India has seen a great change in the way retail sector has operated over a period of time. With increase in organised retailing in India, the growthis seen from small time kirana stores to departmental stores to super markets to hypermarkets to shopping malls.
This retail boom has given enough boost to the real estate sector as well with new projects taking shape for malls/shopping space/recreation & entertainment across all major cities in the country. Its direct impact was in creation of more job opportunities in this sector.
However, there is still huge potential to be tapped in terms of increasing the footfalls into outlets and most importantly, converting them into actual sales resulting in revenues for the retailers. Despite the average footfalls in malls are far higher during the weekends, not everyone ends up contributing in ringing the cashbox all the time. Of course, couple of players are coming out with some offers or discounts on the weekdays to attract customers. Yet, there is a huge market potential to be tapped by making it even easier for the buyers to access products in terms of choosing the relevant and appropriate offers/discounts/rebates,at the same time benefiting retailers to manage their business better throughout.
Another perspective reveals that the consumer base has opened up a lot for e-commerce B2C space – to the likes of Flipkart, Amazon,Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong, Yepme etc. The new facets of retailing are online shopping and mobile shopping which are evolving and catching the imagination of consumer base in general at large and at a very faster rate.
On the other hand, ecommerce comes with its own drawbacks. Physical shopping is advantageous if customer wants to check products physically before buying them. If seller is fine, they can even try them, before the actual purchase, which is not the case always with the online shopping. Also, there have been attempts of online identity thefts while making an online purchase. Some section of the society is still sceptical about ecommerce for the same reason.
The fact is that the future of retailing is mobile internet shopping. Online shopping platforms are offering a wider range of products to select from, better prices and access to more information about the product with few online reviews of existing users, driving their buying decision.
Indian e-commerce market, which stood at $2.5 billion in 2009, reached $8.5 billion in 2012 and rose 88% to touch $16 billion in 2013. One of the surveysconducted by Assochamestimates our country’s e-commerce market to reach $56 billion by 2023, driven by rising online retail1.
In one of the studies by Fitch about the trends in retail and consumer behaviour, it talks about a new behaviour; that shoppers are increasingly not prepared to wait. They have a world of digital choices at their fingertips and want to conveniently locate and explore products and services whenever and wherever they happen to be. This trend in behaviour is mainly owing to handy availability of smartphones and its possibilities. This augments convenience with seamless connectivity providing instant information about the product. The technology also brings in another possibility of showing up time and place specific promotions to its potential buyers/consumers2.
With the advent of technology, retailers should intensely study the buying behaviours of the population across demographics age groups and genders, when it is specific to mobile shopping. The online marketers must envisage and learn to cater to needs of their target gender by optimising the digital experience. The key here is to convert site visits to actual sales online, by putting considerable efforts to understand what motivates the buyers actually. Engaging them in more interactions with target demographics will help drive conversions, improving both user experience and sales.1http://tinyurl.com/lzjqqxe 2 http://tinyurl.com/mke3nny