Category Archives: e-commerce

Myntra’s End of Reason Sale in 7 images

# 1: A week or so back

The Build Up

YT ads promoting the sale
#2 Midnight on the day of sale

Midnight of Offer DayAs per Myntra’s twitter account, they were updating the offers

 

#3 Morning of the day of sale

Morning of the day of sale

Front double page ad on HT Delhi

#4 Minutes after the sale begins

Minutes after the sale began

 

Push notification to their app base (along with emails and sms)
#5 Few hours into the sale

Few hours into the sale

User Accounts (some say IPs) on both app and web were blocked for 30 minutes from making any request to the site

#6 Less than 12 hours into the sale

12 hours into the sale

 

 

#7 A little over 12 hours

end_myntra7

If the sequential order numbers of Myntra is anything to go by, the order id increased by over 1L  in the first 2 hours of the sale.

Time – 9:42 AM, Order id: 70303245

Time – 11:42 AM Order id: 70425987

Run rate: 60k orders/hour (16.67 orders/sec)

 

Inside the mind of an Indian online shopper: How & Where I spent my money online in 2014

Last year, around the same I time I posted a quick analysis of my spends across various e-comm sites. Thought of repeating the exercise again and see what all changed

1) Split of orders across sites

Split of Orders Across Sites

 

Not surprisingly, I placed the most orders in 2014 on Paytm (close to 70%), followed by Freecharge (8%), Flipkart (4.3%), Amazon & Bookmyshow. Various cashback schemes run on Paytm are the reason behind the skew of order count

Talking about physical goods #1 was Paytm (Aggressive offers early on), followed by Flipkart, Amazon & Jabong

 

2) Split of spend across sites

Split of Spend across sites

 

The story starts to clear up a bit when we look at split of spend across various sites

While 70% of orders I placed were on Paytm, 52% of the money I spent online went their. Flipkart (17.6%),  Jabong (14.1 %) & Myntra (3%) came next. The ticket size for Amazon has been quite less

3) Split of spend across categories

Split of spend across categories

This is quite revealing for me. While last year I spend considerable chunk of money (spent online) buying books, this year books formed a very small piece.

35% of money I spent shopping online last year, was spent on buying Electronics (mostly mobiles) & related Accessories. 25% was spent on recharges/bill payments and a significant change towards Fashion with 22% of my spend went there.

Some Interesting Bits:
1) I spent more ordering food online than buying books (Still can’t believe it or Maybe I got better deals at books 😉 )
2)  I spent more on Cab rentals than movies ( I don’t take cabs as much) and almost the same amount as I spent ordering food online
3) Between Fashion & Electronics – 57% of my money was spent

Purchase Summary
Orders placed: 321
Digital goods (recharges, bill payments and movies): 252

Money Spent: Rs 1,72,448
Money spent on Physical goods: 1,24,621

Closing Thoughts/points
1) I’m not the most savvy online purchaser but I do tend to compare prices before buying stuff and have started using mysmartprice and more recently  buyhutke (Chrome plugin)
2) Online mega sales trigger my purchases (super surprised to find out, I ordered on Myntra this GOSF after a break of 1 year from last GOSF). Made purchases on Big Billion Day and even Myntra’s “End of Reason” sale today
3) While I preferred purchasing on desktop (ease of selection, multiple tables, price comparison etc). I’ve started buying stuff straight of mobile. While for many purchases mobile still serves as the initiation point of my purchases and the same happens other way around, I add items to cart on web only to order them later on mobile when free
4) Most of my purchases (especially Fashion) are impulse (discount driven If I can admit), while Electronics etc are kinda planned
5) I’ve jumped the ship completely when it comes to paying by card. Almost, all my purchases (90% +) are pre-paid now.
6) Myntra and Jabong have spoiled me with their super easy return/exchange policies and flow. I don’t think twice before ordering stuff from them as I know I can always get the product returned/exchanged if I don’t like it. They also have superb delivery timelines (24 hours is a regular)
7) One thing I miss shopping online, is “Lack of Price Protection”. What you buy today for Rs 5000 can be available for say Rs 4000 and Rs 3500 the next day. As a buyer, you obviously feel bad about it
8) Newly caught trend of using wallets to pay on various sites to get discounts and cashbacks is a good incentive to use them. I’ve used Paytm, mobikwik and Payumoney, depending on the offers they are running.
9) I’m yet to order specs, furniture, grocery, health & wellness and things from a lot of these categories
10) Product wise – Wishlist and Rating/Reviews are by far the most useful features. Also, I love the feature to sort/filter using discount/offers (or the lack of them).

