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Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig


Hello and welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

Jul 18, 2018

One of my most popular blog posts is my ecommerce case study from when some friends and I started an ecommerce business in 2012. It gets hundreds of people viewing it each month and leads to lots of questions on twitter, linkedin and my blog.

I covered how we decided to launch an ecommerce, how we picked a product and how we validated the idea without spending lots money out of pocket. My goal was to share how we see the market and how you can validate any business idea without spending months and thousands of dollars to do it.

So what did we sell and what was the store called? We sold condoms on La Condonería.

In this episode, we cover the original case study, along with changes since I wrote the original post in 2015 and Magma Partners view on ecommerce in the region.

I hope you enjoy this style of episode of Crossing Borders. Please give me feedback in the comments or on social media on whether you did. If enough people like it, I can go through other industries that are popular in Latin America.

Show Notes

02:02 → Why we decided to look at ecommerce

03:23 → How did e-commerce work in Chile in 2012?

03:59 → What we'll cover in the podcast

04:45 → First Step: Research

05:12 → The 4 Phases of ecommerce markets

05:45 → Chile's Phase in 2012 and now

06:41 → Step 2: What do we sell?

06:59 → 7 opportunities in E-commerce in Latam

07:40 → Discarded ecommerce ideas

09:16 → Selling commodity Products

09:51 → The 3 ecommerce Options that made sense

10:15 → Option 3, selling commodity products

10:46 → Step 3: What Product should we actually sell?

11:30 → Criteria to define the best products

15:28 → The product we chose

16:27 → Step 4: How we can validate without spending much time and a lot of money?

19:39 → Comment on payments in Latin America

19:58 → Step 5: Building the foundation

22:48 → What we'd done in the first 6 months of operations

23:13 → Step 6: New opportunities for scaling revenue

26:00 → Our ecommerce after 12 months

26:37 → What we learned from this whole process

27:39 → Ideas from our initial list that have been launched since 2012

28:54 → What did we learn about e-commerce in LatAm?

31:53 → Why we don't invest in e-commerce at Magma Partners

32:53 → Trends in Latam e-commerce

34:18 → Podcast with one of the founders of Mercadoni

34:24 → Other Latin American Ecommerce Trends

Companies and People Mentioned

  • Original Ecommerce Case Study
  • Jumpseller - Shopify for Latin America
  • Tiago Matos - Cofounder Jumpseller
  • Mercadoni
  • Rappi
  • Cornershop
  • Buscalibre
  • Amazon
  • Mercado Libre
  • Movile
  • Alibaba
  • Jack Ma
  • Linio
  • Zappos