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A new e-commerce platform is emerging in India who would give others a run for their money So what Aditya Birla is telling us by launching ABOF.com?

By Gaurav Pandey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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When Columbus first discovered Indian island, when Graham Bell first discovered telephone or, when Tim Berners Lee, first invented WWW (the Internet), they all would be happy of their own successes, and the world might also be praising their individual successes and their efforts.

But let's read it again but between the lines… When Columbus first discovered a new land of business & mining opportunity, when Graham Bell first discovered a new way of distance communication or, when Tim invented new way of accessing real-time information from other parts of world, they might have little idea of how their platform is going to be over-used to monetize at mass.

Something identical we all have witnessed in India called "E-commerce".

Flipkart, Snapdeal & Amazon (FSA) discovered this new land of business opportunity, mining the resource for revenue generation, and reaching the mass users with comparatively much lesser marketing budget is what, Retail Giants have been noticing for a while, and now they are into action.

When Giants like Ambani's, Tata's or Aditya Birla adopt jump into something, it goes Big. A Real Big.

So what Aditya Birla is telling us by launching ABOF.com?

Let's explore few critical understanding below:

1. E-commerce is not done with Flipkart or Snapdeal.

They were just brilliantly-abled kids who found a pond of opportunities, playing in wild. But when dad comes to play, he play at higher level, he doesn't compete with you. He takes' over the game, take it to the new heights, teaches you a lot, and make it more sustainable.

Remember grocery retails story of giants like Reliance fresh, Food-Bazaar (of Big-Bazaar), Bharti-Wallmart, More, D-Mart, Star Bazaar etc.

So Honeymoon period is now over for E-commerce in India, and it will turn as an overused-medium-to-business, but for all, into future.

2. A New Land to Do Serious Business

It's no more additional source of revenue for offline businesses. E-commerce is just another path to reach business goals, so doing it part time, and for additional quick cash type of vision will clearly tell, that you are not able to see what's happening, and where it is heading.

3. New way to increase margins

At the marketing scale of Aditya Birla's, even saving 1 per cent would sum up lifelong earnings of several of us collectively. Comparatively lower budget requirements, no real estate occupancy, and several cost cutting possibilities in operational expenditures are the real measurable benefits businesses must see, in order to optimize their margins and cut cost, but increase the business.

4. There is no game in criticizing e-commerce for negative impact of offline retail

My favorite one. You hate it, you love it, but you can't ignore it. It's not in an opportunity-mode anymore, it's now a path, proven to achieve scale to your business, regardless if you are a giant retailer like Aditya Birla, Ambani's or just a 1500 sqft retail shop owner.

Stop criticizing, and jump in. You'll only regret later for not doing it.

5. Threat to traditional media-buying like TV, Newspaper ads

Increasing budget of online marketing, will surely create a new threat story for traditional media, since they survive solely on advertising revenue. Any cut into their budget will be allocated to online marketing, where it is more measurable, impactful and provides a wide.. wider… widest reach for every single marketing Dollar… Ok, Sorry…Rupee.

6. Differentiation will replace discounts soon.

Pain point of all others except FSA's (Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon). Raise your hands people who still remember Fashionandyou.com or Infibeam.com?

That because FSA (Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon) misused the discounts for all their own good. Remember Flipkart modifying accounting books to justify selling products at lower prices than buying cost? Kudo's to their investors. Something which annoyed Mahesh Murthi (Foudner, Seedfund), than most of us, in India.

But now new e-commerce platform has emerged who will tell you how to build a real business, and not pumping air in balloon with your GMV (Gross Merchandising Value) alone. Wherever it leads from here, one thing is bloody sure. E-commerce is now going to open its gate to many more smaller & larger businesses to build their sustainable online revenue streams, and not depending on FSA's platforms for selling only.

Gaurav Pandey

Founder, Contentory.in

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