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Want to be an e-retailer? Then, click here

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MUMBAI: The world is moving online; today with a click of a button people can shop, pay bills and get entertained.

Every business model today is or plans to ride the digital wave, but not many have been able to crack the code. There are many who have spent lakhs to set up the online business but haven’t been able to generate the right buzz amongst its target audience or generate enough revenue to sustain the competitive market.

According to Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the e-commerce market saw a jump of 33 per cent to Rs 62,967 crore in 2013 as compared to previous year’s Rs 47,349 crore. Also, currently, there are over 2.5 crore online buyers in the country and still counting.

To cater to this need, new online portals are launched every now and then, thus making the sector highly competitive. And like how everyone once in a while needs a godmother, Rage Communications with the launch of Ystore has just done that.

The new offering is a comprehensive e-commerce platform to enable retailers to go online with significant ease.

“The success of large e-commerce sites such as Flipkart, eBay and Amazon in India is driving interest in various categories. Retailers from almost all consumer product industries have shown keen interest. In particular, clothing, jewelry, home accessories and lifestyle product retailers are most excited and several online stores have already been launched,” says Rage Communications director JRK Rao who adds that these are also the categories that are most suited for online commerce.

It works on two business models. First, it builds a store either using the YStore platform, or any other commercially available e-commerce platform. Typically, there is a one-time fee for the design, development, and deployment of the store, followed by a nominal quarterly management fee to cover routine store maintenance functions.

The second one works on a very reasonable monthly license fee basis. A single monthly charge covers all initial set-up costs, and all future software upgrades as they are made available. This makes it relatively easy for small retailers to enter the online commerce space at minimal cost.

The 200 professionals in technology, design, user experience and business analysis provide a range of services to its clients.

It includes store-front design using pre-designed templates, or fully customised layouts, implementation of all commerce features, from the basic to the most advanced features that are offered by high-end commerce sites, creation of the initial catalog of products for sale, managing taxes, shipping charges, payment gateway for credit card and bank transactions, order tracking, gift registry, inventory, merchandising, integration with external marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, affiliate marketing sites, and more.

Apart from that, it will also help clients to optimise performance across devices - laptops, tablets and smartphones, search engine optimisation, ongoing search marketing, database marketing, email marketing, leads management, online customer service, detailed analytics covering site traffic, user experience and sale conversions, server optimisation for efficient site performance and ongoing content and catalog management (if required by e-tailer).

The company which has offices in Chennai, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney already has over a dozen e-commerce sites on board - using both YStore and other commerce platforms.  A few among those are: soakandsleep.com –a premium bed and bath products; parisera.com – handcrafted products for women; strandofsilk.com – contemporary Indian designer wear and thejus.com – gold and multi plated gift articles among others.

As per online space watchers, there are many factors driving the e-commerce industry worldwide. Penetration of smartphones and internet amongst tier II and III cities is slated to be the main cause behind it. Ready availability of inventory at a central warehousing location and for retailers the ability to reach customers anywhere and at any time are just a few others pointed out by them.

Having said that, they also believe that apart from YStore there are many platforms, like Shopify and Browntape that help retailers sell online. “So, what's important is how you're able to be different from each other and how you've been able to master your particular niche. This is already a crowded sector, and any new entrant will need to significantly differentiate itself from the dozens of other companies who have been here successfully for years,” points out Seedfund managing partner Mahesh Murthy.

Nonetheless, researchers and analysts agree that e-commerce will continue to grow in a practically limitless manner, for a wide range of product categories. In the years to come no retailer can survive without harnessing the reach and power of the internet.

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