Shopping for products as menial as a carton of milk via e-commerce portals clearly spells out the colossal space the online market has captured, as the population today desires everything to be a click away even if it's a packet of wafers. This very industry which laid down its initial bricks a few years ago today stands as a potent competition to retailers outside the virtual world. The e-commerce industry is poised to amass paramount growth figures owing to the large customer base that is seeking solutions online for their everyday needs.
The number of internet users in India 4-5 years ago spell out a staggering low figure when compared to countries like US and UK, where every second person has access to nothing less than a 3G speed internet.
Today, India stands at the cusp of online revolution. In a very short span of time, e-commerce industry in India has witnessed a prodigious growth with heterogeneous offerings at disposal. The myriad services which are being propounded by these few years old e-commerce ventures has led to the aggrandizement of online merchandising industry.
Increasing broadband industry; rising standard per-capita income of the Indian audience; dearth of time for offline shopping ventures and a lifestyle swamped under the chase for superiority, today the only motive a regular working person has is crunching time for every possible activity he/she is involved in. Online space gives a solution for such bottlenecks. Even for someone who is seeking the smallest style advice is now just a click away.
Dynamic changes like these with door-step delivery of a whole range of products allow the populace to get habituated to such leisure which in turns cajoles them to come back for services like cash-on-delivery, 30-day return policy, exclusive portal dealing with customer feedback and even something as innovative as virtual-trial rooms. On the contrary, brick & mortar stores have certain limitations to the no. of cities they could be present in while E commerce gives wide reach.
The apprehensions attached to online shopping questioning its credibility are slowly diminishing owing to the barrage of services e-commerce players' today offer that has instilled a sense of confidence within the customers. Further strengthening the consumers' trust upon the online players, buyers are presented with their desired product within a time frame of 24-hours where they even have the option of returning the product after a trial without paying a penny before hand.
A formidable number of people are switching from PCs to mobile phones as they not only offer portability but also allow people to make quick transactions sans any hassles which otherwise might be present while dealing with a desktop. This superlative change in the virtual trading world is not restricted to metropolitan cities but also tier II and tier III cities are moving up the ladder and accepting this change.
Indian audience today is holistically becoming fashion forward and is exposed to styles available in the overseas market. Customising services according to such needs, e-commerce players are bringing in high-end international brands on-board which otherwise are not available offline. Adding to this, is a wide assortment that online shops offer, making one online shop bigger than the biggest malls! The convenience that online shopping has brought about is an icing on the cake, customers don't fret anymore on parking and traffic hassles and swiftly shop their heart out.
In lieu of such developments, e-commerce sector in India is steering up the hill at an envious pace.
(The writer is founder and managing director of fashion and lifestyle e-commerce platform Jabong.com)