The E commerce market in India is booming with leaps and bounces. In a country where about 20% of the population is connected through internet, the e market has been successful in targeting majority of urban middle class people. Statistics shows that about 50% of the people who consume e retail belong to small towns while the other half to metros.
In today’s fast paced world, where people do not have time to spend with their family, it becomes extremely difficult to book hotels, tickets, recharge or shop in a day’s holiday. This is where e commerce has become a boon for busy lives where within the comfort of home, one can complete all the work within a click. Moreover, the wide variety and deals have spoilt the consumer for choice.
Major players in Indian e commerce industry are Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon which have become a big threat to traditional retail stores. Not only they sell products at throw away prices, but their added functions of replacing products and stating wishlist and free home delivery have put the customers to ease. According to the reports from Internet and Mobile Association of India, in 2014 there were 120 million Smartphone users in the country and it is expected that this number will increase to 380 million in 2016. As the number of Smartphone users are increasing at a fast pace, these e retail giants have shifted their focus towards their app based users, seeing the increase in app usage in the past few years. These web portals have impressed the consumer market with a wide range of variety and where they lack, sites like olx, ebay and quicker have taken hold on selling second hand products and items not available on retail sites. Right from offering for God to a milk giving buffalo; houses to sexual wellness product, everything can be sold and bought online today. The World Wide Web has put an end to all the barriers once a human imagined.
It’s not necessary that the new products seen online can be fooling as the smart Indian can always check for product review on their smartphone. This is where the e retail portals give the consumer an opportunity to express their opinion, thus helping others in taking decision. This is a transparency in e commerce where the grudge of the customer isn’t hidden and satisfaction isn’t overrated. Moreover, by comparing the rates and offer, consumer can always make a smart choice. A hotel comparing site is Trivago where customer can easily buy the same room at cheapest fare. Travel has been the key driver of ecommerce regardless of which market it look at be it India, Brazil, etc. It is the largest category in India, followed by electronics and apparel.
As more and more people have started trusting e commerce, the digital system payment has seen an increase while cash on delivery (COD) is reducing. This is probably because of the ease in payment system. Also with the increase in order values, there is an uptick of EMI payments. Seeing the scenario, RBI and Accel reports state that till 2016, half of Indian population will have a debit card.
Not only the rising e commerce industry is useful for the consumer, but it is generating jobs also. It is estimated that in the next 2-3 years, the industry will generate around 50,000 jobs. . Flipkart alone announced in March this year that it will generate around 20 lakh jobs in 2015. The Bangalore based firm expects 60% of its employment to be generated in logistics and warehousing sector.
Where on one hand, it expects to generate employment, the fact also lies that this industry is posing a big threat to traditional retail market. Learning internet is not a big deal today, especially when one owns a Smartphone. In such a scenario, in the coming years if even 50% of the population starts depending on e commerce, the traditional retailers will be uprooted from their business. There is still a section of society which does not prefer buying clothes online because of the lack of ‘touch factor’. But when this lack will be covered in near future, shop owners will face a kick on their livelihood. In order to maintain the balance, it is but necessary that the employment generated in e commerce should be in accordance with the effected people. While people are busy opposing FDI in retail, it can be possible that Indian e- commerce might pose traditional retail’s nemesis.