Revolutionary Growth of E-Commerce

The e-commerce industry is a force that no investor can afford to ignore.

_ Cushla Sherlock (Corporate Communications, Credit-Suisse)

 

Over time, technology has deeply integrated into our lives. It has turned out to be an integral part of our social life, political beliefs, cultural habits, and aspect of our life we could think. It has made our lives simple and that’s why we take it for granted. In the last 10 years, one great result of technology i.e. e-commerce has managed to bring revolutionary changes in the way we shop and how we make decisions about spending our money. E-commerce, which has changed the picture of India historically in just a decade, becomes important we take a deep look at its past, present, and future.

 

What is E-commerce?

Often confused with e-business, e-commerce is nothing but buying and selling of goods/services using the internet, which also includes transferring data and money required for such transactions. E-business refers to all aspects of a business, that is promotion, advertisement, creation of a website, and a lot of things for maintaining a business, e-commerce is just a pie of the whole cake.

Where did it come from?

 

August 12, 1994, the New York Times titled its news “Internet is Open” and published the details of the first-ever transaction over the internet. A sting CD was sold over the internet between two friends through the website NetMarket, an American retail platform. Data encryption software was also used for data privacy.

 

How did it make its way to India?

Credit goes to the workhorse of our nation, Indian Railways. In 2002, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) came up with an online ticket booking/ reservation system which made the public realize the importance of the internet. Until then, it wasn’t considered a fruitful or necessary thing to have. E-commerce gained momentum with a startup idea of two IIT Delhi graduates, who decided to sell books online from their apartment. Later their ‘Flipkart’ became a popular idea among many Indians and today we can see Walmart entered India by buying Flipkart. Amazon too made its way and is facing tough competition now.

 

But the entry of Flipkart was still not a very strong booster of E- eCommerce. It was the entry of Ambani’s Reliance Jio which pushed telecom companies to slash internet and calling prices. Consumption of the internet exploded and became more accessible than ever. IT was true empowerment and led to the evolution of e-commerce in India in its true sense.

 

What future holds for e-commerce?

 

Many things!

Ever-increasing consumption of smartphones: You can already see the shift from desktops and laptops to tablets, phablets, and mobiles. Many online shopping platforms, banks, e-wallets are creating convenient and easy-to-use apps so that no one changes their decision to buy a certain product due to e-commerce. We can say, we are going to see a shift from e-commerce to m-commerce shortly.

 

Lives integrated with social media: We spend a significant amount of our day on social media. Many brands are making their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and tik-tok pages to promote their products and sell them through these platforms. Many users of these platforms agree that they log in to their accounts to see new shopping and dressing ideas so that they could stay in the fashion league. Take an example of clothing brand BeYoung. Along with lots of products available on their website, they show different ways of styling their products so that you never miss anything about your clothing choices. Social media influencers are being used to promote their brand and spread the word so that e-commerce traffic from their platform grows.

 

Introducing many payment options: Shopping increased manifolds in India when ‘cash on delivery’ was introduced. It was clearly understood that many people do not hold an active credit/debit card and people have skepticism about overpaying online. Now that push towards digitization and the cashless transaction has increased, e-wallets, payment banks, and small finance banks are mushrooming. An e-commerce website which provides enables payment from maximum payment options would be preferred over a platform that provides lesser options, even if the latter has listed its products cheaper than the earlier one.

 

Health concerns: The pandemic induced lockdowns increased e-commerce, because of much needed physical distancing required to counter the pandemic. People sitting at home have fewer options to spend and feel the newness and so they resort to buying online. Even though the condition is getting better and people are starting to get more active, the importance of e-commerce has marketed its importance and health consciousness is going to trigger more use of it. We can only hope another pandemic never hits the world, but scientists agree that epidemics and pandemics are going to be more frequent in the future. So, shopping while sitting at home becomes important as well.

 

Summary: This article mentioned the past and present condition of e-commerce and how some factors in the future are going to bring revolutionary growth in E-commerce.

Conclusion: Knowledge of E-commerce is a must-have for all existing and aspiring business houses and entrepreneurs for better reach of their product/service in the market.

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