Starting up a new business is not a big deal. But, managing the process for a longer period of time is an imperative challenge for every startup or small enterprise. Over a decade ago, budding enterprises were able to corner the market themselves with their traditional ways of doing business. But, the recent era of online shopping has moved the attention of their visitors. Emerging technologies and head-on competition are forcing small vendors to leave the track. The challenges many of Tier-II and Tier-III cities artisans/craftsmen and small shopkeepers faced were surprisingly similar. Therefore, they were on the lookout for an opportunity to showcase their offerings in a channel to reap maximum profit and coverage. Understanding the need of the hour, Prateek B Singh from Varanasi took big responsibility on his shoulders and started his career as a vendor on different e-Commerce portals with a sole aim to kick-start his own online portal in the name of Shoppingkart24.com. The company made its debut in the year 2016 with one and only mission to offer a trustworthy platform to these neglected artisans/craftsmen, rural/urban vendors and work for their growth. “We started Shoppingkart24 – India’s largest online shopping portal – with a vision to provide a global platform for many artisans/craftsmen, small-scale vendors to showcase their unique & versatile line of products. We offer a platform to promote richness and uniqueness of Indian products from artisans/craftsmen, local manufacturers, and vendors,” proclaims Prateek B Singh, Founder, Shoppingkart24.com. Today, Shoppingkart24 takes great pride in representing more than 1500+ sellers and 10,000+ products on the website within a time span of six months. The company also has a good traction of registered customers, 5,000-10,000 visitors/month with 17-20 percent returning visitors in just three months.
India is slowly moving towards a philosophy of think global, buy local. In the olden times, the local market was undoubtedly the mirror of likes and dislikes of people. As the supply chain management is slowly taking over the local markets and offering myriad choices to the buyer, it gets tougher for the buyer to identify the trustworthy source to buy. Here is where Shoppingkart24 pitches in. The founder of shoppingkart24.com understood the gap between the real local market and the global market. They also identified that there has to be ease of shopping to make it a hassle-free endeavor for both, the buyer and the seller.
After successfully launching the platform, Prateek felt the need of enhancing the product offering, so now they are working on growing their stake in Indian market by promoting the art and craft segment, there would also be Geographical Indication (GI) tagged products on the portal for sale. While doing so, they also aim for creating the ease of shopping through a mobile application and a voice search feature which is unique to the supply chain store. This app is launched on Android Play Store. The company’s online store comprises a plethora of products that are sourced from various vendors in India at a very marginal price. Knowing that the people have the natural fondness for the local market, shoppingkart24 may establish its offline presence soon.
“Shoppingkart24.com is a revolutionary platform working on the concept of ‘Make in India’ where an unnoticed brand gets a platform to showcase their products. Thus, we aim at delivering the best with easy-to-shop facility considering the needs of customers with a quick response. We have added intuitive features to our web portal and mobile application as to offer enhanced user experience,” says proud Prateek.
Challenges & the Opportunities
Challenges were an integral part of Shoppingkart24.com’s growth story, which was primarily related to trust factor among rural artisans/craftsmen or local vendors and customers, but the team of dedicated professionals successfully waded through. The company is also making efforts to increase its customer base which will directly increase the traffic on its portal at a faster pace. Arranging meetings with several artisans/craftsmen and local vendors to educate them and make them aware of e-Commerce business and other benefits associated helped to break the barrier.
Shoppingkart24 focuses on three crucial points – ‘Educate, Empower and Enrich’. The company takes initiatives in educating rural craftsmen/women with real skills and bringing forward to online market. The company also empower and enrich them by offering a quality of life. The company’s prime motive is to is promote the work of Indian craftsmen, artisans, upcoming designers and entrepreneurs globally. Shoppingkart24 bridges the gap between customers and Indian Brands and trying to promote the GI products and provide a good market to the artisans/craftsmen who are making these unique products.
Open & Flexible Work Culture
Housed with a talented pool of 10 people, Shoppingkart24 follows an open and flexible work culture. Prateek believes that investing in employees is a tough task as today they look out for in smart work factor with hard work strategy. The company prefers to keep 360-degree communication channel which includes people development, teamwork, and collaboration. “Shoppingkart24 is a dream which we have seen together and feel happy to see it growing with every passing day. We are working vigorously on the amalgamation of modern and traditional products on one big online portal with our ‘Indian’ artisans/craftsmen and wholesaler/retailer,” he adds. Recently, Shoppingkart24 has welcomed one more Director on board Mrs. Manisha Tiwari, who is a social entrepreneur with an experience of running an NGO named ‘Virasat’.
With a slow and steady growth, Shoppingkart24 is looking forward to showcasing all the arts, crafts and GI products from each state of India on its platform. The company is trying to provide larger product selection to the customers from vendors of rural/urban areas by implementing new features on the website hence offering best customer experience to both the sellers and customers. The online portal foresees 10x growth in customers within a span of next six months and increases per customer spend by 2.5 to 3 times. Shoppingkart24’s future roadmap is to stabilize the Indian market and create the platform in other countries so as to promote their art, crafts, and designs which will increase cross boundaries trade.
By Rashmsree Deb