July 17, 2020
Worldwide e-commerce sales topped $3.5 trillion USD, an increase of approximately 18% from the year before. Ecommerce is expected to nearly double by 2023 to more than $6.5 billion. – Shopify
Their combined market share was 90% in terms of merchandise volume, with Flipkart leading at 60-62% and Amazon India coming in at 28-30%. – Business insider
As you are reading this thousands of orders are being placed on various online e-commerce platforms. A few clicks and almost 2 billion searchers of products and services around the world are set to receive their orders in a couple of days.
Coronavirus situation has slackened the growth of almost all sectors, except for online retail. More and more buyers are hoping to save time in going out and handling cash/cards for making a purchase.
Over the years, the eCommerce industry has grown huge with great innovations and development. Recently Reliance Jio led by Anil Ambani has launched “Jio Mart” which has revolutionized eCommerce space. It brings all the small Kirana stores under one digital roof. Small companies like Flipkart and Myntra have achieved success and have become towering giants in a booming market, ready to lock horns with their global competitors like Amazon and eBay.
Amidst success stories, there are also some striking failures that can be attributed to the inability to move in step with innovation and variety in product offerings. The best example is Snapdeal which failed in 2017 due to poor service quality, marketing missteps, and inability to innovate in tandem with the industry growth.
End of e-Commerce mushrooms?
Ecommerce has come a long way since its inception. There are numerous factors that affect business growth. The Indian government has been supporting small businesses to go digital and increase their customer reach. The number of internet users is growing rapidly. The smartphones are now available at throwaway prices, internet plans are really cheap. But, due to the industry competition with the market whales like Amazon, these eCommerce mushrooms which pop out overnight have to face a lot of competition.
Moreover, because of the pandemic and limited movements, managing various aspects like invoicing, shipping, delivery, and returns is difficult and is riddled with several unseen and contingent factors. E-Commerce companies will have to go out of their way to provide their customers with the best services, despite the hurdles. Apart from the pandemic issues, advertisement, and marketing have become expensive, especially in these hard times.
Check out our similar blog on the Education sector future: pre and post-COVID analysis.
Future of E-Commerce
The Indian government is trying hard with digital India campaigns to provide the best online infrastructure and investments. The results are showing up as we see a lot of small internet-based startups coming up but its a long way towards glory, and capital funding, for these mushrooming startups. Below are the 3 most essential trends that you might observe in the future eCommerce industry. Any eCommerce startup with these doing might give a hit in the market with precise executions:
- Innovation: Its the key to surviving in such a competitive market. Users need the best and simple UI with ad-free content. Of-course Ads are one of the ways to earn but the whole advertisement thing needs to be changed and the content should be worth watching.
- Investment: Being a mushroom in the forest won’t work. They need to amplify the business and reach. Investment is a powerful factor to increase marketing, advertisement, and operations. And if it’s coming from a foreign investor then your product really does have the potential to fight with a market giant.
- AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning: Data is of high importance in every industry. Your customers, suppliers, and competitors behave differently. And this data helps in planning your operations. Amazon in the west and Alibaba in the east are based on data-driven sales. Whereas, machine learning or AI, can help grow your Ad-system. It shows customers what they actually want to see. “Getting hooked-up” is what it does.
This may seem like a perfect time to start an e-Commerce startup as more and more people have started accepting the new normal of shopping in the comfort of their homes. However, any fledgling company should be aware of the uncertainties and lack of innovative capabilities that could hamper their growth.