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E-Commerce- An Industry Bustling With Opportunities One of the fastest growing industries globally, E-commerce promises to grow exponentially in the coming years

By Vipul Mathur

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With the advance in technology and the rising number of internet users in the country due to affordable smartphones and data services, the manner in which the consumer today prefers to shop has come a long way. This is the age of modern advancements, which have facilitated the birth and rise of a phenomenon called E-commerce. For the uninitiated, and those who are yet to explore and be exposed to this rapidly growing rage, it is the buying or selling of goods and services on the internet. Having eliminated existing and perceived boundaries and gotten the world much closer to each other, E-commerce has grown into one of the fastest growing and the most promising industries presently and is a commendable example of what man and machine can achieve together in the times today.

The Industry Is Booming Like Never Before:

The E-commerce industry is one of the fastest growing platforms globally. It is one that isn't restricted to any demographic, be it age, sex, location, etc. Shopping at the click of a button is now made so convenient, that the customer is spoilt for choices with brands competing on the digital space. The traditional method of personally visiting a shop or a mall and check the products out, compare them with others, check prices, is no longer the primary way of shopping. With the increase in the number of brands and internet subscribers, the number of E-portals shall continue to grow at an alarming rate. So much so that it is estimated that this number will increase fourfold in the coming years.

The E-commerce industry in India, which has been led by major players like Amazon and Flipkart, has the potential to grow more than fourfold in the coming years. The industry is now at a point where established players in specific areas are planning to establish their position in the market, and achieve long-term success. India has now become a very strategic and potent market for the growth of the sector owing to its huge population and number of people with access to the internet. The next advancement in the E-commerce space in India will happen around a seamless user experience, building digital trust, voice based commerce which will enhance the overall shopping experience for the consumers.

The Hurdles Enroot The Success:

The E-commerce industry, although being one of the fastest growing industries in the global market, comes with its fair share of challenges.

The first challenge faced here is Digital disruption. In spite of the massive growth in the online shopping trends, a majority of the consumers still prefer going to stores to buy products. In a store, you can verify the quality and functionality of a product and confirm its genuineness. The technology and the retail industry is constantly evolving, and it is important for the retail stores and sellers to keep up with the changes. Digital wallets are gradually taking over the older payment methods, and the retailers need to stay sacrosanct with the changing technology.

While shopping online, all your personal data like your address, phone number etc. is shared with the retailers and the e-portals. The consumer is no longer anonymous as compared to the option where he personally goes to purchase a product. There is always a threat of this data misused by hackers. Security is one of the most important factors which can act as a hurdle to the growth of the E-commerce industry. Apart from this, a brand needs to be at the top of their game when it comes to serving their customers. They always have options to choose from in case they find any issues with your services. So it is crucial to maintain the best quality in order to retain customers and their loyalty.

Omnichannel- Coming to The Customer's Rescue

In order to provide the customers a seamless experience, it is important for the service providers to adopt a cross-channel approach, called "Omnichannel.' This basically means robust features on the portals and apps, multiple payment options, new customer service channels.

The retailers should have uniformity in the physical and digital platforms in terms of pricing. This gives the customers a sense of trust in the retailer's products and services. Smartphones are a key element for retailers and customers alike. It helps both the parties keep a track of the placed orders track them, transact securely and save their time. Therefore, it is crucial to have a secure and strongly built mobile app. In online shopping, delivery time is one of the major concerns that needs to be addressed. Many portals and websites take a lot of time to deliver the products to the customer, which reduces the chance of them shopping on their portal again. This issue needs to be addressed on priority with better and faster delivery systems being implemented at the earliest.

As the way things stand, for the E-commerce industry to grow, Omnichannel is the way forward. The industry is still at its infancy, and will develop immensely in the coming years. It will be interesting to see the advancements the industry brings in and the way it functions. One must explore the various channels of shopping and reap their benefits, at the same time conduct their operations with utmost care and precaution. This is only the beginning for the E-commerce phenomenon, and what lies ahead remains to be seen.

Vipul Mathur

Vipul Mathur, CEO, MUFTI

Vipul Mathur, Chief Executive Officer at MUFTI Credo Brands Mktg. Pvt. Ltd brings with him 20 years of experience in brand management, e-commerce, retail operations and merchandising. In his current role at MUFTI, he is responsible to augment consumer experiences and propel the brand towards stronger growth. Prior to joining MUFTI, Vipul worked in various capacities which saw him as the Chief BNM (Buying and Merchandising) Officer with Aditya Birla Online Fashion (ABOF) to the Brand Head for SKULT.

Vipul has worked with Madura Fashion and Lifestyle for 10 years, including 4 years as AVP and Brand Director, Van Heusen. He has created and delivered deep reflective psychological programs, in areas of consumer psychology, strength management, career identification and time management. A B.Tech graduate, Vipul completed his post-graduation from the Goa Institute of Management. In addition to his current role at MUFTI, Vipul is also an accredited coach and corporate trainer for leadership development in the Aditya Birla Group (ABG).

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