Source: ETRetail.com, Dec 07, 2016
Indian e-commerce in 2016 could be described as uncertain from a funding environment, dynamic from a competitor perspective and beneficial from a shopper perspective. 2017 will be no different. The Indian online shopper will continue to demand continuous and better shopping experience.
Here are some key things that will emerge:
1.Loyalty will be Prime
Amazon launched Prime in 2016. Amazon Prime, and customer loyalty programs by Flipkart and Snapdeal are likely to spur the need to retain and grow key customers. Notably, loyalty programs will not just be aimed at enhancing customer experience, but also at rewarding sellers.
2.Rise of private labels
To deal with intense price competition, retailers will start ramping up their private label strategy. And this will be seen across categories.
3.Our cost will be our margin
A few years ago, Jeff Bezos famously said, ‘Your margin is my opportunity’. Bezos’ widely quoted adage is likely to be relevant to retailers in 2017, but in a different way. That is, retailers will be pushing their cost down to drive margin.
4.E-Payments, GST and disruption
Thanks to cashless moves by the Government, digital wallet companies are laughing all the way to the bank. In 2017, more and more consumers are likely to use online or mobile wallets to make purchases. Talking of Government, GST will be implemented and is likely to be beneficial for E-commerce, but it will call for intense preparations to comply with its regulations.
5.’Geek’s will be popular
There may be a rise in usage of apps such as AliExpress and Geek which offer lower priced Chinese products, though, with longer delivery duration.
6.Horizontal format E-commerce will dominate
Currently, the Indian E-commerce market is dominated by Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. There is a likelihood of further consolidation or investments in these firms. As for specialty retailers and start-ups, they will continue to see a spate of acquisitions or decline in funding. However, there will be funding in key niches.
7.Digital will be non-negotiable
When it comes to manufacturers, Channel Managers will need to move beyond lip service. To be relevant to shoppers, manufacturers will have no choice but to accelerate their digital journey. This would include using data-driven methods to understand the E-commerce landscape, and take continuous actions to be relevant to their channel and consumer.
8.AI, Bots may not see significant deployment
While Artificial Intelligence and Bots are currently gathering a lot of media attention, they may be considered but are unlikely to see adoption in the E-commerce space in 2017.
In 2017, Indian e-commerce will see a better version of itself. It’ll have more users, drive better experiences and, probably, get to a sustainable business model.