Five Major Benefits of E-commerce Business for Retailers & Customers There are approximately 1.2 million transactions per day across e-commerce platforms and there is no way we can avoid it

By Nabeel Merchant

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2019, is fast approaching and this is the perfect time to look back at the year gone by and look forward to the new year. This is the time to plan afresh and keep an eye out for upcoming business trends. With increasing penetration of the internet, it is imperative that you take your business to the next level.

Worldwide, e-commerce sales are expected to grow to $4 trillion by 2020 and the Indian e-commerce market is expected to surpass the United States to become the second largest e-commerce market in the world. If you are considering to set up an e-commerce business, the time is right and the time is now. Here is a list of 5 benefits that your business can enjoy:

Ease Of Doing Business:

There is a growing appetite for online shopping. Products across categories like lifestyle, consumer electronics, retail, health, music and travel are doing well. Innovations like digital payments, hyper-local logistics and back-end analytics, have given a new meaning to customer relations and engagement. Technology has made shopping online, safe, easy and convenient. It gives customers a window to look at several choices, read reviews and then pick a product and at the same time, entrepreneurs can easily track customer behaviour and buying habits.

Make Mindful Investments:

As an entrepreneur, it is important that your business has enough visibility and attracts new customers who love your product. One of the major benefits of e-commerce is that it has a low startup cost. Without investing in a physical space or having to pay your staff you can design an e-store and reach out to a larger audience. For instance, a basic account on Shopify you only pay $29 per month, this is your virtual rent of sorts to help you set up and maintain your online store. With business expenditure being comparatively lower, e-commerce is an attractive investment for entrepreneurs.

Be In Business Round The Clock:

Unlike retail, the presence of e-commerce platforms are not confined to the geographical area of your store and you can always be open for business. Through e-commerce, your business can reach out to the audience across the globe and your store can be open 365 days a year and 24*7. One can even run ads on social media platforms, to attract customers across different time zones, showcase products, upsell, send newsletters and also attract them through retargeting ads.

Make Most Of Sales Season:

For Indian e-tailers, festive season sales are the time to shine. Studies show that the overall e-commerce market has increased from 0.7% to 3.2%, and has seen a whopping 6X growth thanks to the sales season. The major buying holidays in India starts from Rakhi (around the month of August- September) onwards leading up to the new year (January - February). To make most of the sales season, one must tap into smaller cities, as more than 82% new customers that shopped on Amazon India were from Tier 2-3. Thus giving rise to a new breed of non-millennial shoppers from semi-urban and rural areas.

Increase Brand Recall:

You might have your own page and at the same time be selling on Shopify, Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm etc. but to increase brand awareness you need to figure out who your highest quality customers are. You need to keep a track of your customer's purchase frequency, the value of the order and how often do they shop. Based on these factors you can devise a marketing strategy and target your customers. The data collected through sales will help you understand your customer and craft a strategy based on answers to questions like - What products do customers purchase often? What is their lifestyle like? How much do they spend per order? Where do they work, who are their friends, what do they do in their leisure time etc…By reaching out to your customer at relevant touch points and deploying intent based and inbound marketing strategies, you will be able to increase brand awareness and affinity.

In conclusion, it can easily be said that e-commerce adds tremendous value to your business. It is digitising several offline services and creating a convenient ecosystem for buyers and sellers. Currently, there are approximately 1.2 million transactions per day across e-commerce platforms and 47 per cent of which comprise shopping of electronics. Some of the popular websites that Indian's shop on includes Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, PayTM, Shopclues, Pepperfry, Zomato, BigBasket and Alibaba. Based on your business needs this is the right time to leapfrog and reap the benefits of having an e-commerce business.

Nabeel Merchant

Founder & CEO, HOWL

Nabeel Merchant has been in the industry for over a decade. He is intrigued by the impact messaging can make on brands. He started his journey in the field of marketing by working with some of the biggest brands like HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Quick Heal technologies and Maruti Suzuki. At HOWL, he is building a company inspired by a US based agency called Red Antler. The goal being to work closely with early stage startups and help them scale not only their marketing efforts but also their business and branding in general' Being an entrepreneur himself, he has an eye for detail on every aspect of communication and has an approach that helps companies take their brand a step ahead. HOWL not only works at building brand awareness but also has a positive on their clients bottom line. Prior to HOWL, Nabeel was the co-founder of an on-demand Home Maintenance and Repair services startup called 'Fixy' which raised it's seed investment from Venture Nursery, the fund that invested in Oyo Rooms way back in 2013.

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