is not suitable for you.

  • Rigid migration

One of the biggest issue with Shopify is the rigid migration rule it follows. Once you have started using Shopify and keen to migrate to some other platform at a later stage, you will be needed to proceed through a tough and time-consuming migration process.

  • Less customisation scope

Since Shopify leverages a unique setup while customising the themes, which makes them different from the stores designed using PHP. It Hence, Shopify is not the best option for those users who are eyeing for customised features.

How are all eCommerce sites running despite providing almost same service to a customer like Jabong, Myntra, Yebhi etc?

On an everyday basis, the consumer’s experience with an online marketplace is increasingly becoming more social, mobile and visual in its approach, which to an extent is helping the eCommerce players to improve the process and make necessary implementations that help an online business to grow and preferred by consumers.

According to me, the success of an eCommerce platform is dependent on multiple factors – products and services offered, ease to navigate website, optimisation of the online store in accordance to SEO, use of social media marketing, etc. This is also one of the major reasons why companies planning to launch their online store should engage with a website development firm that is aware of the latest trends in the world of web.

Features are incorporated in an eCommerce platform based on the feedback received from the consumers. Understanding your clients will surely help an online platform sell more. The more a business is able to know about the preferences of the customers and their requirements, it becomes easier to find relevant opportunities to sell them new products and ensure better targeting.

I would say that profiling is capable of helping clients to tap new customers. It helps identify similar prospective clients and sell them. In a way, it will also bring improvement in client servicing, enjoy better access to information, customise product offering and provide tailored treatment.

What are the essential things in creating a website?

In the last few years, technology has undergone considerable transformation and advanced significantly. The Internet is powerful. The interactive ability of the Internet has propelled its usage across the globe and the end result is an unparalleled growth rate that continues to bolster further. Social media has assumed relevance and Google have become important than ever. Until a few years back, website creation was something that only techies were capable of doing. This old school stereotype has changed and now the non-IT geeks are easily building their own website.

For many, building a web platform may seem like a tough task, especially when you do not have any past website designing experience. The question that arises now: Is building a site easy? If you have a business and haven’t developed your website yet, there are chances that you may fall behind your competitors. Believe it or not, website building in the past was challenging but now it is achievable without any prior experience.

Our step-wise guide will help you build your website with limited knowledge and understanding.

Step 1: Hosting your website

Web hosting is like paying a rent for your web platform that encompasses – pages, images, documents, etc. A web server is used for web hosting. It is possible to build a completely functional website on a personal computer, but if you want to make it visible to others, web hosting is of utmost importance.

Step 2: Domain name registration

A domain name is the URL consumers/audiences type into their web browser to reach to your website. A good domain name offers significant branding opportunities and ensures that people remember your brand. Usually, the price of domain names vary between $8-35 and it can be successfully registered online. Many users prefer to choose a service provider that offers domain name registration and web hosting services both.

Step 3: Plan your website

Website planning is important. Hence the owner needs to opt for certain crucial decisions such as –

• Type of site needed

• Navigation design

• Content

Step 4: Designing and developing Your Website

This is considered as an integral part of the website development. At this stage, the website owner should understand the below-mentioned pointers for attaining the desired results –

• Using elements of good and effective design on website

• The building blocks of a web page is HyperText Markup Language (HTML). We suggest learning the basics of HTML for enhanced control and flexibility.

• Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) decide the look of web pages. Learning CSS will ensure that you are able to alter the visual appearance of a website in accordance with the requirement.

• Simple text editors like Notepad for writing CSS or Adobe Dreamweaver software can be used for bagging assistance with page creation. Content Management System (CMS) is also used to build a website.

Step 5: Publishing your website

The proprietary tools that come with the hosting service or with a standard FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software can be used for the proper implementation of this step. Most often, Standard FTP is supported by hosting service providers.

You can get in touch with the hosting provider if you are not aware of what your hosting service provider supports.

Step 6: Promoting Your Website

Search engine optimization (SEO) is most commonly used for website promotion. It allows your website to be easily found by audiences who want information related to services, product offerings that your website provides.

