How We Helped a Global E-commerce Platform Improve Their Tools for Beginner Sellers
Our client, a leading e-commerce platform, wanted to understand the needs and challenges of beginner sellers in India, who have products to sell but have not launched their online store yet. The client also wanted to test a new concept of a simpler landing page that would help beginner sellers test their business ideas and gain confidence before launching.
We conducted a qualitative study with 20 beginner sellers from different cities in India, who had signed up for a trial account on the client’s platform. We explored their goals, motivations, pain points, and behaviours in setting up and launching their online store. We also evaluated their reactions and feedback to the simpler landing page concept and validated the client’s hypotheses.
We used semi-structured one-on-one interviews with 60 minutes duration each. We recruited participants who had signed up for the client’s platform at least 1 month and at most 2 months ago. We used video conferencing tools and screen sharing to conduct the interviews remotely. We also showed them two versions of the simpler landing page concept and asked for their feedback.
- The participants were from major Indian cities.
- The participants were selling or planning to sell products such as apparel, jewellery, fitness items, pet care items, and eco-friendly clothing.
- The participants had different levels of technical skills, marketing experience, and business readiness.
- The study covered four key areas: confidence, market testing, e-commerce platform usage, and store analytics.
We analysed the data from the interviews and identified the following insights and recommendations:
- Beginner sellers are confident about their business ideas and want to learn and improve while running their businesses. They are optimistic about the growth of e-commerce in the country and have various sources of support and inspiration from their network or team.
- The term “market testing” does not appeal to most of them, but they are interested in learning how to get insights from their potential customers. They prefer to use their full-fledged online store rather than a basic landing page to test their products. They also feel that social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram are the most important ways to reach their audience.
- Some participants felt that they spent too much time on tweaking their store design, while others needed help from others to set up their store. A simplified store-setting experience would encourage them to manage their store on their own and increase their confidence. However, some participants with higher technical skills would like to have more control over store customisation and prefer the standard store-setting experience.
- Some participants had no prior experience of using analytics tools and needed guidance on how to use them for making business decisions. They were interested in knowing about repeated visitors, average session time, and traffic source in the analytics section of the simpler store landing page concept.
Based on these findings, we suggested some possible ways to improve the simpler store landing page concept and provide better support for beginner sellers:
- Provide more education and tips on how to use social media effectively for marketing and getting insights from potential customers.
- Allow more flexibility and customisation options for the store landing page design, such as adding navigation links, contact information, return policy, etc.
- Explain how the analytics tool works and what data it collects. Provide more guidance on how to interpret the data and make decisions based on it.
- Ask the beginner sellers if they would like to start setting up their store in “beginner mode” or “advanced mode”, depending on their preference and skill level. Provide different levels of complexity and features accordingly.