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April - 2015 - issue > CEO View point

Indian e-Commerce Industry: The Way Forward

By PeyushBansal, CEO and Founder, Lenskart.com
Thursday, April 9, 2015
By PeyushBansal, CEO and Founder, Lenskart.com
An online portal for Indian eyewear, the New Delhi based Lenskart was founded in 2010.

Indian e-Commerce is a case study in product and marketing success. 2014 was the watershed year for the industry when people stopped questioning its survival, scale and ability to become a mainstream retail channel. In 2015, the industry is expected to grow at a whopping 37 percent and is estimated to hit $20 billion. These figures lay bare the immense potential that the segment holds in the country.

It may be too early for e-tailers in India to think of large-scale global ambitions and also, perhaps unwise at a stage where much opportunity remains to be tapped within India itself. In fact, several giant global companies are convinced that the next big fertile investing ground is Indian e-Commerce. From exploring newer geographies and innovative digital platforms to elevating shopping experiences to unprecedented levels, the Indian e-Commerce industry has exciting times ahead of it.

A recent case study published by an online retail entity shows that contrary to popular perception, Indian e-retail is now being driven by tier II and III cities as opposed to metropolises. Over 1,200 rural hubs have shown great propensity to transact online and that too for significant value. Several experts have previously highlighted that online retail is gaining traction in every nook and cranny of the country thanks to internet connectivity through mobile phones. There is a large user base in rural and semi-rural areas that may not have access to PCs and desktops but do have internet on their phones. This mix of newer demographics and the emergence of mobile commerce as the hotbed of transactions will prove to be a big game changer this year.

Smartphones have already caused a paradigm change in the way India shops virtually. In the coming months, however, mobile will emerge as the most potent and indispensable medium for brands to reach out to their target markets and create the desire to buy. Eye-popping discounts on mobile apps are the most obvious demonstration ofhowtop online retail players are gunning for user attention through this platform. Every marketer is targetting maximum downloads and transactions via mobile apps. Besides being able to foster a 24X7 connection with consumers, mobile apps also enlist greater brand loyalty thanks to a more personalised and contextual user experience.

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