eCommerce Blog

eCommerce Blog – Opportunities in US and India (by Darpan Munjal)

Augmented Reality: 6 Use Cases for eCommerce & Retail

There hasn’t been a lot of game changing innovation in the retail and eCommerce space lately. However one of the technologies that has a significant potential in this space is Augmented Reality. Although this technology is still in infancy, it is good to think about the potential opportunities because it is likely that next few years will see more and more viable applications within the retail space.

15 reasons why I wouldn’t buy from your online store

Dear Online Retailer, You can make a safe assumption that the reason I am visiting your online store is because I have an intention to buy something from you. All I need from you is to help me find what I am looking for and then take me from point A (Product Page) to point [...]

Top 10 Low Cost Ways To Improve Site Usability

Concerned about the low conversion rate on your site? Want to improve site usability but don’t have a lot of capital to invest in usability testing? There are several cost effective tools available now that allow you to test and improve the usability of your site in an objective way, without causing a dent in your wallet. This post looks at the top 10 low cost ways to understand and improve the usability of your site.

New Venture Series – Social Shopping

Posted by Darpan Munjal On February - 13 - 200815 COMMENTS
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It is human tendency to resist change. The most natural instinct is to continue doing things the old way. And when changes are implemented, we try to fit them back into the mold because of our comfort level with how things used to work in the past. That is kind of how online shopping has evolved. Even in the western world, not many physical retailers believed in online channel during its infancy – they looked at it more as a distraction. However, when they started understanding the potential of... (more...)

Business Ideas for the digital India

Posted by Darpan Munjal On February - 5 - 200819 COMMENTS
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As the internet penetration reaches the average household in India, the digital eco system would need to evolve, opening up several gaps in the value chain. If you are an entrepreneur or dream of becoming one in the near future, there are significant opportunities related to internet/eCommerce that might give you a first or early mover advantage for the Indian market. Until now, my blog has focused on discussing trends, opportunities and best practices at a macro level. Now, however, I think it is... (more...)

Is Web 2.0 Overrated?

Posted by Darpan Munjal On December - 21 - 20074 COMMENTS
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At least that’s what I felt after attending the Web innovation conference held in Bangalore this week. I don’t understand why folks spend so much time slicing and dicing what web 2.0 means. I could hear some people even talking about Web 3.0 – some of the gifted ones even offered a glimpse into Web 4.0!!  Now, come on! Isn’t that a bit too much? We are not talking about a software release which comes in different versions with a predefined set of features. We are talking about evolution... (more...)

Turning Web Analytics Upside Down

Posted by Darpan Munjal On December - 13 - 20073 COMMENTS
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When I first heard about Woot.com a few years ago, I couldn’t quite understand what’s all the fuss about. Since then I have been following this phenomenon closely, and have learnt quite a few things from this small retailer which now enjoys almost a cult like following from millions across the US. Woot is one of the very few sites that has a rare combination of simplicity and innovation – and yes, a great sense of humor!!. Here is an excerpt of a few questions from the FAQ section of Woot.com “What... (more...)

Where is the differentiation ?

Posted by Darpan Munjal On October - 17 - 200714 COMMENTS
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My daughter will be turning 5 in a few days and unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to celebrate the birthday with her because she is currently in Chicago with her Mom. So I was talking to her on the phone, and asked her what would she like for her birthday present. She thought for a few seconds and then asked me inquisitively – “Daddy, how are you going to get me a present? You are in India, remember?” Smart question, I thought. But few seconds later, came an even smarter response from her.... (more...)

5 things to consider when starting an eCommerce venture

Posted by Darpan Munjal On September - 18 - 200720 COMMENTS
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The other day, I met someone at a conference who mentioned to me that he was planning on starting an online retail venture in India. He said he has already begun the software development for the platform and one of his friends is a great SEO person so marketing should not be an issue. Is there anything else critical that he should plan for, he asked? Although his level of planning (or lack thereof) didn’t give me a lot of confidence in his venture, it did give me few ideas for topics that I should... (more...)

The Perfect Storm

Posted by Darpan Munjal On August - 20 - 20072 COMMENTS
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The online retail environment in India is eerily quiet. The overall online pie is still very small. Broadly speaking, Indian consumers aren’t shopping online. The distributors or local vendors still look at the online channel as a drop in the bucket. New online retailers are slowly emerging – however Indian ecommerce just can’t seem to hit its stride. What does this all mean? Is online retailing not for the Indian market? Are the cultural preferences of Indian customers so unique that ecommerce... (more...)

Will they come back?

Posted by Darpan Munjal On August - 2 - 20076 COMMENTS
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US based online shoes retailer Zappos.com was mentioned in this story that it has reached 6 million paying customers.  Although this is a major accomplishment, what is even more amazing is the fact that three fourth of shoppers who make purchase on Zappos.com are repeat customers. This got me thinking – how many retailers use “repeat customers” as the metric to measure success. Most of the online retailers that I am aware of think of Revenue or Gross Profit or EBITDA or net-profit as a proxy... (more...)

How transparent is your retail business ?

Posted by Darpan Munjal On July - 23 - 20072 COMMENTS
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While we were wrapping up the last minute shopping for our trip back to India last week, my daughter insisted that we go to Toys’R’us store –she wanted to buy that new Barbie she had seen with her friend few days ago. As we were walking down the aisles of the store, it reminded me of my childhood. I used to love toy cars a lot and every time I used to go to the market with my parents, we would go to the Toys store almost as a ritual. The store was probably less than 700 sq feet in size and... (more...)

Top 10 Blunders in eCommerce Design

Posted by Darpan Munjal On July - 10 - 20077 COMMENTS
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So you have built a decent looking eCommerce website, pumped up the marketing spend and you are getting good amount of visitors on the site. However, you are facing a problem that most of the newer online retailers face initially – your conversion rate is extremely low. You are baffled why majority of the visitors are not purchasing anything on the site and you ask your head of marketing to look for the answers. Although having a good marketing plan and execution is necessary in bringing visitors... (more...)

About the author

Darpan Munjal has over 15 years of leadership experience with Fortune 100 companies in the retail and eCommerce industry. Darpan is currently the President of LeapMatrix a consulting firm which focuses on helping startups as well as established businesses maximize opportunities in the internet and eCommerce space. Prior to starting LeapMatrix, Darpan was the Chief Technology Officer (eCommerce) at Indiatimes where he had the overall technology and product management responsibility for eCommerce. Prior to joining Indiatimes in 2007, Darpan worked as a Divisional Vice President (eCommerce) at Sears Holdings (a $55 Billion retailer which ranks #3 in US). At Sears, Darpan led several key initiatives that helped in taking the eCommerce business at Sears to a leadership level within the retail industry. Darpan holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University) and can be contacted at darpan.munjal@leapmatrix.com

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