Hope, this post would help folks working in e-commerce get “some more idea” of their *Customers*

 

2013: My year on Indian e-commerce sites

Just had this idea of checking and analyzing how much money I spent on various e-commerce sites and doing what. So here’s a quick post sharing the same with the hope that it might be of interest of people running various e-commerce sites or thinking of doing so in future.

In the year 2013 I swiped card/availed COD across Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, Amazon etc. Here’s quick glance of my purchases

1) Flipkart – Items Purchased: 58, Amount Spent: Rs 50,218

items purchased on flipkart
Split of items
Split of amount spent
Average price of a book I purchased on Flipkart is Rs 299 and average price of a footwear is Rs 876 (3 shoes and 4 sandals/flip flops)

2) Amazon.in – Items Purchased: 7, Amount Spent: Rs 6,598

Great thing about Amazon is that it already provides you an option to see all the purchases you made in that year
Search Order HistoryHere’s the split of purchases (6 books worth Rs 1,599 and a Kindle worth Rs 4,999)

Split of purchases on Amazon.in

3) Jabong – Items Purchased: 1, Amount Spent: Rs 1280

*I actually bought two items but had to return one for poor quality (return process was super smooth though)

Purchased a clothing item worth Rs 1280 during GOSF

4) Myntra – Items Purchased: 2, Amount Spent: Rs 3854/-

Purchased two clothing items worth Rs 3,854/- during GOSF

5) Others

a) Yepme: Items Purchased: 2, Amount Spent: Rs 998/-
b) Inkfruit: Items Purchased: 7, Amount Spent: Rs 3,738/-
c) Shopclues: Items Purchased: 1, Amount Spent: Rs 42/-
d) Bookadda: Items Purchased: 1, Amount Spent: Rs 667/-
e) Purplle.com: Items Purchased: 1, Amount Spent: ~ Rs 2500/-

Summary (Items Purchased: 80, Amount Spent: Rs 69,895/-, Spent some 8K during GOSF, alone, Spent some 11K on online bill payments/recharges)
item_vs_amount

A peak into my mind as an online shopper
1) Convenience very important but not more important than discounts. Moved my bill payments online. I do all my bill payments and DTH recharges on Paytm
2) Almost all my purchases have been via desktop (haven’t got myself to buying things via apps/mobile site yet.)
3) I’ve crossed the chasm from COD to swiping cards. I now prefer to pay online for most of my purchases. I don’t hesitate to swipe card for my first purchase on sites I’ve heard good deal about (Myntra, Jabong, Shopclues etc). Earlier my first purchase on a new site was on COD
4) I got comfortable enough to made a big ticket purchase (bought a laptop for around 30K from Flipkart)
5) Discounts/Offers have an influence on my purchase behaviour (both on pre-decided buys and impromptu purchases). I spent some
6) I trust most sites to deliver goods on time, offer quality goods and a customer friendly return/exchange policy
7) Flipkart’s scan (barcode) and search feature is quite handy for a quick online vs offline price comparison
8) I’ve grown to compare prices across sites before buying anything. I definitely use mysmartprice to compare book prices
9)  Wishlists and notifications are a great way for me to store items and decide when to purchase
10) As a heavy user I’ve figured some hacks to avail the max discount on certain items across some sites;-)

 

Analyzing Amazon.in Checkout Process

I recently made a purchase on Amazon.in and couldn’t but wonder at their checkout process. Just too many clicks for comfort.
Here’s how it works at present

Step 1) Product Page 

Product Page - Amazon.in

 

Step 2) Edit Cart or Proceed Page

Edit Cart or Proceed - Amazon.in

 

Step 3) Sign in/Sign up Page

Login/Sign up Page - Amazon.in

 

Step 4) Delivery address Page

Delivery Address - Amazon.in

Step 5) Delivery options page

Delivery Options - Amazon.in

Step 6) Payment Method Page

Payment Method Page - Amazon.in

 

Step 7) Review Order Page

Review order page - Amazon.in

 

Step 8) Billing Address Page

Billing Address Page - Amazon.in

 

Step 9) Order Completion Page

Order Completion Page - Amazon.in

 

Phew !! With these many clicks Amazon is making sure that only the users absolutely committed to make a purchase are the ones who make one.

