Ruslan Fazlyev founder of Russian designer online stores Ecwid, who managed to defeat the American counterpart — the hidden possibilities of e-commerce
Ecwid — a simple "designer" that allows anyone to create an online store based on the page in Facebook, blog, or just any page on the Internet in December 2012 surpassed, and a few days ago has absorbed its main rival, the American Payvment. Ecwid, created by entrepreneur Ruslan Fazlyeva Ulyanovsk, a few years ago was the winner of the "Business Project» Forbes and Google, the fall of 2011 received investment from Runa Capital, and now is the largest designer stores to Facebook.
Fazlyev told Forbes about how the union platforms and moving to e-commerce. (Pobrobnee read about Ecwid
—As perceived the arrival of Russian clients Payvment?
— We Payvment ahead in December last year. Only going to report about it, when suddenly a call from the company — do not want to take our base? Preparation of the transaction took about a month. For customers, this was a shock that they need to service American companies to move towards us. It is necessary that they just went through it. This is actually a very interesting three-way deal was initiated Intuit: Payvment whole team goes to work for them, and we get all the old customers will now benefit from our technology.
—Who are these customers are, what they do?
— I Payvment bias more towards big business. For example, the American television channel Adult Swim (it's pretty cynical cartoons like Family Guy) sells from his Facebook page items for fans. This is a typical case. Among the clients of Payvment do a lot of representatives of the creative industry — the musicians, TV broadcasters, authors of books. We are also there, but we never specifically did not hunt them.
We have a difference in functionality. Payvement was focused on "Facebook", and we can set up shop in any blog on any page. You can create a thousand copies of the same store on different pages and synchronize with each other to sell the same product, there is no limit on the installation. In general, the creation of similar shops in the pages of thousands of different people — a typical method for MLM (multi-level marketing. — Forbes). I do not consider them my clients, it's all dirty word, but also prohibit them from using Ecwid can not.
Online shopping in social networks — it's a small business from all over the world. 33% of those who use Ecwid, — from the U.S., 7% — from the UK. From non-English speaking countries — less. Because even though the service is available in over 40 languages, even in Welsh, Support us only in English.
—Russian creators of the online stores very little?
— No, of 14% of our customers — from Russia, its share has grown in recent years. E-commerce in our flourishes. There are predictions that in the coming years, we will overtake Germany. And a lot of stores created in the regions, not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg. By the way, my wife opened a shop in Ulyanovsk access. I arrive, and she says, dear, now I have a shop. Clearly, what platform. With me not even consulted — says, I always her business idea criticize.
—Advise newcomers that now is better to sell in the shops?
— Previously, before the boom of e-commerce on the shelves in the stores lay goods that knowingly buy. Neutral detergent, a popular book. Ability to respond to non-standard requests were not. And now formed an almost infinite number of promising niches. E-commerce allows you to experiment with them, because even 0.1% of the market — it's a big audience. What did not sell in constructing their own online stores, such as templates for carving pumpkins for Halloween. And one of our customer trading bovine semen — there is very serious, you need to draw a family tree of the donor — that's why he did not use Ecwid, and the older our program X-cart, it is for the developers can rework.
Or here is another example of an unusual niche. The cyclist from the United States specializing in e-books for learning Greek. Once set up shop and organized flow of customers, it is no longer running the website every day, and the staff does not have. He just rides a bicycle across the U.S., and the money for the trip came to him automatically via PayPal.
—A lot of competitors had hardly appear.
— Who knows. Giants like Amazon watch sellers in their system and if they see an impressive figure sales growth in some sectors, can displace the pioneer who first gave their platform. But we Ecwid not do such things.
—It was all the time on Facebook. What do you do with "VKontakte"?
— There is a certain number of people, "VKontakte" with its shops, but our Facebook enjoys a lot more people, because we have more western clients. In addition, the interaction with the project "VKontakte" we started with a partner, relations were not ideal, and in the end the project was no one to deal with.
—In what direction will develop e-commerce, what are the mechanisms for it yet invented?
— First of all, will develop the logistics, "Ozone" and other services will create their delivery systems. And online trading will be in any local store, everywhere you can pay online and ordering. Gradually accustom people to buy online everything — even food from the nearest tiny cafe, not a network.
—What are your operating results?
— Up to investment Runa Capital (Ecwid received from the fund $ 1.5 million in the autumn of 2011. — Forbes) We had an operating margin, now — no. Greatly increased costs, we opened an office in the U.S.. But we will be profitable again in the coming months. In the past year, by the way, we have increased turnover by 2011 by 185%. Absolute figures do not tell.