Every site owner aims to develop a platform that follows the search engine best practices.

Many prefer to use social media, conventional forms of advertising, word of mouth marketing and email marketing for creating buzz about their brand/website.

Step 7: Website maintenance

In order to ensure the functionality of your website, maintenance is integral. This is one of the reasons why the site should be properly tested while developing it and before making it live so that the audiences are offered only a completely functional website. Regular testing helps to improve the performance and ensures proper functioning across devices, browsers.

Is ShopClues the worst e-commerce site?

Shopclues was low on profile with respect to the current top online shopping sites in India until they started to offer jaw-dropping deals on products with an eye-catching price tag. Now what lies behind their whooping heavy discounts is their worst customer services, worst after sales service, replacement/refund claims, poor quality products, the poor delivery which sometimes even lead to fraudulent business. I have been a victim of their poor services, replacement policy, poor quality product/duplicate items and poor delivery. This point has led me to investigate whether if I am the only one who experienced their poor services or if they actually are poor at delivering a better experience to the customers and this is what I collected so far from the customers of ShopClues:

Worst Delivery – Wait Wait until you get pissed off

The First thing you observe about this company is their poor delivery period. They make you wait and keep waiting for the product. Customers keep calling the customer care number and their support email which again is non-responsive and productive in nature. The long wait later usually result in the refund of the money you paid (excluding any taxes) which again isn’t instant. You are made to wait some more days for the refund money to get credited to your source bank.

Duplicate Product – Poor Quality products

The product they ships sometimes turns out to be fake/inferior quality/replica of original / damaged / missing accessories/ seal opened state.

Amazed? Still, lot to think about their refund policy and replacement policy

Yes, they do mention that they refund the amount under certain conditions, but even if the conditions is met they fail to refund the money which you paid. You will go nuts contacting them and wait for a response from the team. No actions, no refunds would take place any sooner. Many are victims of this lame act by shopclues and hence we request all the online shoppers to refrain from visiting ShopClues if you do not wish to be get cheated by them.


ShopClues is like a lucky draw, if you are lucky you get the right product with right delivery and if not you get the worst experience. The happy customers of them are those who are attracted towards the cheap pricing who ignores the late delivery and other services for the fact that they are getting it cheaper from other sites. Now, for those who are serious online shoppers and wish to get the right product at right time with product guarantee and better service, ShopClues is a complete “NO”.

Why Magento is the best eCommerce Development Platform?

What do Warby Parker, Harvey Nichols, Olympus, Samsung and Nike have in common? All their websites are built on the Magento platform. In fact, over a quarter of all e-commerce sites in the world run on Magento.

Magento Is Open Source. Open Source = Free!

True, Magento has 3 versions in total:
Magento Community Edition (free)
Magento Enterprise Edition (paid)
Magento Go (paid & hosted on Magento’s servers)

The most popular of them all is the Community Edition, which is completely open source and boasts of probably the largest and most active developer community for e-commerce platforms on the internet.

Magento is free to download and install. You can tweak the source code any way you want to suit the type of website you are building and install extensions that are easily available through the Magento Connect Marketplace. Magento Connect, by the way also happens to be the world’s largest e-commerce app marketplace.

The platform gets upgraded regularly by the developer community working on it, security flaws are spotted and plugged making it extremely safe from an e-commerce perspective. If you are looking for even higher security standards, you could always opt for the Enterprise Edition which.

The best part is the free and easily available troubleshooting that you can fall back on from the large developer community and forumsPCI Data Security Standard offers a Secure Payment Bridge that comes with

Tailor-made For E-commerce

Magento started life as a platform intended for e-commerce unlike WordPress, Drupal or Joomla which are primarily content management platforms which also offer the option of e-commerce plugins.
The core features that Magento comes with make building e-commerce sites on it a real breeze. Some of Magento’s key e-commerce features are:

  • User Dashboards
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Inventory Management
  • Advanced shipping and supplier management
  • Allows bundling of products
  • Built-in cross-sell and upsell capabilities
  • CMS option
  • Newsletters

Freedom To Choose Hosting Service

Unlike other ‘made for e-commerce’ platforms like Shopify or Volusion, Magento allows you to pick the hosting service you want. This keeps your costs down and offers you the flexibility of switching hosting services if you run into problems with your existing one.

