E-commerce has been the biggest game-changer for the Indian economy and it continues to evolve as we rapidly embrace newer technologies. Various facets such as wide range of inventory, ease, convenience, lucrative offers, cash-on-delivery, free shipping, seamless return policies, secure and convenient transaction system, coupled with lucrative offers have caused the spurt of online shopping in our country. According to a report by Google and Forrester Consulting, the number of online shoppers will nearly triple and reach 100 million in 2016, with over 50 million new buyers emerging from tier I and tier II cities.
The country has been riding on the e-commerce wave due to strong internet penetration backed with cheaper data plans and easy availability of smartphones. The upcoming years will witness breath-taking innovation in e-commerce and bring forth simplified and exciting shopping experiences.
Decoding E-commerce trends for 2020!
So, here’s what I think the e-commerce space will look like five years from now:
• Instant gratification and path breaking innovation!: We live in a generation which strongly believes in ‘instant gratification’. In the years to come, delivery processes will witness an evolution with more focus being on prompt delivery!
• Best of both worlds: E-commerce players will swiftly adopt multiple channels to provide a suave and seamless consumer experience. Omni-channel retailing will offer a very strong value proposition. For instance, Forever21 which has stores all across India recently marked their online presence. I strongly believe that gradually all the private label brands and e-commerce players will adopt omni-channel retailing to enhance sales and amplify reach amongst the target audience. In this way, individuals will be able to buy things online and exchange them offline and vice versa.
• Revolution in logistics: India Post which has the world’s largest postal network of 1.55 lakh post offices has been the biggest savior for the e-commerce industry. Since it’s collaboration with e-commerce players, India Post witnessed multifold rise in business and it is expected to evolve and become the most sought after services in the years to come.
• Rise of Private labels: All the top e-commerce players will launch their own labels. They will start manufacturing their own products and sell them aggressively through their portal while simultaneously selling other brands.
• Constant innovation: Technological innovations will be crucial for e-commerce firms to survive in the highly competitive market. For instance, e-tailers will introduce features like click and collect kiosks, augmented reality stores and retail on the wall, etc. Recently, Tesco launched a virtual supermarket in a busy subway station in South Korea. Commuters could check out massive billboards illustrating store shelves and use their mobile phones to scan QR codes of the products they wanted to buy. The groceries were then delivered shortly after shoppers arrived home.
Likewise, other players will also strive to go beyond the norms and create a distinct identity for themselves by constantly deploying newer and bigger ideas which will help amplify user interface and experience.
• Shopping lockers: Currently, one of the biggest drawbacks of ordering online is that you may miss collecting the delivery if you are not at home. Shopping lockers is one cool trend that I foresee in this space. E-commerce companies will install personalized lockers just like our very own mailboxes. These will be electronically locked with a password and have camera surveillance. Only the delivery guy and the consumer will know the password of the locker.
The forthcoming years will witness newer technologies and will continue to revolutionize the consumer shopping experience and churn more and more money into online sales. I believe that e-commerce will surpass any service or offering that is available in a store. The future ahead for ecommerce players and online retailers is nothing but rainbows and sunshine and for those who adopt omni-channel presence, its double rainbows!
Published with permission.
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