by April 1, 2011 0 comments

The active user that spent more time on the Internet compared to the TV increased to 26 million in India. There are now 80 million Internet subscribers in the country. The number of online shoppers has increased two-fold, all of this in 2010. Armed with these figures, Olive Telecom decided to concentrate on a strong online strategy.

‘Olive doesn’t have a strong retail presence outside the metros,’ said Siddharth Lal, Founder of Bruce Clay, the consulting firm handling Olive Telecom’s e-store. The company ducked Open Source for proprietary based software to concentrate on a quick delivery system. An Open Source solution would have taken a year to develop and test. The e-Commerce solution needed was immediate and to catch the competitors that had slowly started to pull away.

‘The propriety solution reduced the time to three months,’ said Lal. It also reduced the risks that accompany an Open Source solution. Olive and Bruce Clay knew they could rely on an external agency to give extensive and intelligent support.

Bruce Clay decided to find an effective payment gateway that would inspire, the usually hesitant, online shopper. Bruce Clay flirted with PayPal for a while then settled on a regular banking gateway that would provide them with the needed security. Bruce Clay approached Reasoning Global eApplications to design the website and the payment gateway. The primary reason that Olive and Bruce Clay approached Reasoning Global was to convert leads into actual sales. ‘We used AWS for Olive to help them with their e-store,’ said Jeetendra Joshi, Vice President, Marketing, Reasoning Global eApplications. ‘We were asked to develop a scalable model for their products,’ said Joshi. Reasoning Global used a .Net front end coupled with a MySQL backend. ‘After the website was developed and tested, we just pointed the server to our website,’ said Joshi.


The story however, didn’t stop here. Even after extensive testing the website crashed. ‘There was an intrusive advertisement that was placed at several websites that led back to our website,’ said Lal, ‘the server couldn’t handle the load of the number of people that flooded in through the advertisement.’ The website crashed. ‘All the relevant testing had been done but no one anticipated the sheer volume per minute…


Olive, Bruce Clay and Reasoning Global decided to add more hardware to prevent this problem from repeating. Reasoning Global faced another problem -hacking. The website was running on an external cloud, they had no control over and the reliability needed to be affirmed. ‘Amazon, is the safest Cloud services portal and hence was used,” explained Joshi, for the steep cost they incurred.

Tips for setting up an e-store

Siddharth Lal gave out five tips for those who were setting up an e-store front through his experience of setting up the store front for Olive.

Decide your scale: It is the most important part of setting up your store front. Without deciding that the most ambitious plans might mount to nothing.

Multiple payment methods: Don’t stick to one type, always allow the shopper to use multiple modes of payment.

Services are a different animal: Setting up the store is half the cost; five percent of your costs are gone on the payment gateways. You have to work on a very tight margin.

Traffic generation: You might have the best looking website in the world but don’t underestimate the power of SEO.

Short term goals: Your website will not shoot up to number one overnight. It will take a year to find its way to the top. Don’t expect immediate results, give it enough time.

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