E-commerce has changed the mindset of the consumer
Ecommerce has revolutionized retail and has evolved to meet the changing needs of people.
Emerging technologies and innovative applications have changed the way people interact and get information. The consumers now want to see and buy everything on a click.
Despite the slowdown in the Indian economy, the e-commerce growth has been positive in the last few quarters. This is because the consumers continue to get great value and convenience while shopping online, which has fueled this growth.
Lizzie Chapman, Co-Founder & CEO, ZestMoney, said, “The e-commerce has transformed the way business is done in India. It is driving Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by providing financing, technology and training which has triggered a favourable cascading effect on other industries as well. So, the Indian e-commerce industry is growing trajectory and is expected to surpass the US and become the second largest e-commerce market in the world by 2034.”
According to Chapman, only a third of Indian population reside in the Tier I metros, the rest are spread across smaller towns and villages across the country. When healthcare and educational inputs get delivered to Tier I and Tier II cities via the internet, e-commerce hasn’t been far behind. The current surge in e-commerce is driven by Tier II & III cities. Only 40-45 % consumers, who shops online reside in 10 metro cities, the rest of them hail from 3,133 Tier II & III cities, and 1,233 rural hubs.
Chapman further added, “We found direction from our customers to focus on Tier II and Tier III cities, which led us to becoming a leader in EMI financing. This territorial focus is the foremost driver- our success mantra. Zeroing in on the ‘right’ market niche – the neglected masses would be our next key success driver.”
Technology is the backbone of e-commerce. It not only helps to connect sellers and customers on mobile and web platforms but also enables the effective management of customer orders, deliveries, returns and payments of purchased goods. Technology plays an important role in boosting employment, increase revenues from export, increase tax collection, and help in providing better products and services to customers in the long-term.
With new technologies, products and business models in the rapidly changing market dynamics, Indian companies across the globe have to continue to innovate to stay relevant for consumers. They have to keep a close watch on changing consumer preferences and strive to fulfil unmet needs.
Mayank Bharadwaj, Head Analytics of Milkbasket, said, “With technology, startups have great agility to try different business models while looking for additional revenue streams and as a result we have food delivery startups getting into grocery deliveries, hotel chains getting into food delivery. Today, it’s not enough to keep an eye only on ‘obvious’ competition because you don’t know where next disruption is coming from.”
Mobile technology is also revolutionizing the Tier-II and Tier-III markets. New smartphone technology and the growing range of connectivity in Indian towns is one reason for online shopping.
Commenting on it, Amisha Jain, CEO of Zivame said, “Our 55 % of the revenue is coming from the top 10 Tier I cities. We have seen changes in the trend of lingerie shopping as being a pleasant experience for women. They are no longer shy to express their opinions on a category that forms an essential part of their wardrobe.”
E-commerce has grown to become one of the most critical aspects of the business as well as in Indian consumer’s life. It continues to witness unprecedented growth, especially in India with the e-commerce startups ever-increasing their kitty of products/services for customers and focus on driving consumerism. This attempt to change the consumer mindset will be the catalyst for the sustainable growth of the e-commerce sector in years to come.