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A Startup’s Guide To Building A Scalable Ecommerce Business

Inc42 and Google Cloud recently held a panel discussion titled A Startup’s Guide To Building A Scalable Ecommerce Business, exploring many critical areas such as: 

  • The rise and rise of ecommerce startups in India
  • Using data to understand consumer behaviour and leveraging it to optimise strategy, communications, content and merchandising decisions
  • Content as a substitute for the offline shopping experience
  • Leveraging tech and data to improve customer experience and retention rates
  • Data overload and making sense of it

Moderated by Chintan Shah, head of internet and software business at Google Cloud, the discussion included Ajay Gondhiya, CTO of Hopscotch; Gaurav Tejwani, CPO at The Good Glamm Group; Mudit T, head of digital and tech at Chumbak; Ramesh Kumar, VP of Engineering at Jumbotail, and Harshit Vij, cofounder, Freecultr.

A Startup’s Guide To Building A Scalable Ecommerce Business

The number of ecommerce startups is rising steadily in India as companies look to capitalise on the country’s fast-growing ecommerce opportunity, estimated to reach $400 Bn by 2030. But the critical question is: How and when should they scale up to leverage the growth momentum? 

Startups should invest early in tech that helps them understand consumer behaviour and leverage those trends to optimise strategy, communications, content and merchandising decisions.

Building versus buying the tech stack is another dilemma while scaling up, as many startups fail early for inefficient working capital deployment. Building the technology in-house requires huge investments and a clear understanding of the company’s long-term vision so that the tech will not be redundant if the business decides to pivot. Buying tech solutions off the shelf may be an easier option. But with many alternatives available today, startups may be swayed into buying what is not required, thus leading to negative RoI.

Tech tools like marketing automation are essential for startups to keep their customers engaged throughout the shopping cycle, from exploring products to eventual buying. Investment in the right automation tool also improves brand stickiness, customer acquisition and retention, thus helping ecommerce brands scale up.

With more tech incorporation comes more data, easily overwhelming ecommerce businesses with information overload. Of course, technology is critical for any ecommerce company to remain agile in the fast-evolving market. But startups need to focus on their core competence and invest in the tech that can adapt to the changing ecosystem and provide a controlled feedback loop to deliver actionable insights and help unlock hypergrowth.