Nine steps to the order confirmation page. Wow. Let’s try to see if we can make things a bit better (less clicky)

  1.  The easiest way around would have been to allow ‘1-click checkout’. Which for some reason isn’t available.
  2. Step 2: The importance of this page is to help those who want to review their cart. Not sure why would Amazon want people to doubt their purchase, unless they have over the period seen people change their cart contents during later stages of checkout or raised a of issues complaining of shopping wrongly.They should encourage users to add more items ala ‘Continue Shopping’ as it is popularly known or checkout. Ideally, however there should be an analysis of the % of people who buy 1 item vs % of people who buy multiple items. The experience should be made smoother for the majority case. It could just be a pop up and not a new page
  3. Step 3: Is an important one. Auto-saved credentials make things easier. I am not getting into the design of the page as in this case, it gets the job done in a single click
  4. Step 4 and 5 : I don’t really feel the need of having two separate pages for choosing delivery address and delivery options unless there are multiple addresses and options in question. The assumption here is most people would order to a single address. This could however be validated by data on median delivery addresses. Assuming most people will not change their address during the flow, I think in the step 5 there should be an option to change address without giving it a separate page.
    UI could definitely be improved 🙂Delivery Address and Options Page - Amazon.in
  5. Step 6: This is perhaps the most important page. The option of putting saved cards makes things easy. Just enter CVV and continue. The layout of other payment options is a discussion to be had another day
  6. Step 7: ‘Review Order’. Wait, why would I want to review order after putting my payment details? Shouldn’t this page come before the payments page?  Step 7 should be Step 6. And Step 6 should be Step 7 with an option (selected by default ) “billing address to be same as shipping address”. An option to change billing address is going to be there of course. I simply don’t see a reason to have Step 8 “Choosing Billing Address” as a separate page.
  7.  Step 9: Order completion page. Informative and having some baits for users to view more items or make another purchase .So here’s the revised flowStep 1 (Product Page) – Page 1
    Product Page - Amazon.in
    S
    tep 2 (Continue Shopping vs Checkout) to come as a popup on clicking Buy from product page and not a separate page
    Edit Cart or Proceed - Amazon.in
    S
    tep 3 (Sign in/Sign up Page)- Page 2

    Login/Sign up Page - Amazon.inStep 4 (Delivery Address and Options Page) – Page 3

    Delivery address and options page - Amazon.in

    Step 5 (Review order page) – Page 4

    Review order page - Amazon.in
    Step 6 (Payments Page with Billing Address option) – Page 5

    Payment Method Page - Amazon.in
    Billing address option could also be a part of the delivery address and options page. But in no case it deserves a separate page

    Step 7 (Order completion page) – Page 6

    Order Completion Page - Amazon.in
    Though in the new order we are down to Six pages from Nine (33.33% lesser pages). I am sure this can be optimized by at least one more page by clubbing ‘Review Order’ and ‘Delivery Address and Options’ Page. For now 5 pages are good enough.

    Eventually a one click checkout for single product purchases is in order .

    What do you think?

Assocham-Comscore State of eCommerce in India – Report

In Sep 2012 Assocham together with Comscore came out with a report on the Indian ecommerce Scene. It had some known and some new stats/key points. You can download the report here

Here are the main points 

Demographics
  1. 75% of online audience between the age group of 15-34 years
  2. Female population is about 40% of total users (July 2012)
Travel
  • The penetration in India is about 44% which is higher than the world average for travel
  • IRCTC get about 19.2% of all Indian online traffic (highest – 12mn uniques/month) followed by Makemytrip
  • Redbus gets about 2%
  • Surprise: Content type sites for ex: indiarailinfo (3.2%) and mustseeindia (2.3%)
  • Travelyaari and Makemytrip (2.3 mn uniques a month)
Retail
  • The penetration in India is about 60% which is lower than the world average for retail (72%)
  • Amazon gets about 15.4%, Flipkart (11.5% – 7.4 mn uniques/month), Snapdeal (11.1% – 6.9 mn uniques/month) of all India online traffic
  • Apparel is the most growing subsegment in retail
  • Flowers/gifts/greetings is the only subsegment with negative growth – 33% (Our coupons??)
Breakup of Payment Methods in India
  1. Direct Debit – 58% with avg transaction of 20$ (lowest)
  2. Visa – 21% with avg transaction of 48$
  3. Master card – 12% with avg transaction of 47$
  4. Cash on Delivery – 7% with avg transaction of 33$
  5. Others – 2% with avg transaction of 43$
  6. American Express cards apparently have the highest avg transaction size of 110$
IRCTC Specific Info 
  • SBI and SBI Direct – 29 +26 = 55% of all transactions
  • ICICI (17%), HDFC (14%)
  • Do a revenue of about 38 Cr
 Future 
  • Car rentals and bus booking online should go further up
  • home furnishing and lifestyle goods to contribute more
  • comparison shopping sites/apps to get more popularity

The Rise of the Indian Online Marketplace

If you are part of/related to the Indian e-commerce scene in any manner or read desi start-up blogs, chances are you might be familiar with the concept of Marketplace.

A “Marketplace” connects buyers and sellers who otherwise have trouble finding each other.

Marketplace(think eBay), is simply a model which has multiple sellers providing various goods/services through a platform. In the context of this discussion, an e-commerce website instead of sourcing and fulfilling the orders just manages the listing of products and passes on the order details to the sellers who then handles them.

