Here is our 4th part of the “Retail Week Series” and today, we show you the increasing transition of retailers to online channels for sale. The article would be of immense help to all retailers, eCommerce firms, technology players and budding entrepreneurs in running a successful Retail business.
With online platforms becoming an extremely important part of how customers shop, offline retailers are fast realizing they need to reach out to the digital-savvy customers.
Offline to Online Saga
Companies like Abof, Tata CLiQ, Croma Retail, Shoppers’ Stop, Next Retail, Puma, Lenovo, HP, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle ( with brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Peter England and People) etc have already launched their dedicated ecommerce stores in India. In addition, giants like Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh are expected to come up with dedicated channels for consumers for shopping online in coming few months. The enhanced focus on online retail from these companies is not only expected to be an additional brand recall point for the consumer but also to open an additional revenue channel. For instance, fashion retailer Shoppers Stop is expecting 15 per cent revenue through its digital touch points by 2020.
Online Retail, Crucial for the Resumption of Growth
In order to optimize processes and reduce costs for retailers, an important part of the retail market is online retail. To have an idea of the size of this market, according to the eTailing India, the eCommerce revenue will surpass $120 billion mark by 2020. The online retail is ceasing to be a niche market and becoming more a kind of a mass market. However, according to emarketer, there is still a lot of room for growth, since retail e-commerce in India represents only around 2.5% of total retail sales in 2016. In this year of demonetization crisis, contrary to what one can assume, e-commerce should serve as a good replacement of some traditional models because it is more convenient, comparative, effective and often cheaper.
Factors Pushing Online Growth
- Digital Payment
Digital payments will grow 10 times to reach $500 billion by 2020 and contribute 15% of gross domestic product. With more inclusion of cashless transactions, online shopping is bound to mushroom.
- Tech Boost
The huge retail market size will be achieved with support from technologies like cloud analytics, predictive analytics and business intelligence that are rapidly penetrating the enterprise sector. Stores now have the technology to set up their online presence in just few clicks.O2O startups also help businesses deal with excess supply by finding potential customers close to them.
- Customer’s Changing Shopping Perspective
With consumers no longer thinking in channels, physical stores can continue to contribute to the success of a retailer’s online offer and vice versa. With an enhanced focus on this medium, companies are expected to benefit from the rising consumer acceptability towards online retail. In fact, a large number of brick and mortar retailers are expected to transform into omni-channel retailers to adapt to the changing times.
- Growth in Mobile Users Push Retail Online
The year 2016 has witnessed mobile power like never before, and its only getting better. All most all E-commerce marketplaces have launched Lite’ m-sites, mobile & app shopping as India’s internet users base has increased by 49% and continues to rise in a dynamic fashion.
The age of internet enabled smart devices has taken over the sub-continent; there will be a handful of trends that will shape the mobile market in the year 2016. The foundation of these trends has been laid such that it will add to the power and growth of online retail ecosystem.
India Growth Story
In the next 15 years India will see more people come online than any other country. Last year e-commerce sales were about $16 billion; by 2020, according to Morgan Stanley, a bank, the online retail market could be more than seven times larger. Such sales are expected to grow faster in India than in any other market. This has attracted a flood of investment in e-commerce firms, the impact of which may go far beyond just displacing offline retail.
Comparison with China
Alibaba is now building service centres in remote areas where shoppers can order, pick up and sell goods, as well as pay their bills. It is a further step in its attempts not merely to benefit from the growth in Chinese consumption, but to shape and accelerate it. The degree to which it has succeeded suggests that the earlier an e-commerce company arrives in a country’s development, the wider its role might be. Similarly, Flipkart, Amazon and other etailers have bolstered their logistics services to reach the remote areas of the country.
This is just the beginning of the online shopping revolution. There will be plenty more surprises, and many of them will come to India’s click-happy consumers first. People shopping online have increased rapidly across the globe. Of late, brick and mortar players have been feeling the pinch of losing customers to online ones. With the online space a hit, many retailers are vying with the idea to make discover offline stores in to wider online audience.