The KartRocket Online Seller App allows anyone with a smartphone to create their own e-commerce websites in minutes. Small businesses can launch a web and mobile ready online store, engage in multichannel e-tailing and get shipping carrier integrations all in a single dashboard.
KartRocket product is owned by Big Foot Retail Solutions, a privately held company based in New Delhi, India, and founded by Saahil Goel, Gautam Kapoor and Vishesh Khurana. In a tête-à-tête with Saahil Goel, Retailer Media explored the company’s objective, the e-commerce enablement space and various marketing tactics that help retailers get noticed and get sales.
Reading KartRocket’s description is fun, you do almost everything to help businesses start their online channel, but in application this must be difficult. As ‘It is easier said than done’ goes the adage, how difficult it is to take businesses online and what challenges do you face while you do that?
Since the inception of KartRocket, we have worked with a single objective of “Selling Online Simplified” for Indian retailers. Certainly, we have faced a lot of challenges on this path, but we, as a company, have seen these problems as opportunities for us to expand our offerings and business. Today, merchants expect a one-stop solution to their problems of starting, maintaining and growing their online store. This is really the biggest challenge, yet an opportunity for us. If we can solve all the problems of our merchants, then we have their loyalty to us that is extremely critical in our business.
When we started, we were facing issues on how to offer a platform that enables a retailer to go online faster at lower costs. This was the first problem we solved. But for eCommerce, a website is just not enough. You need a lot of features like payment gateways, customer engagement tools like a coupon generator, newsletter generator, etc. We created an app store for third-party apps and integrated with many leading companies.
The second big problem we saw was logistics. Earlier, the whole process of processing a shipment, assigning AWB number, creating shipping labels, status updates etc. was manual. So, we came up with a single solution for all these issues and that led to the launch of ShipRocket. Using ShipRocket, the merchants got better automated services at much lower cost.
Cataloging and sales are another problem for every merchant. They have products, but can’t hire a professional photographer. The majority of them have little or no knowledge of marketing, hence aren’t able to drive sales. Through our Mobile app, we are trying to solve both these problems. The mobile app allows a merchant to click and upload a picture directly to their store thus, saving time and cost of creating a catalog. Tools like Sell via WhatsApp & Facebook, marketplaces, etc. helps a merchant to drive sales. This is how we have worked till date. Identifying the problem areas and solving them.
How do you help them sell on WhatsApp and Facebook?
A lot of merchants who came on-board are already selling their products through Facebook and/or Whatsapp. But, the process is a real problem. They used to post pictures on their wall or share it with their contacts. The end user selected the products and the seller used to take down the order and customer details like address, phone number, etc., share their bank details with the end user for payments manually. That’s how an order was placed. The merchant had to manually update their stock inventory, in case the product was sold out. All these made it a tedious job for the merchant to sell on these channels, but they didn’t have a choice.
Now, with our mobile app, we have automated this process. Now, when a merchant shares/posts a product to WhatsApp or Facebook, it goes with a payment link. If the end user likes the product, they can follow the link, which will take them directly to the checkout page and the order is placed directly. The payment link is directly linked to their store. The inventory is automatically updated. The buyer gets automatic notifications that the order is confirmed and in case the order is prepaid, the payment is directly credited to the merchant account. This way, merchants now put negligible effort to make a sale.
Who have you tied up with in terms of providing retailers and SMEs shipping services?
We have tie-ups with seven courier companies like FedEx, Bluedart, Aramex, DTDC, Firstflight, Delhivery and Ecom Express. Using these courier services, our merchants can reach 16,000+ pincodes, which includes around 10,000 pincodes for COD within India. For International shipments, we have tie-ups with Aramex and UPS.
Name some of the retailers and SMEs who are using your services?
Currently, we have over 2,000 (plus) merchants using services of KartRocket or ShipRocket. Some of the retailers using our services are Sanjeev Kapoor, Jazz My Ride, Globalite Sport, DaMilano, Latin Quarters, Gyans, Tiekart, USI, Carlton London, Talking Threads, 4,700 BC popcorns, etc.
What is the kind of queries that you get before/after getting a retailer on board?
With KartRocket, the merchant's journey is a three- part process: Pre-On boarding/Sales, on boarding/Store setup and live stores. There are different kinds of queries at each stage. During pre on-boarding time, the merchants are usually interested in the eCommerce industry as a whole and want complete knowledge on how an online store functions. The majority of questions is regarding online store set-up, payment gateways, marketplaces integrations, shipping, inventory management, data migration, in case they are already online, etc.
During the store set-up process, the merchants are a lot more interested in the look and feel of their store. As that’s their brand presentation to the world, they do invest a lot of time in getting it right. Their primary area of focus will be what all features the store should have, what kind of colour combinations, theme, font, etc. they should use. In addition to this, they also focus a lot of effort on setting up the basics of marketing and analytics right. Integrations such as Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Facebook, etc. take a lot of importance in the merchant’s mind.Once, the merchant’s store is live, their focus shifts entirely on marketing. They would need assistance with how to market their products, what all marketing channels should they focus on, the dilemma of whether they should list their products on marketplaces or not, etc.
How are you different from other players in the space? A lot of companies today are into providing end-to-end solutions to businesses and the space is getting crowded today, don't you think?
The eCommerce enablement space is huge and is growing at a very rapid scale. Thus, it is obvious that there are and will be lots of companies working in this space. But, I think that in the end the company that solves all or at least a majority of the problems for the merchants namely cataloging, selling, shipping, payments, etc., will lead the market. Every product that we build takes a step ahead in solving these problems.
One thing that gives us a disruptive advantage over others is the mobile app. India is becoming a mobile first market. And, there is no other solution available to the merchant that enables them to start an online store as easily as KartRocket. I think with the mobile app, we will clearly stand out in the crowd.
How has been the response so far? Talk to us about the new innovations you may be introducing to make it seamless for users.
We are currently doing a lot of exciting stuff to help our merchants start selling online. We believe that we have a great product for our merchants to start their online store or give them an online presence. But, what they don’t have is a way to get noticed and start getting sales. And currently, that’s our primary focus. We want to build as many tools as possible to help merchant get sales.Selling via WhatsApp and Facebook are the first tools that we launched through our mobile app and the response has been amazing. The efforts that the merchants are putting in to drive sales only prove the point that this is an area that we need to address. We are building pipes to various marketplaces through which a merchant can directly list their products, without putting in any efforts. With it, we are building products with which the merchants can start their own digital marketing campaigns within the defined budgets.We are hoping to solve this problem as soon as possible. So, there is definitely an exciting time ahead for us.
Where do you see the platform five years from now?
We, as an organisation, completely believe in the mobile revolution. We are sure that five years down the line, everything is going to be mobile. And, that’s our focus as a company. We want to build a mobile platform that enables anyone with a product to sell online. That’s our vision for the next five years. Another objective is to build a platform that acts as a bridge between the seller and the buyer.We are confident that in the future, platforms are going to take a backstage and the buyers will have a direct connection to the sellers. Therefore, we want to build a platform on similar lines.
So, the fight really is to offer complete solution to the companies in order to make it a seamless experience to sell online. How many active merchants do you have, and what is the sale figure that you have helped them generate until now?
Hundred per cent! Anyone who offers a seamless experience to the seller will surely become the first choice to go and grow online. Currently, we have 2,000 (plus) merchants who are using our paid services to sell online. Along with this, we also have a mobile app that has more than 80,000 downloads and 20,000 (plus) registered users. Annually, we help our merchants drive revenues of over 150 crores.