Democratising e-commerce: behind the business with Tictail
Online store specialists, Tictail aim to democratise online business through a free e-commerce platform that is accessible to technophobes and tech enthusiasts alike. Co-founder and CEO Carl Waldekranz takes Bdaily behind the business.
What key challenges has your company recently faced?
I think what’s exciting about working in a startup environment is that your biggest challenge constantly changes. It was only two years ago that Tictail’s biggest challenge was finding workspace in which we could take the step up from working in my kitchen to becoming a real company with an actual office! We raised investment, we hired the first person, we launched the service, we got our first customer; the biggest challenge would change every week or even daily.
More than 15,000 Tictail stores later, this is still the case. But if you ask me today what the most recent key challenges have been, I’d have to say that it’s been accelerating the growth of the company yet maintaining an open mind to new ideas and perspectives. Efficiency can sometime come at a high cost, and we have worked very hard to maintain an entrepreneurial, creative culture that’s still fast moving and data driven.
What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?
Growing from 1 to 15,000 stores, from the very first Tictail store created by my mother to global brands like Lufthansa and Cheap Monday.
What is your biggest focus for the coming year?
To launch and accelerate Tictail in new markets, as well as introducing Tictail apps – a much smarter way to create an open and easy to use e-commerce platform that can really grow with users and their businesses.
If you had to choose one top piece of advice for someone just starting out in business, or is currently operating within your industry sector, what would it be?
Just start. You can’t possibly figure everything out beforehand and your assumptions will change a million times on the way. Just drop everything else and throw yourself into the problem - even in the worst-case scenario you will come out with invaluable experience.
Can you share with us your view of the current landscape of business, in your region or generally, and where your organisation sits within it?
E-commerce is an extremely competitive space with many players approaching the area from many different directions. However, one thing that I believe holds true for the entire B2B segment is that services have shown little innovation in pricing, user experience and positioning - this is an area that is ripe for disruption.
At Tictail we create a B2B solution but we communicate it and position ourselves as a consumer service, because the fact is most, if not all, companies are run by real human beings. We appreciate clear messaging, simple pricing models and smart interfaces even when we’re at work.