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Current Ecommerce Trends in India

November 15, 2018 | Why Ecommerce | No Comments

With the advent of festivals, one thing that took over television sets, mobile phones, internet and newspapers was the online sale. Whooping discounts, mindblowing offers, and gift cards became the talk of the town. Yes! This was the magic created by e-commerce sites. Today, e-commerce is not just buying and selling online; it’s much more than that. In this blog, let’s explore Current E-commerce Trends and look at the ones which are here to stay.

Key findings: According to reports published by financial services firm Morgan Stanley in 2017e-commerce is estimated to grow over 1,200% to $200 billion (Rs13,30,550 crore) by 2026, from $15billion in 2016. By 2026, Morgan Stanley expects India to have 475 million online shoppers whencompared from 60 million in 2016.

Searching and shopping using Voice Search:​​ Artificial Intelligence has made voice search a rage. With smartphones, people can search and shop online with their voice. Reports show that about 40% of millennials have used a voice assistant to search for products before making a purchase. Since voice search has become more precise, consumers and e-commerce retailers are reaping benefits. It is also predicted that by 2020, the number of people using voice search for shopping with surpass 50%.

Churning Video Content: ​​Gone are the days of static content. With social media, dynamic content is the fastest growing ad format. Video content is poised to be the next big thing for e-commerce as consumers find video content engaging and relatable, which makes it all the more shareable. Statistics show that video marketing alone can increase the click-through rates by a staggering 200-300% and stimulate purchase intent by an incredible 97%. Hence video content is trending and bound to stay for long.

Creating Interactive Content​​: Storytelling or interactive content has booked a strong place in e-commerce trends. Unique content strategies are being adopted by online retailers to drive conversions and differentiate. Brands are churning content like recommendations, reviews and opinions to build outstanding customer experience.

Wallet offers and discounts:​​ Demonetization opened realms of opportunities for mobile wallets. E-commerce retailers leveraged the same, and are offering great cash backs on loading money in their respective wallets. Not only this, they have a set a trend by offering discounts on shopping from wallets.

Personalised Shopping Experience:​​ Unlike a normal Kirana store, e-commerce sites have tailored and personalised the entire shopping experience. For instance, when you buy a bedsheet, you are given options of matching pillow covers, curtains, and rugs. Today, online retailers classify the products that you would need on a monthly basis. So just like you subscribe to a newspaper, you can now subscribe for a toothpaste, floor cleaner and much more.

Virtual Shopping Experience Is on the Rise: As I mentioned earlier, AI is changing the face of e-commerce. Today, eyewear brands like Lenskart allow customers to try frames instead of visiting the store virtually. Though this phenomenon is still catching up, soon online retailers will adapt it full-fledged.

Clearly, e-commerce is the future of retail, and though there might be trends that will come and go, virtual shopping and interactive content with a touch of personalisation are here to stay.

Worldwide retail e-commerce sales amounted to 1.3 trillion USD in 2014 and have grown to 2.3 trillion USD in 2017. This dramatic growth has challenged a lot of traditional, even well-established “brick-and-mortar” companies. Moreover, the internet revolution has wiped out several industries (like print journalism) that people highly depended upon less than a decade ago.

Businesses across most other industries, however, have found a way to move online. The increasing demand for products and services offered online has caused this shift. 4 in 10 purchases are made using only an online channel for searching and buying. The convenience of ordering from the comfort of your home/workplace or even on-the-go, home delivery, lack of need to travel, easier browsing, etc. are some of the factors that have caused customers to prefer online purchases. For companies that alter their product portfolio based on real-time market research, this sudden change implied a risky investment, but one that eventually brought them very high returns.

The advantages of going online are many.

  1. Catering to a wider target market – By going online, businesses can easily target customers from various geographic and demographic segments.
  2. High-impact marketing – Using the internet to market products and services is efficient and impactful. It is also much easier to do than traditional marketing as it doesn’t require salespersons or printing. It can be done from the comfort of your workplace with just a small marketing team.
  3. Increased savings – A smaller workforce, lower operational costs, reduced investments (in terms of having a big workspace, buying equipment, etc) contributes to reduced expenses.
  4. Better adaptation to customer preferences – By efficiently gathering information about sales trends, ecommerce platforms can aid businesses to better understand their customers’ preferences
  5. Increased efficiency – Going online means replacing humans with machines. While it may provoke ethical considerations, automation streamlines several processes including market research, advertising, sales, etc.

However, going online has a cost of its own. It is also a risk that a business takes as the existing customers that a specific business caters to may or may not prefer the internet medium.

Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses have little risk involved in comparison. Business owners know the marketing strategies that have been working well for them. Hence, they do not need to bare the risk of trying out new products/services, altering their products/services to cater to new markets or implementing new channels of marketing the same products/services. These businesses also allow customers to get a touch and feel of products before making purchasing decisions, which adds to their sales. Moreover, brick-and-mortar businesses support the community by continuing to hire people.

However, such businesses always have the threat of being completely wiped out by their counterparts who offer an easier, faster, more convenient way of delivering the same product/service, by simply using the medium of internet.

In the words of Steve Jobs, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat”. The internet is an innovation and needs to be harnessed by companies to expand their business. Going online, hence, implies consciously carrying forward your business with a deeper insight of the future.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/01/ecommerce-statistics-small-businesses.html
  2. https://edkentmedia.com/top-15-advantages-internet-marketing-business/
  3. https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/internet-start-ups/online-basics/benefits
  4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/379046/worldwide-retail-e-commerce-sales/
  5. https://www.ups.com/assets/resources/media/knowledge-center/2016_UPS_Pulse_of_the_Online_Shopper.pdf

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