The biggest challenge between growth and mass adoption of any e-commerce service in India is managing the logistics. Once the logistics is sorted out, a big part of customer satisfaction is taken care of with timely deliveries. PickParcel is a company which helps startups and individuals with faster delivery even for a small ticket size.
PickParcel was founded by two brothers -- Ayush and Akshat Agrawal -- who have been serial entrepreneurs. Ayush is an engineer from BITS Pilani and Akshat is an MBA from SP Jain, Mumbai. They started GenXmart.com, an e-commerce portal for niche gifting, when they were in college. As they dabbled with one venture and learned the rules of the game, the brothers went for a second innings with MYFume.com, a portal for perfumes.
Managing these two businesses taught them that a huge part of their success lies in fast delivery. They realised that they may not be the only ones facing these problems. Another incident added fuel to the idea and they got started.
"When our sister who lives in a little remote area of Mumbai, wanted to send a gift to our mother, she became absolutely helpless as she could not go to the courier company’s office and send the parcel. Eventually, she handed over the parcel to the watchman at her hostel, gave him Rs.50, and he took it for her and sent it further. As it is proudly said in India, she did a ‘Jugaad’," says Ayush.
On the PickParcel website, the user needs to enter the origin, destination and weight of the parcel to get an instant quote from all the available courier services within the route they have searched for. Once they do that, they can book the service by filling the address details. After they are through with the booking process, a pickup is arranged for the customer, and the courier boy picks up the parcel from their home or workplace at no extra cost.
PickParcel operates in both B2B and B2C sectors. The best part about PickParcel is that they help you choose an operator and take care of the rest themselves.
They are solving a very basic problem and this has come up with their share of challenges, mainly when it comes to marketing. Ayush says,
"Even after spending a healthy amount on ads, clicks do not turn into successful transactions. We did not focus much on the content of the website; we just uploaded products and started selling them. We did not know Google considers your content as an important factor. Due to this our rank deteriorated. That's when we started working on our content too. And the biggest problem we faced was tie-up with the courier companies. Despite knowing the fact that we are just starting up, they needed a guarantee of a certain minimum number of parcels failing which they would suspend your account. That's again one of the reasons why we thought PickParcel will solve this problem for other startups. We send courier through reputed courier companies with the benefit that the customer need not promise any fixed number of parcels."
They have an extensive reach and over 10,000 pin codes covered with their partners, which gives them a good footing in the market.
Talking about their lessons, Ayush says,
1) Always try to do something where you have unique strengths -- something that nobody can replicate easily. That way you will have a better standing in the market with less competition.
2) Keep refining yourself on customer support as there is always no single way to attend to every customer. This in turn will help you gain popularity without spending a dime.
3) Don’t lose hope! Life is like a boxing match, defeat is declared not when you fail, but when you refuse to stand up again. So keep trying even if things don’t fall in place, because they will eventually.
Check out PickParcel.
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