A Look at E-commerce and Online Retailing
A stretch of fancy stores, in Connaught Place, New Delhi, is among the loveliest, with quaint shop-fronts opening on to tree-lined pavements. Recently, a point of tension occurred when the streets were dotted with empty shops, their landlords are unable to find tenants.
E-commerce has escorted in a golden age for consumers. They can choose from more products of better quality than ever and spend far less time and effort to get what they want. It has become essential for complacent manufacturers to fight fiercely against the e-commerce revolution that is about to follow every country and continent. No wonder Amazon is the most popular company in America, according to a recent Harris Poll.
The advent of e-commerce in India has revolutionised the approach towards running a business for best customer satisfaction and at scale. With innovation becoming the new strength, entrepreneurs are coming up with clutter-breaking ideas to create newer verticals. This has given rise to new shopping experiences to the customers. These emerging experiences are being embraced by retailers to reach the customers in newer ways. We are in exciting times when Information technology is transforming analogue & electrical part products to that of combined sensors, data storage & software products, which are connected through Internet. These mutually connected products through the benefits of Internet connectivity unleashed a whole new era of opportunities.
The effects of e-commerce on the physical landscape are just beginning. So far, the most notable changes have been in rich countries, and particularly in India& China. As demand for physical shops ebbs that for warehouses will surge. But what will happen to the shops that no longer have enough customers, and where will the new warehouses go? There is no easy way of turning one into the other. Companies want to build warehouses close to consumer hubs, but the malls most likely to shut down isbeyond imagination.
Businesses are continuously using a combination of both online and offline channels to engage with customers and provide a wholesome shopping experience. Omni-Commerce is coming together of offline and online retail providing the customers the best of both worlds. With Omni channel, a customer is able to buy online and collect / return offline. Recent trends have also led to the emergence of a new set of players who are setting up mobile only marketplaces and tapping social media to grow customer base.
How ecommerce is changing and it’s advantages
Multiple offline/online retailers are partnering with local delivery services to help them deliver their goods at required destinations quickly.
The unique changes to the existing business model which can get more sellers & customers to transact online, integrated and improved multiple touch points, identifying categories which drive frequency of usage coupled with innovative payments and quick delivery will be the key to success in the Indian ecommerce domain.
It is critical for all players to build an ecosystem encompassing all the areas for digital commerce rather than just huge platforms.
The typical e-commerce business model has revolved around developing a marketplace, the future will be all about business models that innovate and transform this very value chain.
Emerging new digital product categories are also significantly driving the ecommerce growth and primarily contributing to the increased frequency of transactions online. Currently there are 75+ million mobile recharges daily in India.
Emerging new digital product categories are also significantly driving the ecommerce growth and primarily contributing to the increased frequency of transactions online. Currently there are 75+ million mobile recharges daily in India, majority of these would move online in not so distant future increasing the online share of a customer’s wallet.
Periodically purchased low involvement products like consumables, magazines, can also be subscribed through websites and delivered to customers regularly. It will help in acquiring customers over long term, predicting demand and streamlining inventory accordingly.
When we started, we had to constantly innovate and engage with the suppliers to convince them of merits of shifting to a platform that pulls customers towards them (rather than pushes products to them). We were all the time stepping in to their shoes and seeing their perspective of why wouldn’t they want to do the same. The emerging business models will challenge the existing ecosystem, and make them more open and transparent so that customers transact on the basis of the product or specific value proposition, rather than just buying for the sake of a relationship.
About the Author
Verun Rastogii is Founder & CEO Mufubu.com