Flipkart, Myntra, Shopclues, Groupon, Snapdeal, Makemytrip, Yatra. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear these names? “Oh I wish I could work there”. The Indian e-commerce business is glamorous as many may tout it as or even better loves to call it a movement instead of just an industry.
According to a survey by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the Indian e-commerce market rose 88% in 2013 to touch a whopping $16 billion. Owing to a rising online retail, the survey predicted the market to reach $56 billion by 2023.
2013 saw an increase in the purchase of electronic gadgets, kitchenware, home décor, jewellery, apparel, watches, books, perfumes, beauty and baby products.
Following are the trends that we foresee for Indian e-commerce in 2014
- Supply chain consolidation – To have a better control over their supply chain, companies will start their own payment gateways and logistics network
- Re-emergence of flash sale sites
- More companies would collaborate with coupon and daily deals sites to leverage the online shopping trends
- Increased competition and standard owing to the entry of Amazon
- Introducing private label products
- Greater role of smart phones in purchasing and m-commerce would drive more sales for certain platforms
- Dominance of marketplaces over inventory led businesses
- Scaling and emergence of some prominent start-ups to compete head-on against the big ones.
- Consumers would be more vocal about their shopping experience given the massive reach of social media
- More sellers would go online
- Offline goods sales would take a backseat
- Lot of innovation is expected in terms of customer experience, product packaging, delivery, brand positioning etc
- Emergence of “smart” consumers who believe in spending more time comparing best deals across platforms to make an informed choice
- Same day delivery would be adopted widely
- Shipping will no longer be free
- Payment gateways would be more strengthened and would significantly drive the e-commerce industry
- Demand for specialized e-commerce logistics solutions
- Adoption of new customers owing to the demand from Tier-3 cities
- Increased demand for a better communication strategy for brand positioning to gain market share
- Emergence of new niche shopping categories
- Increased participation in funding local start-ups by retail giants like eBay, Amazon
- More start-ups may shut shop due to fund crunch despite e-commerce revolution
- Large players may rethink their business models to a more sustainable one.
Some of the issues that would need to be taken care of this year are logistics and supply chain infrastructure which should to be strengthened for faster and better delivery, creating a more secure internet transaction, building customer trust, COD to be tackled as we move to Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities, a more careful management of returns and most importantly, being able to bridge the gap between the consumer and the product.
There are two areas which online retailers can greatly leverage. First, having a mobile and a social model which can serve as a major differentiating factor when competing against the big players, and, second, the hybrid model where online retailers are creating their offline presence and offline retailers are moving online to build their market share.
Good news is that Japanese investors are considering investments in the Indian e-commerce space, Beenos being one of them. Vikram Upadhyay of Indian Angel Network expects 2014 to see around $350million worth of deals in e-commerce and technology space by Japanese investors.