How This eCommerce Platform Helped 100 Prospective Startups Across The World
Join Entrepreneur’s The Goal Standard Challenge and make 2017 yours. Learn more »
If you are a tech-savvy millennial who keeps track of what’s happening in the eCommerce and startup world, you might have come across an event called #YoKart100Startups during past couple of months.
In case you have missed that, the emerging eCommerce platform Yo!Kart recently started this unique online campaign to give 100 licenses of its multivendor eCommerce software to people with potential business ideas for free.
This campaign, that ran for about a month and a half (from mid-April to early June) garnered decent traction from across the world in the form of 600 applications from more than 100 countries.
I only recently found out that currently a mere 7-8% of the total retail space is online. Meaning, while we are comfortably getting stuff delivered to our homes in just a few mouse clicks, a good portion of the world population is still deprived of this luxury. Apparently, the eCommerce arena, however, gigantic it may seem to a metro-city dweller’s eye, is still in its nascent stage and there is a need to put some efforts to increase its share of total retail space.
The motive behind this campaign was exactly that – to promote the eCommerce startup ecosystem by helping people with good business ideas in opening new eCommerce marketplaces so that the convenience of online shopping can reach new markets and new people.
The event surfaced some crucial eCommerce industry insights, which YoKart team says, it wasn't previously fully aware of. After going through different statements released by CEO Manish Bhalla during and after the event, I was able to assemble the following insights into three points:
Need of Better Penetration in Regional Markets
People from different regions and countries participated in #YoKart100Startups; places whose names are hardly heard when we talk about eCommerce. According to Manish, it was the business ideas of participants from untapped (or partially untapped) markets that he found the most inspiring ones.
He said, “I found it really interesting that many applicants talked about opening marketplaces that focus on rural areas. We know today the internet has good reach even outside the major cities. So, improving the state of eCommerce in rural areas does seem to be a very logical initiative, which evidently, is still not on major eCommerce brand's radar.”
Scope for New Niche Marketplaces
Despite being constantly involved in eCommerce sector for past decade, YoKart team was surprised to see that so many people have unique & original niche marketplace ideas with an immense future scope.
In a recently released statement, Manish said, “After reviewing the business ideas, we realized how much scope there is for taking the offline retail space to online. There is an existing need of many niche marketplaces, but surprisingly, no one has taken an initiative yet. For other ideas (niche marketplaces), need can be created in the market by showcasing the value they provide.”
Improvement in the Existing Supply Chain
A few of the participants brought the idea of opening B2B wholesale eCommerce marketplaces so that the existing supply chain can be improved by automating things and reducing human efforts. Since these marketplaces will make things easily available by improving the supply chain, consumption of resources will also increase. So, down the line, there is a good scope for these marketplaces as well.
According to YoKart team, some of these B2B wholesale eCommerce marketplace ideas seem as ambitious as Jack Ma’s initial idea for Alibaba. But time alone will tell whether these ideas grow up into huge marketplace as Alibaba or not.
After the event, it has become pretty clear that lack of initial investment is keeping thousands of unique and potential business ideas from turning into reality. So, all these eCommerce platforms, that trumpet about their affordability, should rethink their pricing strategy. Or at least start initiatives that can help people with good business ideas to overcome the money barrier like YoKart.
Now that 100 such people have been given this opportunity through YoKart100Startups, it would be interesting to see how far they can take things from here and whether they will be able to make something big out of it.
(As told to Samiksha Jain)