Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What is the right time to launch Online Business?

Online Business has become very popular in developed nations. This has made shopping very easy for the people. Ashlee Vance observation about online business may sound valid at first glance that it’s better to be late than never [1]. But the problem is how we can determine that what the right time to launch the online business is. Determining the key moment is important for the future of your website and product. In the case of Ariba, it bounced back after losing nearly everything. But it happens only once in a blue moon. Many companies just accepted their demise and quitted the business landscape.

Here culture or habits of the people play an important role in determining the right time to launch the product. We can see that Amazon is very famous around the globe for buying the goods online. But in the case of Pakistan it’s really hard for a company like Amazon to succeed. People are more concerned about saving money than ease. Moreover, culturally people simply don’t trust online shopping option. It is maybe they are afraid of adopting new things and are not ready to accept the change. There are many online websites in Pakistan selling different products but most of them are not successful in changing the cultural attitude of the people. So in this case how we can determine the right time. Similarly, there is another website in Pakistan called which is very successful. They provide people with a platform to sell old cars online. It is same as any other website for selling your car online. But they have discussion board in their website which enables them to draw more people to their website to discuss different problems in different cars. And I think that thing did the trick for them. Moreover, they launched their website when there was an economic boom in the country. That might also be the partial reason of their success. Another factor that I can recall here is that owning a car in my country is considered as a status symbol. So maybe they read into the psychology of the people and then decided to launch that website.

But these are points are about the old ideas that are already there but are not suitable for some specific markets. What about the new ideas? When do you think it’s a right time to launch a new product? If Amazon has waited for let say two more years with its idea to launch its website, what would be the outcome? May be by that time someone else had come up with same idea and would have launched a new website. In that, case you will lose as well. It’s a tough call. Before Facebook, Orkut was a famous website but right now it is not famous anymore. If they have waited for some years to find the right time to launch the website, then their idea won’t be useful anymore. So according to my opinion it’s a fifty fifty. You can predict future but you can never be accurate about it. So I don’t think it’s a good idea to be late than never.     

[1] For an Online Marketplace, its Better Late Than Never By ASHLEE VANCE    Published: November 20, 2010

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