From mobile commerce to social commerce, an immense opprtunity is waiting to be tapped by the Indian e-commerce industry
India is the fastest growing internet market in the world with an internet penetration close to 10%. E-commerce is definitely poised to emerge as the preferred mode of shopping for Indian internet users and this past year we have already seen it going mainstream for most net users in India.
The year 2012 essentially saw many new consumers, who were once wary of buying online, try out online shopping and, more often than not, come back for more. The coming year will see this trend increasing, as more and more customers discover the convenience of buying products from the comfort of their homes and offices.
Additionally, the range of products they get without having to visit multiple stores will just continue to grow until almost everything imaginable becomes available online. As choices and availability increase, so will various channels for online shopping. E-commerce will no longer be restricted to just the personal computer.
We see 2013 as a big year for mobile commerce. This past year, mobile shopping has experienced exponential growth. As mobiles continue to be the only medium of internet access for a large customer base, the revenue from m-commerce will continue its upward spike. It’s early days yet, but the potential is huge. E-commerce firms should look at leveraging their technology strength and knowledge of consumer demographics in improving the mobile shopping experience to capture this market.
Another platform for online shopping that will be looking to come into its own will be social commerce. It has been a fast emerging channel of business for a number of brands in the international market.
The domestic market is yet to really exploit this medium. However, platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest are being recognised as being more than mere channels of engagement and online retailers are exploring these mediums for ways of advertising to a socially connected consumer base and, in some cases, even inducing sales.
While it’s true that these trends may be driven by an internet savvy crowd, the influence of such developments on those who have been predominantly offline shoppers is not far away. The online revolution has been encouraging more and more retailers to shift to online formats – and with this we have been seeing a movement amongst consumers as well. In a kind of evolution,