Things the Indian eCommerce Industry Needs to Learn From Jack Ma & Alibaba

6 min read 

E-Commerce is providing a promising platform to sell most of the niche products. It gives varied shopping choices for the customer, educates the customer on product features, and provides a better reach for both small retailers and big manufacturers. It takes the business to the next level by bridging the gap between consumers and producers, meanwhile allowing the individual to shop in one’s comfort zone. 

Indian E-Commerce Industry

40% of India’s population is already into transactions via online platforms, signaling the digital revolutionization of Indian economy has already begun. It’s expected to grow by 100$ million in sales revenue. Fashion and FMCG ( fast moving consumer goods ) are the top categories. India has the greatest potential of the consumer market and hence every nation is coming forward to invest in India to sell their products and to build their brand here. Having said this, the Indian market is not just open for the international firms, it also promotes local startups. The E-commerce industry has become a household name with the frequent usage of online shopping platforms and payment platforms like Flipkart, Snap deal, Amazon, Pay tm and so on.

To knock it down in E-Commerce being a first Generation Entrepreneur

For any startup, the foremost aim is to move ahead amidst all hurdles. Jack Ma makes this practically possible by his constant thirst to get the firm going – he dreams Alibaba to thrive as a global platform, an ambitious yet well-formed vision having no limitations to expand its aura. Success doesn’t come in overnight. Alibaba was one such startup where I could see the ideas of a layman getting shaped in the continuous process of self-evaluation. Even after the brand is well established, it still continues to do the same.

Business Environment in India

India offers a friendly environment for startups promoting its establishment right from the ground level with the foundation of SME(Small and Medium Enterprises). District level Industries help centers, promoting finance for startups, establishing economic zones and lot more. Having said these, Indian entrepreneurs can take up some of the strategies from Alibaba to take business to next level.

Inspiring Things To Take From Jack Ma as An Aspiring Entrepreneur

1. SIMPLICITY IN BUSINESS

To keep the plan simple – sketch out the consecutive alternate plans, promote more transparency and take calculated risks in doing business. The plans are to be precise and well-informed about the changing trends and to meet the demands of the changing times.

2.MOVE AHEAD NO MATTER WHAT

An entrepreneur has to face all kinds of challenges in the business environment. Alibaba’s success has got its tribute over its failures and the functional discrepancies. It’s absolutely fine to meet failures but at the end of the day, it’s on how well the counter plans are devised to bring in the success.

3. B2B STRUCTURE

Alibaba is based on a B2B structure rather than the most successful B2C structure of the western e-commerce giant like Amazon. The business plan has to be carried out according to the nation’s business environment as it plays a critical role in the success of the plan. In China, the B2B model of Jack Ma proved to be a huge success as the Chinese retailers witnessed a space for themselves in the online platform to run their business which was not booming in the brick and mortar set up. Alibaba took a calculated risk being reluctant in providing storage warehousing facilities and rather built a rapport among the tradesmen. In India, the compatibility of the B2B model has to be taken into the test as India is already witnessing a huge success in B2C model followed by the Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and etc.

4. Logistics

The availability of goods has to be taken into consideration in e-Commerce, as orders pour in from all parts of the country. Thus, there has to have a very good network of logistics and supply chain to promote quick delivery of quality products.

On this note, Alibaba concentrated on its network, pooling the locally-made products and making it available across the length and breadth of China. Local traders are massively benefited from Alibaba’s network. The other way to pool the materials is to purchase it in bulk from a big manufacturer either locally or internationally and then to decentralize the distribution centers to promote the availability of the goods.

It will be really astonishing if Indian startups can pool the products made in India and distribute it widely as this will promote the local economy, and the subsidies and grants got via this will help the business to grow further.

5. DUMMY TEST

A product has to be open for testing. Jack Ma runs the dummy test by himself as he is not a tech-savvy guy but goes by the simple knowledge of an everyday person. The prime aim is to cater to the customers and the customers are from all spheres both educated and uneducated.

6. CATERING TO THE MOBILE USERS

The growth of mobile phone industry has made it big allowing the access of online stores from mobile and also the mobile payments to promote the transfer of cash at a fingertip. The startup must think in a way to utilize the best available option to foster the easy payments and the designing of user-friendly applications to ease out the shopping experience. Alibaba has its own cloud space called Alicloud and the Alipay to foster online payment.

7. COME UP WITH SUBSCRIPTION BASED MODELS

Subscription-based models work well in retaining existing suppliers and customers. Owing to the surge in e-Commerce, more companies are expected to try their luck in e-Commerce. To stand out from the crowd, the extra edge benefits are to retain the existing suppliers and customers. The benefits can be offering free space for promoting goods for the manufacturers, middlemen services, enhancing the credit facilities, scrutinizing the existence of the standard branded products, and offering easy purchase schemes for the customers.

The Future Of Digitalization

Looking up to Alibaba, Indian start-ups should keep their ideas open, and convince traders to try out online platforms. The e-Commerce Industry is beneficial to both the manufacturers and retailers. It adds value to the financial sector of the nation and revolutionizes the economy of the nation.

With more than 60% internet users, India can be a thriving market for e-Commerce. It’s also vital to build a good brand image. Jack Ma is highly vigilant when it comes to delivering the quality, because he cares about retaining the market as a trustworthy brand.

(This article is the author’s opinion piece which does not reflect Pandaily’s official opinion on the matter. If you wish to publish an article on Pandaily, email your article to [email protected])

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