Saturday, November 14, 2009

Common-sense e-commerce tips from a mum-trepreneur

Useful lessons learned from a thriving SME entrepreneur who put up a full-service gift shop on the Internet in 2006 and is now blazing a trail.

Reggie Bundang of was one of the speakers at the e-Commerce Summit 2009 organized by, held last November 12 and 13.

Reggie turned into a goldmine her familiarity with the public's buying and saving habits gained from her previous product management and business development experience with banks and telcos that required her to travel all over the country.

Going e-commerce was a good move because an internet enterprise meant flexibility (she can work from home) and did not require stiff capitalization (she had no millions).

Professionalism and a technology focus are essential when putting a business on the virtual world, she said. She plonked money (her first major outlay) on building a website hewed closely to the basic functions of what it should be and do - - simple to understand and navigate, and making it easy for the public to contact them. Sourcing merchant partners, couriers and secure payment gateways came next. She summed up the whole experience as challenging but productive lessons on starting an e-commerce store.

Three years ago, had five merchant partners. That has now expanded to 45 partners offering more than 300 product lines. Shoppers can order stuff not available on the online store. In 2007, it was voted best website in the gifts category by the DigitalFilipino Club Awards.

There are still hiccups like meeting delivery deadlines here and abroad. But Reggie's no-nonsense advice is honesty with customers, because it will put you in their higher esteem. Managing their merchandise inventory is a continuing aim-for-perfection process between her staff and their partners. "We continue to have great focus on professionalism and good customer service," she said.

Inspired by her success on the e-commerce platform, she will launch her second business (will be up by next month), a one-stop party food portal where busy professionals, companies, schools and OFWs can order food for their parties.

To quote her, 'I have reached the point of no return.'

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