Rs 4536693424.52 the number depicts the amount India had splurged out for online purchases in the year 2014. The amount is expected to be much higher by 2018 and predicted to be around Rs 64809906064.52. This Gartner research forecast implies the astonishing potential the online trade has in Indian market, a substantial number of Indians are expecting online options for shopping. Again india has been even more magnanimous to B2B spendings in the same year, forget the number, it is more than double of the aforementioned giant number. Quite a big market isn’t it? None of the small and large business groups around the globe wanted to forgo the vast business opportunity, India proffers.
Industries like wholesale, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing are all projected to experience significant adoption of B2B commerce channels in the upcoming years. Apart form that smartphone sales are flourishing year by year which in turn causes a boom in online business revenue. Besides all these our economy is attaining more and more global colour, the idea of one single economy (online economy) isn’t a mere dream, but future reality. So most of the businesses have been identifying the global growth as the pivotal goal. What else can make the e-commerce providers happy? It is more than a huge opportunity, the time is ripe and is perfect.
So the modern market beckons you to ride the wave, no matter small or large retailers, B2B, B2C or you name it. As the old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ let’s dig out some history.
1991 : When it all started- Introduction of E-Commerce
In the year 1991 it was a path breaking development in the history of commerce, it was none other than the introduction of online trade and marketing as an option for internet users, but in a very finite ratio. The reason was, at the time the rate of rudimentary computer education was very low, not many was in the convenience of accessing the computer as well. None have imagined that the online trade will get an edge over traditional market within a decade and India will offer its good share for it, mainly because the credibility was a big issue when it comes to online trade. But the time proved it wrong.
2002 : When IRCTC Offered the Millennium Gift
India first came into acquaintance with the E-commerce through the innovative ticketing application launched by Indian Railway. The aim was to make the ticket functioning smooth and flawless, the system offered the convenience of booking tickets from anywhere and at any time. The online ticket reservation system was a huge success and was accurate and displayed impeccable efficiency. For people rely on IRCTC it was not less than a boon. The system trumpeted the power of information technology within India; the system refined a lot of issues as well. The passengers were overwhelmed that they don’t have to wait long in a line to get the ticket, the change in the timings, availability and cancellation of trains doesn’t seemed to bother them ever again. As a result of timely updating and maintenance over the years,, now one can book tickets (tatkal, normal, etc.) on one go, easy payments, can check the status of the ticket and availability of the train as well. This is a big achievement in the history of India in the field of online E-Commerce.
2003 : Introduction of Low Cost Flight with Air Deccan
In the wake of unexpected success of the IRCTC, the airline companies like Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Spice Jet etc adopted online ticket booking and other services. The new business enhancement helped them to engage directly with the customers which was really cost effective that they no longer have to pay excess commission amounts per ticket to ticketing agencies. Today online ticket booking is as simple as singing a rhyme.
2007 : The Flipkart Model
The mass acceptance of the e-commerce stimulated the players to try their luck on Indian online market. The main advantage is the direct dealing with the customer, it inadvertently serves as a research tool, they can target, analyse or allure specific customer or a group of customers, besides, there is no middle man so the profit is high too. Though online shopping has been present since the 2000 but it gained popularity with the deep discount model of Flipkart. In a way it re-launched online shopping in India. Soon after other portals like Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, etc. started fishing in India to make hell of a fortune.
2015 : Contemporary
Online shopping and online business in its early times was a simple medium for buying and selling with a few options to deliver. People can place an order and pay the cash at the time of delivery, it took time to build up trust among the hoi polloi. The remarkable increase in the internet speed and mind blowing changes happened in the technological sector has transmogrified the way online business once was. The products available at online stores got much more credibility because of the open reviews posted on mobile applications and social media sites. Even the toughest man can’t renounce the offers and facilities which internet furnishes, attractive online websites, user friendly interface, filled online stores with new fashions, easy and safe payment methods (i.e. secure pay online via gateways like paypal or cash-on-delivery), less manipulation on quantity & quality, one can choose the items based on size, color, price, etc. tantalizes the customers to shop online. Further, the addition of discounts, coupons, offers, referral systems, 30 days return guarantee, 1-7 days delivery time, etc. to the online shopping and the E-Market had added new flavors to the industry.
Despite a developing country India is considered as a major market after US and UK, apart from the Europe and USA the major advantage of Indian market is its population, a huge common mass with computer literacy. The decisive force that drives the Indian e-commerce have been the increased internet dissemination in the country irrespective of urban and rural market. The increased living standards, much wider product range, busy lifestyles and lack of time for offline shopping or direct store purchase, increased availability and usage of online categorized sites and revolution of online marketplace model with websites like eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. did the rest.
The Future of E-Commerce
As per recent demographic studies only 33 million people are residing in the major cities around the country. That means almost 97% of the Indian population is in the semi-urban or rural area, so the internet still has more than enough room to establish widely in India. To make a change in this the agriculture market also should be digitalized, because India is a country with its fair share of farmers who are not much awared about the advancements in technologies and its potentials. Infact the opportunities are much wider when it comes to technologies, the latest developments in the ecommerce sector indicates that.
Social Media as a Customer Generating Tool
Social media has become the hub of business enhancement which enables merchants to analyse the customer taste and choices based on the customer purchase activities. Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin etc have become an effective medium to log in and go for a purchase. The customers can directly subscribe to the web pages and updated links of a specific company; this will give them important updates from the company and its products, this is more productive and efficient than a direct advertising.
FlipKart the retailer giant has decided to confine its operations and services to mobile devices only, the company has already proclaimed that the decision will be on effect soon. What on earth makes them to took and stick on to such a jaw dropping decision? Because they are more future centric and they are convinced that mobile commerce is the next big thing underway. The smartphone sales globally is skyrocketing and people will spend more time on a smartphone than any other device this is why big players have started to give more relevance to mobile commerce.
Price Comparison Engine
Competition is indispensable, especially in the field of technology, so we can find a plethora of offers, discounts and other benefits inclined to online purchases, which often leaves the customer in a dilemma. The price comparison sites will act like a search engine and helps the customer to compare prices and discounts of a product over other products. But people still looks at it with their eyebrows raised because chances are there for the results to get manipulated.
Virtual Grocery Stores
Indian housewifes are infamous for their shopping, infact efficient shopping, a fair share of them wanted worth of every penny. If the internet could deliver a good shopping experience with convenient payment methods and delivery then they are a target group with immense potential. A few online grocery companies like Punexpress.com, Milestore.com, Atadaal.com etc have already forayed in to this business and gaining popularity.They provide discounted product and free home delivery. All of these stores are targeting the Indian housewife, who are yet to move to e-commerce way of shopping.
Innovation in logistics
Technology has changed the way logistics ever was, remarkable changes are happening in this sector. The retailer giant amazon has already introduced a new concept of logistics; they have developed a technology incorporated with drone and small helicopters; they call it Prime Air which is expected to be launched in the recent years. The aim is to furnish instant delivery which will give them an edge over their rival companies. This logistics system is developed in such a way that, the carriers will drop the purchased items at the door steps of the customer through GPS aid. These aerial vehicles will prioritize the public safety and are designed as per the commercial aviation standards.
The technology analysts, researchers and the major players unanimously back the e-commerce as the future and sees it as the absolute culmination of trade in the world. It takes another technological revolution to think about any other future trading options, nothing had made a success like the e-commerce had attained, it is a global phenomena, says the experts. e-Commerce is an evolution, through internet and electronic technology it made the customers and producers more active. We should make and follow a list of healthy practices to make the e-commerce more reliable and safe in the future.