Ask Raru founder Neil Smith anything about eCommerce

Status
Not open for further replies.

Yarik11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2008
Messages
363
Hi Neil, in your opinion, does South Africa need a single e-commerce policy, since currently e-commerce rules and regulations are spread across different legislation, which different government departments are responsible for?
 

BrokenRSA

Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
953
The Shopping Matrix and Take2 had active forums at the time (and SA Gamer seems to have expanded from that). To what extent do you think having these open forums helped (or hindered maybe?) the success of Take2 then, and now Raru?
 

LINKNPARK

New Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
Messages
2
Warehouse

Good day Neil.

How come you do not stock a lot of items in the warehouse and we have to wait for the supplier to send the item?
I mean, Raru has been around for a good while now and surely the warehouse should be bigger and be able to stock most item on the site. It would make it quicker for sure.

I have used Raru a few times and yes I have had excellent service, but you can top that even more by stocking most of the items in the warehouse , faster dispatch = faster delivery = even happier customer..

Thanks. :confused:
 

borjah

Active Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
72
In an increasingly globalised online market where scale gives the larger players greater pricing power, what is the future of more "local" players in that context? Where for example would Raru's competitive advantage be on say 4k UHD blu rays that Amazon can often ship to SA for cheaper than one can find them locally?
 

Decembermaloy

Active Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
43
When you have sales on Raru.co.za, do you commit the entire stock consignment to the sale price of the targeted sale item, or only a small percentage.
 

Gregory Richard

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
8
Hi Neil, what has been some of the most challenging aspects of starting up and running an eCommerce company in South Africa, especially in the case of your most recent endeavour with Raru?
 
Last edited:

Gregory Richard

New Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
8
What advice or wisdom can you offer those entrepreneurs that have aspirations of starting there own eCommerce company, especially here in South Africa?
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
2. Considering you started a new business in much the same space as the one you sold to a massive global conglomerate can you tell us what is wrong with Takealot that makes you think Raru can succeed in the same market? Or are you simply insane?

We have said being a little bit insane isn’t a requirement for working at Raru, but it helps. :) Seriously though we are focused on being more of a niche player, focused on range and Pop culture as opposed to being a mass FMCG retailer.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
Where did you get the name Raru from and what does it mean?

It is the Venda word for three. In this case meaning our third ecommerce venture. Take a closer look at the logo, and you’ll see a 3 hidden in there as well.
 

vorman

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2016
Messages
1,158
How did you decide a target market? Do you aim for a specific target market?
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
What advice do you have for any young(ish) wannabe entrepreneurs out there, who have dreams and ideas to start business in tech, business and ecommerce? Any tips maybe?

I say young(ish) because I'm already 30! :p

Pay attention to the small details at startup, get the company documentation right before you start trading, make sure you have an accounting plan and start from day 1. Trying to fix mistakes years later is nearly impossible.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
What did you do to pass the time while your restraint period (I'm guessing there was one) ran between your exit of Take2 and the birth of Raru?

I traveled a lot overseas. I finally got to go to E3 and Gamescom which amazing. Also seeing the range of choice available overseas, as opposed to what we have access to in SA, is one of things that inspired me to create Raru, so that we can offer those choices to South Africans as well.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
When do you think will you be able to sell digital codes for games instead of hard copies, especially in the console realm?

We think this is something we may still see locally. Already we are starting to see small steps in the area with the availability of DLC Codes for Destiny 2 and Call of Duty as well as FIFA Ultimate Team Points.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
What eCommerce platform is Raru built on? I assume an open source platform similar to a Magento platform?

Our systems are bespoke built for our business needs.The advantage of having more than 20 years of experience in e-commerce, when we started Raru, is that we already knew what systems would be needed above and beyond what off-the-shelf systems can provide. We could also plan for future growth from the start. Our tech stack is kept simple with Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP and Sphinx for search. Keeping it simple helps to keep maintenance low and can provide speed on relatively low-end hardware too.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
Will the website expand with more goods and sections ?

Most definitely. Our platform has been designed from the start to easily enable adding more categories as we go forward. The real challenge is identifying which categories would make most sense for as to add. It is also depends on the suppliers you deal with. The quality of the listing data you can get from is also a factor. Then you also need to right people to manage the new product lines you’ve added.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
What is your opinion on inflated "list price" numbers on various online merchants (no names, but you can make your own deductions regarding the who), and why do you think people have less of an issue with it than they should have? Do you think e-commerce companies don't realise that people see through this, making them appear unethical? And if they do realise it, do you believe that they have evidence that supports that they get away with it more often than not, justifying the practice?

Our point of view on pricing is to offer the most fair pricing that we can, and be as transparent as possible. Our Was price is always the last price a customer could have bought the item for. This may mean we aren’t always the cheapest. The beauty of the Internet is that the consumer does have the freedom of choice to make up their own mind where they want to make their purchase from.
 

Neil Smith

Raru Co-Founder
Company Rep
Joined
Jun 5, 2018
Messages
15
The Shopping Matrix and Take2 had active forums at the time (and SA Gamer seems to have expanded from that). To what extent do you think having these open forums helped (or hindered maybe?) the success of Take2 then, and now Raru?

Forums does help you gain insight into what people’s concerns are, what elements of the site can be improved with direct communication, what products they are looking for and so on. In truth though only a very small but vocal group will ever participate in a forum. So you have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of having another channel to watch for customer interaction. For now SA Gamer is a sort of stop gap for this, as gamers are some of the more vocal customers you are ever likely to have.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top