The explosion of mobile devices armed with reasonably priced internet broadband plans are the main reasons sighted for the booming Indian ecommerce market. Smartphones are rapidly replacing PC’s as the go-to tool for online shopping and the consumer continues to embrace mobile platforms with open arms, always at the ready to swipe and click.
Ecommerce marketplace giants such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon India, has all spread their prosperous wings, but what about the small and medium sized enterprises? What does ecommerce mean for them? AMI Research has produced a report outlining the emerging online opportunities and also lays emphasis on the government’s latest ‘Digital India’ initiative. We bring you some critical insights.
What Indians are buying & selling?
Small and medium sized enterprises are becoming more and more attracted to the multiple benefits that online marketplaces are presenting for them. They can list a broader variety of products and take advantage of the large customer base that the online marketplace offers, with the hope of earning greater profits from the increase in sales.
Along with online marketplaces and online retail the other popular growth areas within the e-commerce environment include:
- Online travel (Booking holidays and browsing for information)
- Online deals (Selling properties, etc.)
- Online Classifieds (Searching for Jobs and matrimonial proposals)
A major part of online transactions take place in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The new Digital India project run by the Indian Government is expected to grow the ecommerce industry in these cities further and at the same time introduce ecommerce to new markets in tier 4 cities, including small towns and rural areas.
How Digital India project will enhance ecommerce:
The government is expected to execute services online, which will spread internet to the smallest and most far flung parts of the nation, in turn creating greater online awareness for more ecommerce to take place.
The government is revamping India Post which will act as a distributor to facilitate ecommerce goods and services. This will produce that much needed shot in the arm for the logistics process and ensure more people are exposed to ecommerce, which can become further enhanced with payment options like cash on delivery.
The research suggests that more small and medium sized enterprises are investing in their online presence, with capital being pumped into improving and maintaining a fully functional website.
- 15% of India’s internet connected small and medium sized enterprises has already launched a website with ecommerce capabilities.
- In 2014, Small and Medium sized enterprises spent $937 million on building, hosting and maintaining a website.
- By 2019, close to 30% of small and medium sized enterprises are expected to offer online purchase facilities on its websites.
“The next few years promise to bring about a transformation in technology usage among India SMBs as they embrace an online presence,” opined Neha Jalan Goenka, Senior Manager of Client Services at AMI. “The success of vendors and website developers in helping SMBs meet their e-commerce goals depends on the former’s ability to convince customers of the relevance and value of their solutions,” continued Goenka.