Retailigence

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Online Retail Trends

Posted by retailigence on February 11, 2012

The increase in the number online shoppers has taken the industry analysts by surprise. Traditionally online shopping was done more for travelling, but with the passage of time, the scope of online has considerably widened. Nowadays, be it music to electronic products, perfumes to razors, undergarments to suits, a provision is there to shop for all these products online.

The benefits of online shopping far outweigh the cons. The main advantage has been that with the passage of time, online transactions have become more secure. Online shopping sites have done extensive sales promotion activity which has resulted in an overall increase in shoppers. One can find product like underwear, lens, hukka etc etc on internet very easily. The websites are highly interactive and user friendly such that now it is much easier working through a website rather than negotiating with the salesman. One added advantage of online shopping is that you do not need to find any parking space for your car in the virtual world.

One thing which is of vital importance is that the concept of online retailing is fast catching up in rural India. It should not be forgotten that nearly 65% of the Indian population resides in villages. Another thing is that people who are into online shopping are highly brand conscious. And as the phenomenon of online retailing is growing, more and more companies are looking to hire which translates into more employment opportunities. Across border buying is on the rise in recent times. The unmarried person is always more keen to experiment with technology and in India the marriage age is continuously getting delayed. These two facts taken together encourage the online shopping trends. This is one main reason why hordes of online shopping sites which have come up recently. The Indians love discounts and keeping this in mind some sites have started offering collective decision making and collective buying, which results in bigger discounts for customers. Companies need to spend heavily on infrastructure to keep pace with the changing trends. As the industry is still on its growth trajectory, large scale consolidations are still not on the horizon.

In a world where it is generally believed that women are more involved in shopping than men, it is surprising to note that more number of men are hooked to online shopping than females. And treating this to be of vital importance various websites like Menzkart.com have come up which addresses primarily the needs of men. Keeping the online shopping trends in mind, every major company, be it Jockey, Calvin Klein or Gillette is trying its best to make its online presence felt.

There are two very interesting facts which need to be mentioned here:

1. Nearly half of the online users depend heavily on social networking sites to make their online purchase decision and

2. A portion of the users spend nearly 1/10th of the monthly income on making an online purchase every month.

With the advent of broadband connections and internet penetration the number of users has increased geometrically and this will create an opportunity to have big user base and they will make online retailing a big market. This sector will experience a big boom in coming years and it has been predicted that online retail business will be the biggest threat to traditional retail other than FDI.

E-tailers or online retailers in turn have two major advantages when we talk of online shopping:

1. It helps in mass customization and

2. It helps in niche marketing.

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Future Prospects of E-Commerce in India

Posted by retailigence on February 10, 2012

The real challenge to an average retailer in India is not from FDI, but from E-Commerce sites like flipkart.com, snapdeal.com, eazybuy.com, menzkart.com. The various growth drivers for e-commerce in India are busy lifestyles, increasing disposable income, lower prices available at online stores as they save on distribution and elimination of set up costs of physical entities. This in itself is sufficient to provide a push for online shopping. Another main factor encouraging e-commerce is that the people are now comfortable using credit cards on the internet. And mobile has truly come out to have multi functional benefits. It is now very easy to use mobile phone for activities other than casual talks and message forwarding. Electronic flow of information has increased manifold.

A few points which speak in favor of e-commerce are:

1. Marketing is very important and it is generally believed that online people are easier to target. The savings in marketing costs can be passed on and prices can be reduced.

2. Now it is actually possible to get a product at less than what the manufacturer is selling it for.

3. FDI will help improving the efficiency in supply chain.

4. FDI will also help in boosting the confidence levels of the customers in which foreign players will play an important role.

5. The industry is still in the growth phase so profit margins are still likely to be high. The B2C e commerce is likely to be the main engine driving growth in the immediate future.

6. Spontaneous activity has reduced considerably and consumers now try to make better use of the time spent online.

7. Facebook has touched nearly 45 million in India and we are still not talking of the mobile phone users.

8. Websites are starting to come up in local languages which will help increase the penetration level.

Jockey Fashion Trunk Online shopping is still in the growing stages and has still touched only a few sectors like automobiles, stocks and shares, real estate, travel and tourism, gifts, hobbies, matrimony and employment. Even some websites sells products like men underwear, lens etc. The reason for the numbers not being as large as the businesses wish it to be is the lack of certain key elements in the existing business models. So there is a scope of improvement in this area.

             The main reasons responsible for this sudden growth of e-commerce in India are the emergence of blogs as a means for the information dissemination, bigger web presence of SMEs and corporate because of low marketing and infrastructural costs, a safe and secure business environment due to improved fraud prevention technologies, and most importantly the youth finds online transactions to be easier.

            There is  no doubt that the cost of running an e commerce  is still high but with a billion and counting population which is slowing being hooked up to the e-commerce the growth potential is too significant to be easily ignored. The existing users count more than the users who have recently joined. India can become industrialized and modernized if it can extensively apply IT to enhance productivity and international competitiveness, develop eCommerce and e-governance applications.

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