If you still need the convenience of a hosted platform, Magento Go offers you exactly that along with all the benefits that come with the Magento Community edition platform.

Magento Does Not Penalize You For Growing Bigger

One of the main complaints from users of other e-commerce platforms is the incremental cost that comes with every little feature that is added to the site. With Magento being open source, that issue is a complete non-issue. Add as many features as you want to your site, without spending a dime.
Another problem is the limits on the number of products, product lines and SKUs that can be uploaded and displayed on a platform. As you grow bigger and your store becomes more prolific, you start paying exponentially higher fees to your e-commerce platform provider. This is another area where you end up spending nothing on Magento.
Expand and grow as much as you like, and Magento will grow with you at no additional expense.

Easy To Integrate Third Party Apps

It is natural to want to make your life simpler by plugging in ready-made apps or plugins that integrate new features into your website, instead of coding each new feature from scratch.
With other e-commerce platforms, integrating third party apps is entirely in the control of the service provider. You can only integrate the apps that they allow you to and often there is a substantial price tag attached to the process.
Magento’s extensible API allows you to connect to any kind of app or plugin of your choice extremely easily. So be it payment gateways, web analytics or shipping and tracking; find the app of your choice and plug it into your Magento site with in no time.

Modular And Customizable

E-commerce businesses come in different shapes and sizes. What works for a fashion retailer may not work for a hardware and power tools seller. Similarly size and scale of operations, customer service requirements etc. pose different challenges in the e-commerce environment.

Being an open source platform, Magento is expected to be inherently highly customizable and modular. However, with the right coding smarts, Magento becomes like putty in your hands.

Its extremely modular technology allows you to develop beautiful front-end customer experiences by modifying or plugging in layouts and templates of your choice. Backend workflows can be redesigned to suit your business and made rock solid by rewriting code, modifying events and grids.

Fast. Really Fast.

47% of today’s web users expect a site to load in under 2 seconds. Any longer than that and they simply close the tab and move on with their lives. Every customer that leaves without buying leaves behind yet another dent in your overall conversion rate.

With such pressure on performance, you would want a platform that loads fast, allows caching of pages easily, while still allowing you to have as many bells and whistles as you need on your e-commerce site.

Magento gives you each of the above and more. It allows you to cache your pages easily using Varnish, retrieve data from gigantic databases in milliseconds, process queries in no time and load pages fast enough to please your impatient customers.

Built For SEO

We all know how important it is to make our websites as SEO friendly as possible. We also know the drudgery involved in optimising every single aspect of each page on the site for SEO. This can be a bigger drag for large e-commerce sites running into hundreds or thousands of pages.

Magento saves you the development trouble of creating SEO optimised URLs, meta tags, descriptions, URL rewrites, site maps, navigation and category structures and more. Its source code comes with all of these features built right in, saving you a lot of trouble and time, while still ensuring that your site is search friendly.

Go Mobile From The Word Go

As on January 2014, 66.8% of US consumers owned smartphones. Americans now spend more time surfing the web on their smartphones than on desktop computers.

Having a mobile optimised site has never been more pressing than now. The good news is that it’s now real easy for to develop mobile friendly websites using the HTML5 capabilities of Magento. Magento gives your mobile site audio visual and drag and drop capabilities, gesture-based controls as well as image scaling for varying screen sizes.

Run Multiple Websites With One Common Backend System

While almost every other e-commerce platform – open source or otherwise – lets you have only one store on one system; with Magento, you can run multiple websites on the same common backend system.

Every website can have distinctly different layouts and design with their own stores. You can even have different domains for each site. Control all of them simultaneously through a single unified admin panel using Magento. This capability is a boon for e-commerce businesses that operate in multiple niche categories.

Go International With Magento

A large and growing number of visitors to US e-commerce sites come from Europe, Asia and Australia. They spend more than domestic visitors per visit and have higher stickiness.

