The e-commerce sector has seen unprecedented growth in 2014. The growth was driven by rapid technology adoption led by the increasing use of devices such as smartphones and tablets, and access to the internet through broadband, 3G, 4G, etc., which led to an increased online consumer base. Furthermore, favoured demographics and a growing internet user base helped to aid this growth. In terms of highlights, the growth shown by home-grown players such as Flipkart and Snap deal and the huge investor interest around these companies displayed the immense potential of the market. With the entry of e-commerce behemoths such as Amazon and Alibaba, the competition is expected to further intensify. Both these international players come with deep pockets and the patience to drive the Indian e-commerce market. Also, their strong domain knowledge and best practices from their international experience give them an additional edge. Additionally, these companies have been part of markets where they have seen the e-commerce market evolve and are aware of the challenges and strategies to address issues thereof.
Industry on an upturn:
E-commerce or electronic commerce, deals with the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic platform, mainly the internet. These business transactions are categorised into either business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer (C2C), consumer-to-business (C2B) or the recently evolved business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C). E-commerce processes are conducted using applications, such as email, fax, online catalogues and shopping carts, electronic data interchange (EDI), file transfer protocol and web services and e-newsletters to subscribers. E-Travel is the most popular form of e-commerce, followed by e-Tail which essentially means selling of retail goods on the internet conducted by the B2C category.
Online travel, ticketing, etc. Online retail Online marketplace Online deals Online portals classified Ticketing for air, rail, bus, movies, events Retail products sold through online route Platform where sellers and buyers transact online Deals purchased online, redemption may or may not happen online Includes car, job, property and matrimonial portals.
Mobile to be the most influential aspect of e-commerce with mobile apps being developed by most e-commerce websites, smartphones are increasingly replacing PCs for online shopping. In 2013, only 10% of the mobile users used smartphones, and only 5% of the e-commerce transactions were made through a mobile device. This figure has more than doubled, and more than 13% of all e-commerce transactions today happen via mobile3. According to some industry players, over 50% of the orders are being placed through mobile apps, which is not only leading to substantial customer acquisition but also building customer loyalty for various brands. However, most mobile transactions so far are for entertainment, such as booking movie tickets and music downloads. This trend will change soon with more and more merchandise being ordered online.
Enhances shopping experience:
Besides general online shopping, customers are also shopping online for weddings and festivals, thanks to wider range of products being offered and aggressive advertisements. The free and quick shipment and wider choice of products, along with the ease of shopping online as compared to in-store shopping, is also helping e-commerce gather momentum.4 further, e-commerce companies are doing rapid business due to sales. New concepts such sales on weekends, holidays and festivals are attracting a lot of new customers and building customer loyalty among existing customers. Television and social media, particularly Facebook, are playing a proactive role in promoting e-tailing through aggressive advertisements. This has helped several e-commerce companies build substantial brand image.
Essential Marketing Strategies for Your e-commerce Business:
- Produce Original Content
- Give a Face to Your Business
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- Target Wearable and VR (Virtual Reality) Technology
- Launch Stores on Multiple Platforms
In the view of Next Mile Digital,
There is humongous potential for e-commerce companies owing to the growing internet user base and advancements in technology. However, this will not be without its share of challenges, be it operational, regulatory, or digital. How a company prepares itself to meet these challenges will decide whether or not it succeeds.