Author: CA Pavankumar S. Gahukar
Co-author : Dr. A. N. Sarda
M.Com, M.Phil, LL.B, Ph.D
G.S. College of Commerce & Economics, Nagpur
Internet is a global or international network of individual computers. It is used to facilitate communication between its users, irrespective of the fact whether their computers are physically compatible or not. There is just a web of connection between thousands of independent systems connected to each other through telephone lines. Individuals, business corporations, government institutions, social service, educational and research organisations use the Internet for the vast information and services it provides. Reach of internet is global. Internet, a revolutionary way was found to access a wealth of information and interaction with the people around the globe from a home or office computer is called “Information Superhighway”.
The Internet is the largest “network of networks” today.
Some distinguishing features of the Internet include:
The Net does not have a central computer system or telecommunications center. Instead, each message sent on the Internet has a unique address code so any Internet server in the network can forward it to its destination.
The Net does not have a headquarters or governing body.
The Internet is growing rapidly. Internet includes strategic capabilities that overcome geographic, time, cost and structural barriers along with business applications.
With the gradual proliferation of the internet network in India in the last decade, internet surfing is becoming the part of life of more and more Indians, laying ample opportunities for the e-retailers to woo the people with their attractive offers and innovations that may not be present in traditional commerce. Convenience, choice, options, flexible mode of payments, door delivery are few of the factors that is driving e-commerce in India. But the business environment prevailing in India is continuously offering challenges to the e-tailing firms hence they are proactively framing innovative strategies to capture more market share easily and quickly. This conceptual study aims to highlight the major challenges faced by the e-tailing industry in India and innovations being made in light of these challenges.
India’s e-commerce market was worth about $2.5 billion in 2009, it went up to $6.3 billion in 2011 and to $31 billion in 2016. According to Forrester, the e-commerce market in India is set to grow the fastest within the Asia-Pacific Region. There are 213 million active interest users visit e-commerce sites. At present India has close to 10 million online shoppers. This group is continuously growing at an estimated 30% vis-à-vis a global growth rate of 8-10%. The government’s national broadband plan of $4.5 billion, proposes to connect nearly 160 million additional internet users by the end of this year. Therefore the growth potential of e-retail is huge for both major and emerging players.
New Age of E-Commerce
Post 2007 saw many dotcom’s stepping into the Indian e-commerce market with their novel concept of virtual shopping. These included companies such aFlipkart, Infibeam, Myntra and Snapdeal. These portals managed to draw customers through their rigorous marketing efforts such as ‘deal of the day’, big billion day, discount, etc. in order to unforeseen heavy discounts. Even the major retailer are using e-retail as part of multilevel retailing in pursuit of grabbing greater market share. The forward and backward linkages of these sites in being strengthened to provide ultimate satisfaction to the customer and developing customer loyalty.
E-Commerce cruising ahead very fast –
A major growth in online shopping was witnessed since the introduction of cash on delivery (COD) and easy return options. The price was among sites also presented another feature of comparison to the customers. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc. have helped E-tailers to effectively target their customers and promoting their merchandise through individualized advertising, seeking customer feedback. Enabled the ‘value for money seeking Indian customer’ to review product characteristics and compare prices quoted on different sites. Thus, a new trend of social commerce has also come 6.5% of the total retail market, as quoted by eMarketer. According to Assocham, common items currently being sold online comprise of gift articles, electronic gadgets, railway tickets, accessories apparel and cosmetics and gemstones. In the past few years there has been an evident dip in the sales in physical stores. In near future many more companies will join the e-commerce or online retailing bandwagon with newer offerings.
Key drivers of Indian e-tailing are:
- Changing standards of living and a upwardly mobile middle class with high earning capacity and personal disposable incomes
- Increasing interest, mobile subscription and 3G penetration.
- Convenient accessibility to wider product range (including direct imports) compared to what is available at traditional and unorganized retailers
- Changing lifestyles, hectic schedules and lack of time for offline shopping
- Attractive offers, convenient home delivery.
- Increased usage of online C2C sites, with more consumer buying and selling second-hands goods.
- Evolution of the online marketplace model with sites like jabong.com, eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Infibeam. The evolution of ecommerce has come a full circle with marketplace models taking center stage again.
- Advent of mobile devices (smart-phones) e-tailing and applications (olx app, quikr app) and enabling mobile shopping.
Any person, with the kind of technology available, can order any commodity from almost anywhere from two altogether different locations viz a customer from Pune can buy Play Station 4 Games not released in India yet from US through ibhejo.com.
Making the concept “GEOGRAPHY IS NOW HISTORY” a reality.
What has actually made this concept possible ??
Extraordinary Supply Chain Management & Innovative logistics.
Organizations are streamlining the logistics for their e-commerce portals to thrive. Flipkart and Amazon have come up with several delivery schemes. Amazon has filed patent for an anticipatory delivery model, where it aims to dispatch a product to a customer even before he has ordered it, thus decrease shipping time. Hardly one-year-old furniture and home décor site FabFurnish.com gets 75,000 hits every day, which it owes to three priorities: widest assortment, unbeatable prices, and the best delivery experience for customers. To ensure the triplet fall into place they have set up distributed warehousing that helps in delivering customers as fast as possible.
In August 2013 Myntra.com, came up with distribution strategy that within an hour of placing the order, the product ordered would be delivered to customers in Bangalore and Delhi locations. Similarly, Flipkart, had launched the same-day delivery across all categories in 10 major cities of the country. The importance of customer service, especially in last-mile delivery, is apparent as the Bangalore-based online market place has launched three new services in April. On reaching the milestone of annual sales of $1 billion (over Rs 6,000 crore) in March, has introduced deliveries on Sundays in 10 cities when a customer places an order on Saturday.
Geography is slowly and steadily becoming history due to the advent of E-Commerce, high speed internet connectivity, technology in the hands of everyone at affordable rates, foolproof supply chain management and better logistics coordination.
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