How Will the Indian E-commerce Industry Grow in 2018
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Indian consumers today look at buying most products online, whether it is ordering groceries for daily use or luxurious items like electronics. They like the comfort of ordering for things they want from the comfort of home, with options like cash on delivery or return of products if not satisfied.
The Indian e-commerce industry is evolving at a rapid rate, poised to have 580 million people using the Internet by 2018, with 70-80 per cent accessing the same through mobile. The penetration and easy availability of smartphones has made this an achievable target. With the likes of Flipkart and Amazon engaging in a massive retail war to win over the e-commerce space, the focus is now more than ever on the sector.
Entrepreneur India spoke to experts from the e-commerce industry about how they see the industry growing in the coming year.
India’s Youth Will Drive E-commerce
The online consumers are mostly youngsters, who with a quick tap on their phone are looking at ordering products to their doorstep.
India’s youth (below 30 years) users & rising disposable income will help E-commerce Industry see a potential growth in 2018, believes Arup Das, Manager E-commerce, RIVERSONG. “2018 will be another milestone year for the e-commerce industry. The current push of e-transactions & hyperlocal attention will give a fare chance to the Industry for a matured growth& widened the customer reach & a sustainable profit & revenue growth,” said Das.
Meanwhile, Shanky Kumar, Director, Ellemora believes that the Indian E-Commerce is still in its early days of inception and the maturity phase is still at a distance. However, given the digital penetration in India and the trend towards social acceptance of this model, he believes 2018 is going to be a good year for the e-commerce industry.
Pressure to Turn Profitable
It is no news that many e-commerce players have been suffering losses because of huge discounts that they offer to please customers. Ambud Sharma, Founder & CEO of LigoGroup that owns & operates the extreme-luxury lifestyle brand Escaro Royale, believes that the need to turn profitable is now higher more than ever because of investor’s pressure too. For those investors who have ventured into marketplaces, it’s time for them to look at bottom line as they have invested for over a decade, believes Sharma. The investors want to run tight operations to ensure greater bottom line.
“There is pressure on the management of e-commerce companies to turn profitable. They have understood that between cheap, best and fast - only two points can be sufficed. That means that these companies will be looking at bettering the quality of products and service and sell at a slightly higher price to ascertain profits,” he said.
Improved Services for Consumers
If you go to social media pages of e-commerce players, there are many reviews of not satisfied customers talking about poor delivery of products. This is the primary reason why players are constantly looking at providing customer satisfaction. Sharma states that e-commerce marketplaces have started investing in efficiencies related to delivery, quality of service and faster fulfilment of products, which will be a great factor in changing the game of the industry.
“The consumer is getting more and more mature with each passing year and has started to understand that convenience is the real game of e-commerce and not just cheap or discounted products,” he said.Moreover, e-commerce players are looking at newer ways to find new customers. Das goes on to state that as over the recent years, e-tailers have started omnichannel retailing to increase their presence in Tier III cities, it will help them trap new customer base and compete with the existing brick and mortar stores. Moreover, improved government policies towards a digital economy and Information Communications Technology, will transform the e-commerce industry, he believes