Unfortunately, most websites do not allow payments in international currencies, hence preventing the share of international users from growing as fast as it can. Fix this problem by building your site with Magento which supports multiple currencies and tax rates. It supports customization of your site in local languages, right to left text wherever needed as well as local cookie notification policies.


What happened to Watchkart, Bagskart, Jewelskart?

Delhi based Valyoo Technologies was found in 2010 and operated multiple specialised e-commerce portals – Lenskart, Bagskart, Jewelskart and Watchkart, their names suggest their focus areas. However now it appears that the company has shut down all its portals but Lenskart. On attempting to reach the other three portals, the user gets redirected to Lenskart homepage.

While the company had been operating a 4 portals one cart model earlier, in February 2014 the company was reported to be selling off these portals it has now closed down. It had raised USD 10 million in Series B funding in 2013 and this fresh round would be the first funding since then.

In a statement, CEO and Co-Founder, Valyoo Technologies, Peyush Bansal said that LensKart revenue is expected to reach INR 100 crore by fiscal 2015. While no further updates were given on this, it is safe to assume that due to less visible competition this particular portal did better than its siblings.Co-Founder, Valyoo Technologies, Peyush Bansal said that LensKart revenue is expected to reach INR 100 crore by fiscal 2015. While no further updates were given on this, it is safe to assume that due to less visible competition this particular portal did better than its siblings.

Valyoo Technologies, the parent company behind niche e-commerce portal Lenskart is going to raise around USD 21 million (INR 135 crores) from a group of investors led by San Francisco based TPG Growth Group


Shopify versus Magento

Undertaking a product comparison between Shopify and Magento is believed to be a tough ask due to the fact that there are three different editions of Magento – a free ‘community’ edition; the ‘Go’ version suitable for SMEs and the ‘Enterprise’ edition meant for the bigger companies.

Both Shopify and Magento Community are fairly powerful ecommerce hosting platforms, but Shopify offers enhanced ease of use since it is completely hosted and fully managed service.

Magento needs the user to buy hosting and implement all the software/system setup and installation procedures themselves, something that the tech-oriented people (and not the typical end-users) are able to do.

Shopify is definitely a stronger eCommerce platform for developing an online store with robust ease of use and powerful capabilities.


Some best practices for SaaS application architecture

It has been noticed that the SaaS-based application architecture in cloud computing is helpful for the developers to create scalable, error-free applications cost effectively and follow the ‘pay per use’ model.

The application design for the SaaS or cloud infrastructure demands a few major considerations to bag the advantages delivered by the cloud. The design of the conventional applications took into the account limited number of resources.

But the applications in the cloud are capable of leveraging the complete advantage of the unlimited resources, hence the architects need to opt for this change when developing cloud-based applications. When creating SaaS application, it is suggested that the development team consider the following factors to ensure the development of a quality focussed product that boosts a business.

Here are some of the best practices that should be followed by the SaaS-based application architecture.

  • Customisation and self-service

While designing, it is key to understand that a SaaS-based application should be self-serviced. In simple words, anyone who will be interested will be allowed to register and start using the service without taking help from the admin or support team.

Moreover, the details in regard to set up, comprising application use, should be offered to the users on the SaaS application. Personalisation should be an integral part of a SaaS-based app by implementing changes as per the need and personal preference of the users. In fact, the end users should be allowed to customise the ‘look and feel’ as per their choice.

  • Multi-tenancy

This focuses upon an architecture where a single instance of a software app is able to serve innumerable clients. The presence of a multi-tenant architecture allows the developers to use common infrastructure and code base that allows the expansion of the services, making it economically viable.

  • Integration

A SaaS application should be able to integrate with other applications. It is believed that a standard set of APIs should be present that will enable integration with other applications (on-premise or SaaS).

  • Performance capability

A scalable application with effective performance should be made available and also able to meet the requirements of tenants, irrespective of their size. Since the users will be accessing it over the Internet, the application should have high performance about data querying, implementing transactions and excellent rendering.

  • Security and compliance

The responsibility of the SaaS application and hardware security is dependent with the application developer.