Making E-commerce Easy

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Helping businesses do business online

Important Dates in the Indian Ecommerce Calendar – Part 2

Diwali really kicks off the major holiday season in India which lasts till February. During this time, typically sites would find that even though they don’t do anything different, orders normally go up. And thats largely because its the season of sales and spending in the Indian market. Some of your best discounts in electronics come out around this time.

New models of electronic gadgets, new cars, new season full of clothes on the racks of retailers, gets the Indian consumer’s wallet out and the retailer’s tills ringing. Basically the same is witnessed online. Online retailers try to keep up with their brick-n-mortar brothers-in-arms and online shoppers really benefit from it all.

Children’s Day:
A uniquely Indian event. And thats why this is important. If you’re in a business that also caters to children, then make sure you grab this day. Marketed right, you can get customers to spend on well discounted products. This isn’t a must-buy time, so remember to use this time to give some heavy discounts on your items that aren’t moving too well. Good campaigns successfully use this event to increase the brand recall with the site, especially useful with the approaching Christmas / New Years / Holiday gifting season.

…to be continued

How much to discount online?

No businesses like to offer too much discounts, if they can help it. But since customers love discounts, what choice do you have? :)

And in a price, sorry discount crazy country such as India, the question that gives the most sleepless nights is: How much should I discount online? How much (discount) is enough?

Well, here is my answer depending on what kind of a business you’re running.

If you’re just launching online and want customers to come in: Discount heavily.
Beat the big guys amazed at your aggressive rates. Shout about these rates at the top of your voice wherever you can: Blogs / Facebook / Twitter. Partner with SnapDeal.com / Koovs.com / Sosasta.com / Groupon.in and announce these heavy discounts. Remember you just want traffic to build, your brand to be known, so treat the discounts as a marketing expense, as a customer acquisition strategy.

If your online business has been around a while and you’re trying to grow the subscriber base: Discount and compete with your competitors on pricing.
Be cheaper than them on the items that are in the ‘buzz’, that drive customers to your site, but don’t discount on the other items. Take advantage of your business experience in knowing which products to discount, which to bundle, which to offer as discount to repeat customers only, etc. Basically use your online business experience to be smarter than the start-ups.

If your online business is amongst the leader: Don’t stress on discounting. Stress only on the service.
Keep the customers happy and let them be your evangelists. Be aware of the online price wars, but beat your competition by providing best-in-class customer service. Deliver outrageous service. You cannot go wrong with this. Use the Keep-It-Simple-Stupid principle. And importantly, remember to use your financial muscle power well.