Recently, India’s biggest online retailer (Flipkart) made their first move as a part of shift towards the marketplace set up.

To start with, Flipkart has on-board 50 sellers that will sell books, media, and consumer electronics.

Other Indian online retailers on scaled up marketplace model are Snapdeal(which recently raised $ 50 mn from ebay and others), Tradus, Infibeam and Shopclues. Let’s understand how the marketplace model and inventory led model compare in execution

The key components of an e-commerce set up are

  1. Customer Acquisition
  2. Catalog
  3. Technology (Customer facing/related and backend)
  4. Inventory
  5. Fulfillment (Sourcing, Packaging and Delivery)
  6. Payment Processing
  7. Customer Service/Support

Setting everything up for a rookie is quite demanding (capital and effort wise) and will take months to get off the ground, however to signup as a seller on a marketplace and/or opening a shop using SaaS based ecommerce store building platforms like Zepo, Buildabazaar or Martjack is a quickie. So for a newbie it makes perfect sense to open up their own shop (SaaS) and list on various marketplaces as a seller

Based on one’s expertise and priorities there are various ways of building the e-commerce store set up. For eg: while someone will prefer to control the last mile delivery experience, someone would rather let logistics companies take care of that.

The most common model is mix of Inventory led and Marketplace both (think Amazon). Here’s how it works

  1. Inventory Led – Short Tail (Fast moving, Commodity products, Easy to warehouse for ex: best selling books/movies/pendrives etc)
  2. Marketplace – Long Tail (Slow moving, Niche products, Difficult to warehouse for ex: medical books published in hindi/very old foreign language films/Furniture etc)

While it might not very clear from the examples but Inventory led model makes sense for products which aren’t perishable(both utility and demand/vogue), are easily available offline too and move fast enough while the Marketplace model makes sense for products which one doesn’t know exist or even if one knows they don’t have any clue on how to stock them, how to source them etc.

Customer Acquisition,Technology,Payment Processing and Customer Support are done by the e-commerce company.

Here’s how various models are implemented in some of the biggest Indian e-commerce companies.

break_up

A couple questions come to the the curious mind.

  1. Why sudden rush towards Marketplace all across?
  2. Is Marketplace the future of e-commerce in India?

1. Why sudden rush towards Marketplace all across?

The answer to that question (from what I’ve heard) lies in the deep VC pockets. With the Govt of India dillydallying around the FDI regulations for e-commerce, apparently Marketplace is the only way to get external funding needed to sustain the business.

Also, it could be because the bigger e-commerce companies have figured out that

a) they can’t possibly go that strong on increasing the  quality/quantity of the catalog on their own
b) they ran sick and tired of doing everything on their own.

To get a sense, compare how Flipkart was managing these functions in it’s previous avatar and compare it to say Snapdeal

 

break_up1

2. Is that the future of e-commerce in India?

On doing some rough calculations based on the information available Flipkart, Infibeam, Snapdeal, Jabong, Bookadda and Homeshop together would be doing around 1,15,000 orders a day (Flipkart and Snapdeal contributing about 60-70 %).

There are a lot more sites (ending with kart and otherwise) who just might be doing another (20-30,000 transactions or more a day)

As per my guesstimate all independent smaller e-commerce websites and platform powered online shops selling long tail products would be doing not more than 5-10,000 orders a day.These numbers could be significantly different from the mark for all we know but based on these numbers before marketplace became the buzzword, top 5-6 established players were doing about 90,000-95,000 orders a day in total while the others in long tail were about 5-10% of their size.

The balance has started to shift towards the marketplace model transactions. For now their share could be 10-15% of the overall e-commerce transactions.  Going forward we’ll a lot more smaller businesses and niche startups coming online and by 2013 end their share could be upwards of 20-25%(going by the fact that between Flipkart and Snapdeal they are the biggest online retailers).

A couple of factors to speed this up would be

  1. More platforms like Buildabazaar and Zepo
  2. Better payment gateway/cash collection mechanisms (Ghar pay etc)
  3. Better logistics (for end to end fulfillment)
  4. Third party SaaS services for other components like (Catalog, Warehousing, Customer Support)
  5. Some VC investment in 1-2 marketplace companies

The sooner we get to see the above mentioned things rolling the faster we’ll get to the long tail moving online. At some time in the  mid term future(5-7 years) the demand for long tail items (Niche/scarcely available/custom made) products could become comparable if not more than the demand for short tail products.

So the marketplace model and independent shops powered by various sites are here to stay and the current biggies like Flipkart, or maybe Snapdeal will evolve into a mix of (Short tail – Inventory led – Self Fulfilled and Long tail – marketplace – Logistics company) models.

Your thoughts?