March - 2014 - issue > CEO Viewpoint

New Technologies to Change the Future of e-Commerce

Pranay Chulet
CEO & Founder-Quikr.com
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Pranay Chulet
Quikr is a horizontal classifieds in India and was founded in 2008. The Mumbai based company has raised around $46 million in various rounds of funding from Norwest Venture Partners, Nokia Growth Partners, eBay and others.

Although e-Commerce as a concept has been around in India for over a decade, the entire ecosystem has come around to support its growth in the last five years or so. Enjoying consistent CAGR of about 50 percent in the last five years, in its 'second wave', the e-Commerce industry seems to be emerging on solid footing and allaying fears of a meltdown amongst many skeptics. The credit goes in part to large scale changes such as consumer attitudes and spending patterns, infrastructure availability and in generous measure to the players who have constantly innovated and adapted, thus riding the wave. Yes, e-Commerce is here to stay.

Mobile Internet - Closing the Gap between Rural and Urban Consumption
According to a 2013 report by Avendus, the penetration of mobile Internet in India is driven by three key factors: access devices at the right cost, availability of affordable data connectivity options and a compelling reason for users to adopt the technology, such as e-Commerce. The gap between the consumption pattern of rural and urban India is slowly becoming narrower. The rural population is now leading a more aspirational life. In rural areas, internet usage reached 68 million in October 2013 and was estimated to have crossed 72 million by the end of year 2013, as stated by a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International. For a lot of rural consumers, their mobile would be their only screen to the internet. With the arrival of smart phones in rural areas, increased internet penetration has created numerous opportunities for e-Commerce players in the Indian market.

Reaching the Offline Audience for an Online Experience
Since e-Commerce companies are interested in leveraging m-Commerce in the Indian market, companies have developed unique ways to reach out to potential customers. While consumer engagement over mobile devices could be as simple as SMS marketing or advertising on online market places, some companies have become innovative by introducing services like missed call. Users simply give a missed call to a highly publicized number, and they would be called back by the company�s customer care team to take down the details of the ad and post it on the platform on behalf of these users. This approach has reached millions of users across the country. In India, where technology is at a nascent stage and many people are still learning about the internet, local understanding and innovation can go a long way towards combating computer illiteracy.

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