Regarding the future of e-commerce, Taneja expressed optimism, predicting that “E-commerce businesses will break even very soon — in less than three or four quarters.” This statement indicates the industry's resilience and the potential for profitability in the near future.
During the first edition of PwC and CNBC-TV18's CEO Dialogues, Manish Taneja, Co-Founder & CEO of online shopping platform Purplle, discussed the leverage that online businesses have over their offline counterparts, how e-commerce businesses could break even sooner than others, and hinted at the idea of going public in the next five years and more.
With lower infrastructure costs and the ability to serve a larger customer base, online platforms can operate more efficiently compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Taneja said that despite the growth of the company, its “people cost” has remained the same, thanks to the advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Regarding the future of e-commerce, Taneja expressed optimism, predicting that “e-commerce businesses will break even very soon — in less than three or four quarters”. This statement indicates the industry's resilience and the potential for profitability in the near future. He further emphasised the value of Purplle's marketplace model, explaining that “it doesn't hurt us if people downgrade”, suggesting that the platform can accommodate different customer preferences and price points.
Discussing the importance of omnichannel strategies, Taneja highlighted the changing behaviour of consumers, stating, “There are 70-80 percent consumers who are very savvy online with most transactions online and vice versa.” He acknowledged the increasing overlap between offline and online customers, with many offline shoppers transitioning to online platforms.
Taneja noted that traditional marketing efforts would not have been as effective in bringing back these customers to the online store. Therefore, embracing omnichannel approaches becomes crucial for businesses to cater to the diverse needs of their customer base.
Taneja shared insights into Purplle's early success in implementing an omnichannel strategy, revealing that the company had opened eight stores within the last six months. He stated, “Early data shows that we will continue to invest in it,” indicating the positive impact of the initiative and the company's commitment to expanding its offline presence.
The CEO highlighted the equal demand for products in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, mentioning that since the advent of Jio and easy accessibility to the internet in 2017-18, access and aspirations have become similar in metros and smaller cities.
Looking ahead, Taneja outlined Purplle's five-year vision board, which includes doubling down on investments in research and development (R&D). Additionally, Taneja revealed their intention to take Purplle.com public within the next five years, signalling the company's ambition for future growth and expansion.