“Believe in yourself and the world will be at your feet…!”
Proving this saying, Twikster – An eCommerce Platform has covered an enthralling journey so far!!!
From being a simple e-commerce platform for small businesses to a single-stop destination for every SMB to create their online stores, it has created a milestone in the E-Commerce business.
We are heading towards the highs of E-commerce industry. While on the journey, many of us have witnessed a lot of ups and downs. But our entrepreneurs have succeeded in sustaining the charm that E-Commerce industry has demanded so far.
E-commerce industry has a lot to explore. Online store is one such thing. Nowadays this trend is liked by both customers as well as vendors. For customers it has become very easy as they can get any product within a click of the mouse. And talking about vendor’s view, it has become comfortable for them also as they need not to go door-to-door to sell their product. To ease the needs of the duo, vendors search for the tool which can serve them best in this field. So, helping you out, we have –Twikster!
We are very honoured to share the success story of the firm through Ms Namrata Soni, Co-Founder of Twikster.
Here we go…
Q. Brief about your product Twikster and what problem does it solves? Give a use Case.
Twikster, a product of Dextral Solutions Private Limited was created by Priya and Namrata, two digital product managers, and the beta version was launched in May 2014.
With the focus of helping SMBs create and grow their own online store(s), Twikster started out as an ecommerce enablement platform for small businesses but has now grown into becoming a one-stop solution for every SMB to create their online store, start selling on marketplaces, manage their digital presence across all social channels and blogs, gauge their online performance through analytics and drive traffic to their stores.
We want to help people leverage the power of the internet to start a business or make an existing business grow without large investments and technical know-how. For the same purpose, we launched Twikster GO, a unique plan where anyone can start off absolutely free. Using this plan, anybody can turn their hobby into a business. So, take for example a house-wife who loves cooking and is amazing at it. This is known only by her family as they are the only people who have eaten her food. With the Twikster GO Plan, she can get online for absolutely no charge and can make her food available to everyone increasing her reach and at the same time, enabling her to make some money out of it!
Q. How Twikster is different from other products in ecommerce category?
The general trend of SaaS models currently in the market is to charge a fixed monthly fee for a set of predefined features. This forces the customers to choose a plan with a bunch of features which are bundled together which restricts flexibility to modify the plans as per their needs. And these plans don’t come cheap; some painfully costing as much as Rs.60, 000/- to 84,000/- annually.
What we have done is introduced a unique pay-as-you-go model where all the components of ecommerce are broken down to their roots. This way, store owners get the option to choose those features only which they feel necessary and which their pocket allows for making the platform extremely flexible and affordable. As an initial fee, the user pays Twikster a very nominal charge depending on the plan they fall under which gives users 50+ features by default. All other features specific to their requirement can be bought separately. As mentioned earlier, we have a FOREVER FREE plan as well called Twikster GO which is mainly used by customers to get accustomed to the platform, get a feel of the ecommerce industry and then, when they are more prepared, they can upgrade and grow.
Q. What was your first year plan for this product? How did you aim at making it more feasible for your customers?
In the first 6 months, we launched the product, on-board our first set of beta users, have them use the platform extensively and give us feedback. Based on the feedback we added new features and enhancements, made the experience more user friendly and then launched a new and improved version 2.0 🙂
Q. How did you find your first client?
The first few clients rather were mainly approached by word of mouth and referrals. We got a great response from friends, family and their networks.
Q. Brief about some of the large group of customers and where they are spread geographically?
Our customer base is spread across the country honestly. We have customers from Kashmir, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Gujarat, Hubli and the list goes on. That’s the thing about eCommerce. There are no boundaries. There are no limitations. It’s all a matter of hard work and dedication.
Q. What are the other software products you use to increase productivity?
We use platforms like MailChimp, Canva, Just Uno, Duda Mobile, Dollar Photo Club, Mandrill, Instamojo to name a few.
Q. Who all are the top management in your team? What was the source of motivation behind starting up organisation?
There’s Namrata, co-founder and CEO. She is a digital product manager with over 10 years of experience in ecommerce and payments working with Wells Fargo, William Sonoma and other organizations in the US. There’s Priya Ramakrishnan who is the technical advisor and angel investor. And then there’s Vinay Saini who is the CTO.
The idea of Twikster came about due to a few very simple questions – Why are such few retailers selling online? How do retailers expect to compete with the marketplaces? Why is it so expensive to create an eCommerce store? Why are the existing pricing models making it hard for small and medium players to get started and compete fairly?
Q. Any milestone or achievements in the journey till today that you are proud of or that makes you happy?
For an entrepreneur, every small moment is considered a happy one but to name a few, the time we got 500 likes on Facebook was special. When we launched Twikster 2.0 in January 2015 we were really excited. Our new, game-changing pricing model which was introduced in May 2015 was very special as well. But most importantly, whenever I see a store owner grow and expand his/ her business and know that Twikster has played some part in this, I feel extremely happy and content.
We are highly obliged with the efforts made by Twikster team. Our sincere thanks to Ms Namrata Soni, the Co-Founder of Twikster for taking out time in answering the questions for us.