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How Is E-Commerce Changing the Retail Landscape in India?

Updated on January 7, 2018
Avik Chakravorty profile image

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E-Commerce in India

How is e-commerce changing the retail landscape in India?

2017 has been an incredible year for the global technological ecosystem and E-commerce isn't an exception. There has been a sea change in several areas of E-commerce in general. Most notable changes have been in payment gateway technology, computing, and mobility after implementing and incorporating artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Just about anyone may have read about technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality in sci-fi novels or may have even watched sci-fi movies when he or she were kids. Research for over a period of a few decades has enhanced these technologies to the point that in recent times artificial intelligence and virtual reality is pervasively broadening the scope of e-commerce.

The fact that hordes of online shoppers are ordering stuff online on the internet these days is a reflection of the online shopping trend catching on like wildfire. Analysts predict and speculate online shopping to more than quadruple within two years. Undoubtedly and undeniably retail’s future is in e-commerce and all entrepreneurs budding or established have good reason to be absolutely elated. Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic and gleeful about the fact that e-commerce industry is booming. Few of the predictions for 2018 are

Performance Marketing will be booming

The perennial pain areas of e-commerce sites have been marketing and branding. In 2018 though, with the advent of performance-based marketing, the focus seems to be shifting from erstwhile marketing and branding strategies to performance-based marketing which is really a boon. This brand new marketing model is likely to become stronger as its a moneymaking proposition with better ROI for brands. Sales that is measurable as a result of an innovative marketing strategy is the way to go in 2018.

Usage of Wallet to increase

2017 will go down in history as the year of an unprecedented rise in digital or cashless payments using virtual wallets. In 2018 too, its predicted that the Indian populace, for the most part, will adopt a digital or cashless mode of payment resulting in burgeoning digital or cashless payments using virtual wallets. In other words, the trend is likely to continue unabated. Speculations are rife that virtual wallet usage this year may not be as rampant as it was in 2017 but users increasingly would adopt virtual wallet as the preferred mode of payment.

Newer categories will claim stakes

There was an era in e-commerce when there was a limited number of product categories like electronics, tech, and gadgets that consumers could purchase online. Over the years though, there has been an unprecedented growth of virtual retail stores with niche categories of products jumping on the bandwagon as it were and as a result, there is a surge of fashion, food and groceries items as well in addition to electronics, tech, and gadgets that are trading online. Sites offering specialty items for online consumers have proven that foraying into and grabbing a sizeable market share of a niche market is more feasible and lucrative than foraying into an already saturated marketplace. With 2018 rolling in, entrepreneurs who are greenhorns would aggressively pursue in creating, capturing and dominating new and emerging market segments.

Customer Care and Engagement will be vital

Through live communication and interaction with customers, help desks or customer care services play a vital role in getting feedback from customers instantaneously. This all-important feedback is essential for sales executives as they can accordingly attend to customers and fulfill their requirements. Brands of all shapes and sizes would be required to be in lockstep with evolving trends to ensure that communication with their patrons is effective. The approach to customer care and engagement would be futuristic with state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology playing a pivotal role. Chat-bots and virtual assistants like Siri, Google Voice, Alexa, and Echo in real time, for example, would be trending in 2018. In all likelihood businesses would be facilitated as they would be able to better manage customer queries in real-time, recommend products and offer their customer-friendly services in the process.

Emphasis on Data Analytics

Any reputable e-commerce company is dependent solely on data analytics for operational decision-making and this trend is likely to continue in the future with the availability of specific data pools. These days, consumers seek bespoke solutions on-demand catering to their specific interests and needs. In 2018 businesses will increasingly rely on predictive data technology for an enhanced understanding and analysis of customer requirements. Many e-commerce sites use data analytics to divert traffic to their websites as well as drive tailored offers that are in sync with their user base. The performance of campaigns that rely on data analytics is optimal and therefore data analytics will be in full throttle in 2018.

Virtual Shopping will proliferate

As times are changing shopping experiences are changing as well. The primary objective of e-commerce sites is ensuring shopping experiences of customers are as interactive or lively as possible. There is still a chasm between the physical and the digital world and a lot more is expected of e-commerce sites towards bridging the gap. E-commerce sites with embedded virtual reality can partially bridge the gap but not entirely.

Artificial Intelligence

Machine replicating human behavior was unimaginable a few decades ago. However, in recent times artificial intelligence is imbued with our daily lives. E-commerce and artificial intelligence will increasingly complement each other and the fallout is proliferation leading to our dependency on hi-tech gadgetry. Currently, e-commerce sites are limited to suggesting products according to one's purchasing pattern, browsing history so on and so forth. In 2018 though with artificial intelligence and e-commerce hand-in-glove, online shoppers will have a more tailored user experience quite unlike any other. Hence, with technology being redefined, going with the flow would result in a thriving e-commerce industry.

Factors driving E commerce growth in India

© 2018 Avik Chakravorty

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