That’s How I Want To Build My E-Commerce Company !

Yes! I am a Co-founder at bluegape.com. I am one of those champs who prefers to order it online whenever my MOM asks me to bring some vegetables from the market. I am a passionate follower of most of the e-commerce companies of India. I have tweeted/retweeted almost every funding/acquisition news of the e-commerce industry. I can tell you the name of CEOs of all the e-commerce companies. Sometimes I feel I know Sachin of Flipkart, Mukesh of Myntra, Kunal of Snapdeal as if they all are my classmates. May be that’s the reason I started bluegape.com last year. We have a good traction, profits and everything. But there is something that made me bit skeptical about the success of e-commerce industry. Let me start here :

Everyday few new emails pop up into my account asking to put bluegape discount coupons on their website. We have put our coupons on most of the mobile recharge sites and some other deal sites. Guess what, we got a good amount of traction from them. But I was always curious to see what can excite people about bluegape and it’s products apart from giving away discounts coupons. For me It was more important to understand what is that actually excites a customer about most of the e-commerce companies. A quick google search gave me this result :

infibeam

And the results were very astonishing for me. It’s always the word discount coupon that follows after the company’s name. Is this due to customers who have changed their perspective for the e-commerce companies or Is it e-commerce companies who are in the league to lure their customers with fancy discount coupons. Whatever be the case is, but I am sure this psychology will ruin the e-commerce industry in India soon. Then I took a deep breathe and did the same exercise for Amazon and here’s the result :

People search Amazon for it’s products and not because of coupon codes. They love Amazon for what it delivers.

Now may be all these e-commerce companies can call it customer acquisition cost as they have million dollars in their bank account from their VCs and I don’t. But even if I will raise million dollars as I want to build a company where people will know bluegape because of it’s product, value and services, not because of discount codes. I want  people to actually understand the need of my company in their life.

Okay, I am getting out of this league of discount game. Let me have a beer tonight and start the same journey with new approach.

P.S. : Give me a shout on twitter @sbaghla and say best of luck with #bluegape :-)

Originally posted at bluegape blog here !

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Comment by Tausif Mulla on June 22, 2012 at 11:44am

Really good analysis. I can share one of the examples which might help you to get rid of your doubts. My marketing professor was working with famous apparel brand as store manager.

One day Kokilaben Ambani entered the store to buy some stuff. When the time came for payment, Kokilaben said "isme kuch kam karo" (i.e looking for bargain in India)

The lesson I learnt from this is , its in our demographics. Discount is in our blood.

All the best bro!!!

Comment by Snehil Khanor on June 11, 2012 at 12:46am

Well.. I just think you are using the wrong tool...
If you see here http://www.google.co.in/trends/?q=amazon+coupon,flipkart+coupon,inf... you'll see that "amazon coupon" is so much more searched than "flipkart coupon" and "infibeam coupon"
Google suggestions is not a comparison tool..
Amazon is a giant co. with multiple products and established in multiple countries.. that is why its showing these.. It doesn't mean that people dont look for Amazon coupons.. they do too.. its just Amazon kindle and other terms are searched more than that.. but still "Amazon coupon" is searched more than "flipkart coupon".
Although I get your point.. but I feel these coupons (along with COD) has been the major catalyst for making eCommerce happen in India.. and if these eComm sites are using their VC money to get people to try them out for the first time then I guess there's no harm in it and you too should do the same if you raise VC funds..
Trouble is when these first timers dont like your service/product and decides not to buy from you again..
Giving away coupons is cool as long as your intentions behind it is to "acquire a CUSTOMER" and not just to "acquire a TRANSACTION"

Comment by Abhishek Chhibber on June 5, 2012 at 6:32pm

That's an interesting analysis..... all the best Sahil!!

Comment by Ajay Kumar on June 5, 2012 at 11:35am
Interesting observation... But this is how Indian customers have always behaved... They will rather wait for 1 day extra for delivery if it costs them say even 5% less...
Comment by Rituraj Chaturmohta on June 1, 2012 at 5:20pm

Nice post and a perspective shared by anyone (well, almost anyone) who follows the e-commerce in India..

But, lets take a step back. I think Indian e-commerce companies are focusing on customer acquisition right now, as opposed to the companies of mature e-commerce markets, which are focusing customer delight. 

What would give us an apple to apple comparison is the search trends in US, UK and Europe in the early 2000s. If the search keywords are still the same as today, then you are right. I would tend to believe that would not be the case and during those years, even the US/UK/Europe e-commerce customers would be searching for these keywords. I would love to be proved wrong....!!!

Comment by Viraj Mhatre on June 1, 2012 at 5:06pm

End of the road for discount vultures..........

Comment by Nishant Agrawal on May 31, 2012 at 9:33pm

Interesting observation, but you are trying to compare Indian consumers with American consumers.

Comment by Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal on May 27, 2012 at 5:54pm

WOW! this is gonna get massively promoted by me

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