Welcome to Chapter 3!
So, at the end of Chapter 2, we had just discovered the E-Commerce marketplaces that were just at it's infancy.
The year was 2011 and we had formally registered as a company, enabling us to obtain an identity for our company and tax documents. This mean't that we could now work legally with the big-wigs of the industry [All Legal - All Clean].
As mentioned in the previous post, we had begun to sell our products on Ebay & Fashion&You.
We even ended up saving every bit of what we could to buy our very first Laptop (A Sony VAIO which we still have today as well, it works!).
We ended up signing up with a handful of marketplaces at the time, such as, Groupon [Now NearBuy], ShopClues, Fashionara etc.
A story that still comes to my head is that when Saumya & my Mother would go to Fashion&You's office, sit for hours along with some of the company's product's, just to get enlisted with the company. When a representative from the company finally met my sister & mother, she was astonished to see our product lineup we had and immediately took us onboard.
Being newbies in the e-commerce business, we were completely unaware of the norms, excel sheets & panels [It was super extensive]and it was pretty difficult at first to grasp everything in one go. We made a hundred mistakes along the way to maybe learn 5 things.
"The Trial and Error method slowed us down when it came to speed of working, but taught us things that enabled us to never repeat those mistakes again. The cost that one pays for a mistake is grave, but unforgettable & sometimes a good thing"
There are multiple things that one must keep in mind when selling online, it is not so much different than owning a brick & mortar store, but i'll get to that some other time in another chapter, maybe Chapter 7 or Chapter 8.
We were told to create a catalogue[Wait, how is that done?], measure each and every garment[We didn't realise that we could have just made a size chart and measured just a few, we ended up measuring every single piece we had] and how to systematically categorise your products[Wut?].
All seemed like gibberish at the time, but as my quote above mentions, we made mistakes and learnt it the hard way. We eventually managed to get everything right. It took us a lot of days to do that.
Our initial batch of products were to go on a homepage displayed sale on Fashion&You. There is a funny story to this, because we were so excited & taking into consideration that India has an amazing internet broadband system[Pun intended], our internet failed us the day we had the sale. We ended up running to our neighbour's home to use their internet and observe our sale.
We had sold 80% of our very first batch of e-commerce only products, on day 1 itself.
Its just like your first bicycle ride, its special and unforgettable.
More in Chapter 4. :-)