How to build successful eCommerce startup from nothing — lesson for big Companies

Being at Meet Magento Indonesia recently, I had the pleasure to hear the presentation of Bianca Lee, C-Level Executive from Love, Bonito. In the last 8 years, Love, Bonito has grown exponentially and the brand has become the largest fashion brand on the local market. eCommerce Enthusiasts inside of large companies often complain about resources that are too limited. This example is showing how you can use your weaknesses as strengths.

No resources needed at the Beginning

In the Love, Bonito case at the beginning, there wasn’t any eCommerce engine in place, clients were served directly via email.

Logistics limitations can be part of the Engagement process

The company underlines their prosperity has been possible as a result of four main differentiators:

Clear USP

Speed is one of the USP

Boost the omnichannel approach

“We are a vertically-integrated, omnichannel haven for our community of women, who are obsessed with us not just for our products, but deeper connections that we foster through our unique female-centric approach, customer experience and community outreach” — Bianca Lee — Love, Bonito

Stores are the place to organize styling sessions, talk-shows and other events, building the community around the brand. It is also a way to find new clients, less exposed to online shopping. For existing customers, stores improve the user experience with omni-enablers such as “pick up” and “return” in store, on-floor style ambassadors and try-ons.

In the end, the shops support Love, Bonito in the creation of a Customer Experience playfield — they have introduced many omnichannel ideas and test how customers react.

Scale-up fast after finding a Traction

Love, Bonito Flagship Store in Singapore (source)

Cooperating with the biggest competitor

Zalora is the biggest player in the Asian market. This is a fashion marketplace, built by Rocket Internet, which already operates in Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, and New Zealand. With a focus on mobile commerce and omnichannel tactics like using pop-up stores, they’re preparing for a “mobile-only” market.

Zalora is a regional behemoth, but there is still plenty of space for small and dynamic fashion-brands like Love, Bonito. Instead of competing with Zalora, smaller players use this marketplace as one of their selling channels.

With the innovative approach of companies like Love, Bonito, they can surely win over the market.

CoFounder of @CTTornado eCommerce Startup Studio