Experts: E-commerce Report (April 2019)

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Kushal Nahata

Co-Founder & CEO, Robotic Wares Pvt. Ltd. (FarEye)

“E-commerce is undergoing rapid transformation. What was once a good-to-have product has now become a must- have.Delivering quickly and efficiently as well as same-day delivery will soon become the norm and due to this e-commercebusinesses will be rigorously competing on the basis of their ability to deliver fast and with no added costs. According tostudies 56 per cent of online buyers between the ages 18-34 expect same-day delivery and 49 per cent of shoppers saythat same-day delivery makes them buy more online. In the near future it will be noticed that e-commerce businesses willshift focus more towards customer engagement to be able to differentiate their services from competitors.Balancing customer experience and keeping costs under control is a significant challenge that exists today in thee-commerce industry as well as understanding what exactly a customer wants. With technologies like natural languageprocessing machine learning and artificial intelligence becoming more available e-commerce organizations can buildbetter business models based on customer buying behaviour predictive intelligence and insights from recommendationengines.While speaking about the untapped potential in the e-commerce space internet penetration in rural India will be as high as 45per cent in 2021 compared to the present figure of 18 per cent which translates into a 10 billion to 12 billion e-commercepotential. Another significant development in the e-commerce space will be the growing importance of reverse logistics.In the US alone statistics highlight that returns deliveries will cost 550 billion by 2020 75.2 per cent more than four yearsprior and reducing such costs can boost e-commerce businesses.”

Rochelle D\'Souza

Principal, Lighthouse Advisors India Pvt. Ltd.

“There has been a lot of sub sectors in the unorganized space and a lot of them are now movingtowards the organized sector. The penetration levels have been very low and we are at a pointwhere we are trying to get consumers into the organized consumption sector.E-commerce must be viewed as a channel for the consumer to consume for example groceries.People are still buying their groceries from the local vegetable sellers or wholesalers but havealso started going into supermarkets and modern trade. Modern trade penetration in retail itself isvery low. When you put the e-commerce channel on top of it it just adds another level to increaseconsumption.Similarly if apparel retail is considered players like V2 Retail FBB V-Mart are opening stores intier 2-4 towns. Retailers are looking at omni-channels to reach out to a larger consumer pool andenhance overall shopping experience.A lot of consumption categories are moving online anything that offers convenience has minimaltouch point and are standardized will see a faster shift to online. For instance - groceries are aminimal touch categories because the consumers do not want to spend too much time in themarket to buy them.”

Zorawar Kalra

Founder and Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. (Farzi Cafe, PA PA YA)

“India is the fastest growing market for the e-commerce sector. With the increasingawareness and spending power todays consumer is adding to this e-comm growth.With major investments coming into the country and the government launching variousinitiatives the future for E-comm in India is on a rising scale. Especially with onlinepayments there is a huge change in the way the consumer today shops pays utility billsand even more so in the eating out pattern. With various online portals ordering food ischilds play these days. Consumers have a massive variety of restaurants to choose fromand can enjoy their favourite cuisine or dish sitting out of the comfort of their homesor offices. This trend is making the food industry expand in various ways. Having saidthe same I personally feel it is the responsibility of the restaurant to ensure that thebest quality of food and delivery is provided to online orders equivalent to what a guestwould experience at the restaurant. Yes the ambience and the experience of eating at therestaurant is different and unmatchable. With todays growing demand for more fromthe consumer I personally feel that e-commerce has been a boon to both the consumerand the provider.”

Ankur Goyal

Founder & CEO, Merhaki Foods & Nutrition Pvt. Ltd. (&Me)

“Not all consumer products work. Only online does not work.Consumer brands in this era can only succeed if they harness the power of both digitaland offline. There is a concept in tech called Product-Market fit where one can iteratethe product multiple times test it with consumers and then check which product isbest suited for consumers and the market before launching a final version.Although this concept is equally true for consumer brands earlier it was very difficultto implement due to long feedback cycles. But with e-commerce and digital this cyclehas reduced significantly. An online presence thus help 2-fold1.Perfect the product by reiterating it multiple times2.Perfect the messaging by running AB test with multiple keywords and showcasing tothe consumers.Additionally even though the channel is very expensive for low value product it helpsgenerate trials cheap and fast.”