On July 15th, bytes.pk successfully completed their 6 months of operation in Pakistan. Bytes.pk is a new and growing e-commerce store that mainly dealt in used smartphones and brand-new accessories. However, they have recently added home electronics to their collection as well.
They initially started with the aim of becoming a better online store but now they’ve started their own product lines as well. Recently, bytes.pk released the bytes VR Pro headset and the bytes Overload earphones, both of which we reviewed.
We interviewed Muhammad Khanani (CEO of bytes.pk), complete version of which can be read below:
Q. First of all, can you tell us a bit about the vision behind bytes.pk?
When I started bytes I wasn’t sure what I really wanted with bytes apart from making a better online store. But after starting it I realized I want bytes to serve as ab enabler. We aim to do that by providing unique products at very low prices to ensure everyone can buy them. Being able to buy better products will not only improve living standards but will open new doors for people. Cheaper laptops allow you to access the world of IT. Cheaper dress clothes let you look better at ab interview. Cheaper mobile phones let you access the Internet from anywhere. Over the course of the next year we are planning to grow beyond an online store. We have already launched our own products and will be diversifying into many unique fields.
Q. Why did you feel the need to start bytes.pk? Esp. when there already are so many online store in Pakistan now.
Prior to bytes I was running a distribution company. Our aim was to bring innovative products to Pakistan. In order to grow sales we started partnering with online stores to sell on their platforms. Compared to our offline retail partners our online retail partners wanted higher margins and were providing poorer customer service. Seeing this I felt Pakistan really needed an online store that took benefit of the fact that overheads were lower and did justice to the customers. Another reason to start bytes was that in distribution we had to provide credit to a lot small vendors and collection was becoming time consuming. Retail has allowed us to move away from credit to cash.
Q. How do you think bytes.pk is different from other online stores?
I don’t like saying much about the other online stores. But from our surveys and my own experience I have learned that there are 2 key problems with other online stores which we have vowed to fix. First is pricing, we believe our prices are so low that no one can compete with us. This is primarily because we have a global sourcing network second to none. We work directly with manufacturers regardless of where they are located to ensure we get the best prices and the latest products first. The second thing is we only list products we can fulfill. Today we pride ourselves with having 70% of our products ready to ship and only 30% are procured from vendors. Even the provided products we ensure are made out of stock as soon as they sell out with the vendors. This is giving us a major edge as we are not leaving customers disappointed.
Q. How important is customer experience to you guys?
I didn’t mention this in the last question so I didn’t end up repeating. Our customer experience is the most important thing to us. We consider prices, fulfillment all very critical to the experience. Where as most other people define the experience simply as the sales call, website design, and after sales support. To us even the flyer we package the product in is part of the experience. For example even our adverts reflect our desire for a better customer experience. We feel that overpricing products and then telling customers that these products are 60% off is against a good customer experience. Thus every small action we take we consider the impact on the customer experience.
Q. How big is the team running bytes.pk? What steps have they taken to ensure a good customer experience?
We currently have a team of 22 people. To ensure this better experience we have a dedicated experiences department which is always working to find ways to improve the experience and is always monitoring if someone is having a bad experience. We provide a lot of autonomy to everyone so they can quickly make changes if they think the experience is not up to standards. In order to ensure a better experience we also avoid half baked goods and services. For example we have stayed away from credit card payments as the refund period after them is too long for customers.
A critical thing we are doing for the experience is increasing our inventory everyday. While all the other online stores are moving towards marketplace models and freeing up capital for marketing we are adding more and more inventory so we can ship products faster and never have to have an unfulfilled product. We also make sure users are engaged on our website. With an average user spending 25.48 minutes a day on our website we have one of the highest time spent on website in the world.
Our experience manager Saqib has done an amazing job in resolving a lot of experience problems we had.
Have you ever made a purchase from bytes.pk? What are you views about them? Let us know in the comments below.