What makes eCommerce so distinctly different from physical retail outlets is that each store essentially has two ‘sides’. When you browse or make a purchase through an online store, you’re interacting only with a virtual storefront – a digital representation of the store’s brand and, of course, its products. This is supplemented by the store’s real-life back end which is responsible for everything the site does from creating a brand, marketing the store and shipping products out to customers. What’s interesting about eCommerce is that this entire transaction process, as well as many other efforts involved in running the store, are completely invisible to the end user.
Babak’s background in design and tech paired with his business partner’s experience in automotive retailing quickly lead to the concept for Automotive Superstore. Once they’d decided on the name, they met with an accountant and registered the various parts needed to start the business. Following this, having the site developed and sourcing suppliers for all the products they intended to stock took the better part of two years.
Automotive Superstore has now been trading for roughly two months, and the plan for the rest of the year mainly focuses on preparing marketing material in order to grow the business and further define the direction of the store in future. The office Babak is using is shared with several other companies and startups, one of which invested venture capital into his business to kickstart the project, as there were a large amount of startup costs involved. All stock for the store is stored in and fulfilled from a warehouse in Hornsby, roughly 30 minutes from the main office on Circular Quay.
While none of this can be seen on the virtual storefront, Babak’s work ethic shows through in his personality and it’s very noticeable in the interview that Babak is truly proud of his business and has a passion for what he does. With eCommerce becoming an increasingly common alternative to brick-and-mortar retail (or a complement to it), more and more eCommerce stores can be seen launching each and every day. In fact, eCommerce sites make up 10-12% of the internet. The marketing involved in an eCommerce startup can make the difference between millions of hits and zero hits on any given day. In the chaotic mass of the internet, literally millions of eCommerce stores go unseen by anyone as their content simply isn’t as prominent as other sources. Needless to say, this isn’t Babak’s case – and I’m certain you’ll be seeing more of him in future.