Launching an e-commerce website was the thing back in the 2000s, then came tools and services that helped you launch one, easier than ever. However in every young startup scene that is just taking off, it’s the e-commerce that booms its way around. In this scenario retailers want to take their products online to sell more, and entrepreneurs take advantage of this opportunity and launch the e-commerce platform. Typically (In many countries including Iran) many e-commerce stores get funded by friends and family to get it off the ground in order to reach a certain benchmark, before they raise a round to expand. However bootstrapping to launch an e-commerce has never been this easy. Now Iran, like every other emerging market, is close to the peak of its e-commerce stage. Though the competition in the e-commerce landscape is getting tougher, the market is big enough for any entrepreneur to take a niche market as a target. There hasn’t been a time, where entrepreneurs had tools at their disposal to bootstrap their way up. Here are a few tools Iranian entrepreneurs can use to bootstrap their e-commerce startup up the ladder:
1. E-commerce Site Builders
Some of the Iranian site builder like Camva, Sitsazi and of course Farsi WordPress templates, provide an opportunity to launch your e-commerce website easy and with minimum amount of expense. Typically one would pay a big sum of amount to a web developer to build his website. This way is the best way to kick off the business in the first year and would save the headache of the website development, and you don’t have to be a tech guy to bring the website up. Camva is also launching a unique feature for e-commerce and online shops to further fulfill the market needs in this field.
2. Inventory and Logistics
Another big issue for startups concentrating in e-commerce is called “Inventory and logistics management”. Place the order, get the product ready from where it’s stored or bought for delivery, proceed to deliver in the most easiest and cheapest way possible, and finally make sure it gets to the customer in time. These processes can now be outsourced to third party companies that take care of your inventory management and delivery. Pardakht is a company that does this for companies that don’t want to get involved in the inventory and delivery extravaganza. From inventory to delivery, and returning products if necessary, could be outsourced to Pardakht. This would definitely save time, human capital and somewhat money for a startup.
3. Costomer Service
Now this is a tricky one. If the competition gets intense it’s all about the customer service. One of the key competitive advantages for e-commerce websites lies in the quality and time of delivery, and also customer services. Now services like Hamisun, take control of your customer service department, and you don’t need to get a customer service team to answer the calls and emails again. Many of these companies and services mentioned above didn’t exist a year ago. Now is the easiest time to launch an e-commerce website. This is also a sign that Iran’s startup ecosystem is close to a stage where e-commerce and online retail are reaching to its height of maturity and ultimately would become too competitive. At this stage, entrepreneurs would go after more trendy subjects like IOT, Fintech and SAAS. We anticipate with these growth rates, a Shopify clone would definitely show up to take advantage of this opportunity.
If there is a company, tool or a service missing, let us know and leave your thoughts in comments bellow.