This fantastic year is almost coming to an end! 2014 was abuzz with lots of progress happening in e-commerce. Suddenly it looks like everyone is scrambling to be a part of its success, big and small businessmen alike.
What does the coming year say about e-commerce? Let’s find out from our experts’ predictions.
The greengrocer will get outrun by the e-grocer
There are a few rules that every young grocery shopper is taught when learning how to purchase groceries- Snap the ladyfinger’s tip to check how fresh it is, test the aroma of a handful of basmati rice to know if it’s genuine, inspect every inch of an apple to check for a rotten bit.
That is the very reason why many Indians are wary of shopping groceries online: you can’t exactly smell the aroma of Basmati rice from a high-definition online picture, can you? But our prediction experts foresee a lucrative future for perishable food items being sold online. It is believed that several online grocery stores will sprout in the coming year. Two such big players are bigbasket.com and localbanya.com, which primarily operate in a few metro cities of India. In fact, Bigbasket even managed to raise funding of INR 2 billion in September.
E-commerce will become m-commerce
More and more consumers are shopping online using the mobile phone. This figures are unbelievable, with many online marketplaces claiming that a large chunk of their transactions happen through mobile phone transactions. This means that in the coming year, e-commerce will slowly become m-commerce, with most e-commerce websites being mobile friendly.
This also suggests that the online shopping experience will become much more personalised, as the mobile phone is a personal device and that gives websites the option to give each individual customer relevant notifications about new products and deals.
Emails killed the post office; e-commerce shall now revive it
Everyone remembers their grandparents and parents reminiscing about how in the good old days, they would have to wait for days and days to receive or send a letter to their loved ones. In fact, the telegram service was recently shut down as there was hardly any demand for it.
E-commerce has now come as a saviour, with the possibility of having a profitable tie-up with India Post. Online marketplaces are in desperate need of logistics partners with a wide reach in India. In fact, Flipkart recently expanded its logistics partnership in the hope of reaching more delivery service areas. However, private companies charge exorbitant rates for their delivery services.
About a year back, India Post got into e-commerce and did a transaction of more than 280 million. In the coming year, India Post has been touted as the saviour of delivering products in rural areas, with its network of over 1.55 lakh post offices across India.
Small retailer David may lose to the giant marketplace Goliath
Experts believe that eventually, the e-commerce industry will boil down to just a few major marketplaces- as all the smaller ones will either get acquired or will partner with the bigger marketplaces. This will create extremely stiff competition for those small retail players who attempt to sell their products online.
This does not hamper the overall growth of the e-commerce industry in India though, which is slated to grow exponentially in the coming few years.
The government may set ground rules for e-commerce
Some e-commerce companies are already running into trouble with government tax rules. This is calling the government’s attention to the industry of e-commerce. It seems like finally there may be some laws, regulations and legal definitions about the workings of e-commerce in India, something that did not really exist clearly before.
E-commerce is the next big thing in India. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for these positive predictions for 2015!