Prakash Kumar, Co -Founder & CTO at Kartmax, a leading eCommerce solutions company, where he led tech implementation for 50+ D2C brands from India and western countries.Techpreneur with a passion for building Technology that scales D2C businesses faster. For more than a decade and half, Prakash has been on a passionate journey to unlock the potential of eCommerce businesses through technology and democratizing the ecosystem by helping businesses to start, and establish their online presence in both the established and the emerging markets across the globe.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” In other words, efficiency is the new profitability for businesses to scale seamlessly in the world of digital consumerism. Be it an offline heavy retail, or an exciting voluminous marketplace business, or a small bootstrapped D2C-first brand, the goal of any eCommerce business is to achieve efficiency, profitability & sustainability.
Now to properly assess the gap areas in achieving efficiency, let’s run a thought experiment. Imagine you have it all, the numbers, 1000s of orders per day on your webstore and you have found all the best solutions and they are working in tandem to get you the best results. Marketing is bringing the relevant audience to the website, conversion flow is optimised to achieve the sales targets, and website infra is efficient in handling any load. But this is not where it ends, right?
Accounting for 20-25% return ratio (the industry standard), what once were 50-70 returns per day, now near 1000, can the same team handle such a volume promptly? How many “where is my order?” queries would you want to entertain? Would you still want to do manual accounting for order refunds at such a large scale?
Technology For Scale
The fact is that scale doesn’t only come from a fast website, strong infra or good conversions. It has to be accompanied by optimal business efficiency which is something that can only be achieved with help of new-age tech tenants – deeptech, cross-integrations and smart automation. What businesses today need is a technology solutioning which renders real-time solutions & clears dependencies when your business starts achieving its next goal. At the same time, ensuring that the bottom line is not affected by unaccounted man-hours and unforeseen leakages, which in a very real sense, is business as usual.
Fast Tracking Business Operations
Let’s go back to the infamous “where is my order?” customer support ticket. Why is this query raised and why should man-hours be entertaining them?
Customers shoot queries like “where is my return/refund/etc?” because the website fails to update them closely on their order details except for basic details like “unfulfilled”, “pending” or similar vague order status.
You can dramatically reduce queries through smart automation-based low-cost customer support, and reduce man-hours spent by the customer support team if your website could show real-time consignment status like “order picked up”, “in-transit” or “out for delivery”. Using new-age tech to alert customers of every step of the fulfilment journey over email, WhatsApp & SMS notifications; putting in place support chatbots with headless connectivity to the website can automatically solve queries of most of the customers.
Hands-off RMA Processing
Cross-integrating your website deeply with your OMS and logistics partner in a way where it allows the customer to raise a return/exchange request on the front end will help you improve your customer journey leaps and bounds.
But how about going a step beyond and automatically refunding payments to the customer or creating an exchange order once the product is received back at the warehouse?
This has been made possible by the recent tech advancement in the retail industry through a fully integrated and smart eCommerce platform like KartmaX which collects the analytics on the ‘why’ of returns and gives feedback to the merchandising team. You can also map options of instant wallet refund so that the money stays with you and the customer is encouraged to shop again.
Engineering Sales 24/7
One thing that almost every brand would like to do on a pretty much monthly basis is schedule a sale event. These sales events help liquidate old stocks, promote D2C, celebrate an event etc. But a lot of man-hours are spent on grunt work associated with the events like:
- Updating catalogue with new pricing
- Updating banners on the homepage
- Creating coupons for sale
- Upgrading infra to prepare for the spike in traffic
Worst of all, this has to be done at midnight to properly execute the scheduled sale event. Thanks to the new-age headless tech platforms, businesses can now schedule all of these items way ahead of time, while the infra is scaled automatically against the demand of the traffic. This means that a single person can schedule all your sales events for the next quarter in a single day and your eCommerce platform takes care of the rest automatically.
The Way Forward
History is witness to the fact that the businesses that have relentlessly valued efficiency have survived, thrived and achieved exponential business growth within a short span of time. The same holds true for the eRetail industry which is poised to grow over $100 Bn within the next few years. What would decide the fate of these outliers in the near future is the way they leverage the new-age tenants of technology for scaling their business efficiently and profitably.