With our previous article in this series, we explained what e-tailing exactly means and how rapidly it is growing in India. We will now be discussing different aspects of the ecommerce industry and why they are important for running a successful business.
Online & Offline
Getting the right balance of infrastructure is another important consideration. Many sellers benefit from having an offline store as well. Usually these are retailers who began business in a traditional brick-and-mortar shop, who usually begin selling their products on big online marketplaces, instead of starting an exclusive online store for themselves. But the question is can their traditional store also keep up with the discounts given online?
However, some sectors like precious watches or jewellery can benefit from having an offline presence as this assures the Indian customer of timely returns and warranty claims.
Going the ‘extra’ mile
As the ecommerce industry in India is just growing out of its nascent stages, they have been trying to attract customers by offering the best product delivery options possible. Right from free shipping to even cash on delivery payment options, the online marketplaces have pushed their logistics system to outperform even seasoned ecommerce companies located abroad.
However, when delivering a product, it is often the ‘last’ mile in the delivery network that is extremely crucial. Therefore, when employing a logistics company, a seller should not simply choose the cheapest option- but the one with the best ‘last mile’ reliability.
To explain in simple words, let’s say we are comparing a well-established private courier company, a startup courier company and the public post system. When the parcel has been delivered to a particular city office of the courier/ post company- which one can be trusted to deliver a parcel of any size or proportion in time and safely to the customer? A seller should consider this aspect before choosing a logistics partner.
The unique Indian online shopper
Ecommerce in India is different from elsewhere in the world because of the unique peculiarities of the Indian shopper. Most Indians prefer to see and inspect a product in person before making a purchase. In fact, a leading consulting firm described the ‘Indian’ consumer in the most succinct manner. According to pwc, ‘Consumers in India expect the return process to be seamless and convenient. Retailers have considered this option of return to develop trust and confidence which results in seamless subsequent purchases and positive word-of-mouth support.’ Though the cost of reverse logistics is high, online retailers are still willing to offer this option to convince more and more shoppers to choose ecommerce.
Therefore, a seller must understand the cultural behaviour of Indian consumers before deciding to sell certain things online. For example, precious jewellery seller Bluestone.com has offered its customers a ‘Try at Home’ option where they can try the jewellery at home before ordering it online. This is the best solution created to tackle an Indian consumer, who is wary of purchasing expensive things without seeing or trying it in person.
Entering the online retail space is no mean feat and requires a lot of planning, dedication and perseverance. But above all, we think it is extremely important for a seller to believe that their dream is possible and not be intimidated by big and complicated numbers or paperwork. With the right preparation and guidance, anyone can get into online selling.
Anything is possible if you just believe in your ecommerce dream!