We interviewed Miss Shristi Sharma at Ecomm-Guru , a renowned entrepreneur, seller, architect and the founder of Petarchi. Petarchi has years of experience dealing with pet products and is growing consistently with its optimistic vision and operations. She shared her initial phase and challenges with a few influential pieces of advice for the people planning to start or already running an online business.
Petarchi is working exceptionally well in selling pet products and seems to do the same or more in the future.
How did you start? And what was your inspiration?
I got my first pet years back, which is 7 years old now. It had serious complications and made me think about doing research and building a special bond to understand their thought processes better. I found something very interesting in online marketing, which I like to explore. I started my career as a certified professional dog trainer in 2017. But still, I wanted to create something on my own and utilize what I’ve studied as an architect, and that’s how Petarchi came to my mind- Pet-archi= pet architecture.
As you said, you started it very young? What was your support system?
My father is very fond of dogs, my mother too but from a distance… I have one labrador, 7 years old, and one german shepherd, 2 years old; they are my inspiration. Every product we sell is first tested by them, and they are our brand ambassadors.
On which marketplaces do you sell products?
We started dealing “mouth to mouth”. Not online? No, not at all; we used to ask their requirements; but in 2020, we decided to import products and take experts on board who would be knowing what to do and how to make a reach; we met Tech2Globe in mid-2020, they performed phenomenally in handling my calls, and are very supportive, they boosted my Amazon sales.
What challenges have you faced as an online seller? How did you overcome them?
It’s a long list because it’s hard to gain customers’ confidence due to online frauds, and to overcome this, you must have a convincing mindset, regardless of the scale of the problem. I would mention one, we had an order which was supposed to be delivered in Andaman and Nicobar on Amazon, but Amazon does not ship products there, high in size or weight, we had to ship it directly to the consumer, we approached courier companies but didn’t get quick help, this resulted in consumer giving us 1-star feedback.
What do you think? How can it be resolved?
I think Amazon should provide third-party options like a chatbox where both seller and buyer communicate and update each other, which will enhance the customer experience because problems like the one I faced spoil the seller’s image and is terrible for Amazon.
What made you shift from offline to an online seller?
Petarchi is the first pet products manufacturer so far in the industry in India. For more visibility and awareness of our products, we wanted to push and explore to reach out to more audiences, which motivated us to get into online business.
What would you prefer now, online or offline?
Online, any day online! When I shifted to online business in 2019, I understood online is the next big game, and I was lucky to have a team like Ritu, Rahul and Sukhwinder who treat Petarchi as their own. Offline business can only target a certain audience, but we have endless opportunities in online business. It has a few drawbacks; for example, we got an order for a 40 inches flight crate, we delivered like any other product, but the customer returned it somehow. However, when it came back to us, it was not the same but a 12 inches small box; still, we had to pay back because the customer had returned as Amazon guidelines compel us to do so. Yes, this is one of the few drawbacks, but it often happens, so it cannot overshadow the positives of online marketing.
What is your future planning?
With the Tech2Globe team, I now have concrete planning for what our future endeavors will hold. We will be opening our digital store on Amazon and exploring Canadian, UAE markets as soon as we manage our micro website on Amazon to make a bigger outreach. Alongside, we are planning to advertise more on Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Tips for sellers, entrepreneurs or students planning to step in?
My suggestion would be to set yourself free, not overthink. Put aside all the pressure, be honest with yourself, with a dedicated and consistent approach. It doesn’t matter how big the aim is; it will be achieved someday.