In recently concluded week, I spoke to people to who wanted to start an online store and jump into the e-Commerce bandwagon. My only reply to them was – “Dude! You are late for the party. The music has already stopped.” And then we get into the conversation which is more inclined towards making them understand that what an e-Commerce business is all about, and why people should not get into it until they have got a feel of what this business demands.
One of the most typical answers I get to hear from the e-Commerce aspirants is – ‘But my idea is unique, and I know no one else has done it so far’. I respect your idea, and I respect the fact that you are the first one to have thought about doing it but answer a few of the questions to yourself – #1. How long can you go with this ‘unique’ idea of yours? #2. Have you done any proof of concept for your idea?
My only reason behind asking this question is simple is that – Internet is a level-playing field, and this immediately means that your idea will become a public property open to replication the moment you are there. And any internet based business is not about the idea alone, instead it’s about execution and sustaining the same in the years to come. And on top of that, you will get these years only when someone is not aggressively copying your idea and making it better.
Keeping in mind the observation, so far, that E-Commerce has been the most ‘abused’ idea India has ever seen, I have complete faith in my understanding that – In your e-Commerce venture you can not sustain solely depending on your ‘unique’ idea beyond 2-3 weeks. You have to have strategy, patience, and money to execute your idea; and this is what will make your e-Commerce journey worth an attempt, rather than just having a brilliant ideas which would get replicated the very next day by some guy with deep pockets.
My only final words – E-Commerce is a game of patience. You will have to almost beg the customers to purchase things from your end. You will have to change your business ideas several times each year. You will have to burn your money many times (most of them have ALWAYS burnt money when they have sold anything from their portal). Your employees won’t be the happiest set of people, they will hate you and they will hate the reason why people have started buying over the internet. Think if you are ready for all this, if not, take your own time.
E-Commerce is here to stay, so there is no need to jump into the business in a hurry without giving it a proper thought and assessing your strengths and weaknesses. E-Commerce deserves your thoughts!