This festive sale Indian ecommerce has witnessed some encouraging trends. Reduction in COD orders, a widening reach, increased sale, these are a few of the improvements online marketplaces have noted.
The following are some notable observations in the sale season:
- More orders from Tier 2 and 3 cities. All the three market leaders (Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal) noted a healthy participation of shoppers from non-metros. Amazon said that 70% of its new customers were from tier 2 and 3 towns. Snapdeal recorded a 20-time growth in tier 2 and 3 shoppers.
- More pre-paid orders. Flipkart said that only 60% of its orders were COD as against 75% in the last year. Snapdeal said more than 50% of its orders were prepaid.
- Loyalty slowly becoming a norm. Flipkart’s F-Assured, Snapdeal Gold and Amazon Prime are attempting to establish loyalty among their shoppers. Promises include speedier (free in some cases) delivery, stringent checks, and access to movies and books online.
- Greater value of purchase. Buyers are slowly trusting invisible stores to buy costly products. Flipkart reported that more than 1,00,000 orders it got were of Rs, 50,000 and above.
- Smoother deliveries. Flipkart fulfilled more than 60% of its orders this time, reducing the chaos that resulted last year. Sellers found that they were not getting orders due to Flipkart being unable to handle the logistics.
Stepping away from discounts
The Indian ecommerce industry is growing at a much quicker pace than its western counterparts.
Experts feel that the ecommerce sector can face an ebb if they move away from the discounting model. Devangshu Dutta, CEO of Third Eyesight consulting says,
“If the industry insists on having e-commerce being seen as separate from the rest of retail, it will be fighting a battle against itself in which there are no real winners except for advertising media and the last player left standing with money in the pockets.”
Companies are also working towards appealing to buyers in different ways. Snapdeal is working out a system to maintain a high speed delivery despite high order volume.
While it is too early to say that Indian ecommerce has come of age, things definitely appear to be on the right track.