E-commerce players use innovative strategies to woo customers

by Sohini Bagchi    Aug 16, 2013


Online shopping is finally overtaking conventional buying in India this year as e-commerce companies are desperately wooing customers with innovative deals. According to a report by industry body Assocham, there has been a 65% increase in online shopping from last year. Experts believe e-commerce players are revolutionizing the experience of shopping online by using creative marketing campaigns as well as by levering emerging technologies such as social, mobile and analytics.

online retailing on the rise

“With the rise of online retail websites, shopping on ground has clearly taken a back seat,” mentions Assocham general secretary D S Rawat said in a statement. According to him, apart from convenience, rising fuel price, security reasons, online discounts and availability with abundance of choice is keeping customers hooked to the internet.

The online shopping market is currently pegged at Rs 52,000 Crore and is growing at 100% year-on-year. at present, Delhi leads the race in shopping on the internet, followed by Mumbai and Ahmedabad, finds the report. In the capital city alone, 62% preferred to shop online, while 30% went to traditional markets like Sarojini Nagar, Karol Bagh, Paharganj, Sadar Bazar and Chandni Chowk.

Innovative campaigns and practices

Innovation is certainly the name of the game in the online retailing business. “In the past one and a half years, transactions online have increased tremendously, while physical stores are unable to compete on the price, speed and quality of customer service with online retailers,” says Gaurav Issar, Co-Founder of JewelsNext, a Delhi based online jewelry company that has adopted a marketplace model.

Myntra.com, for instance, recently announced that within an hour of placing the order, it will deliver the product to customers in Bangalore and Delhi locations. “This is obviously a sensible option for consumers who go through the tiring and cumbersome process of commuting to their respective shopping destination – which takes almost the entire day,” says Ganesh Subramanian, COO, Myntra.  He believes that the one-hour delivery initiative is one such innovation that will, in the future, change the way people perceive online shopping. Subramanian believes the operation became a reality, due to the company’s real-time, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, warehouse management system and streamlined processes which has helped them in building a solid framework for effective logistics and deliveries.

Issar too believes a lot of technology innovation goes behind the success of any online retailing model. He  informs that his company JewelsNext plans to make strategic investments in the areas of social engagement, mobile technologies and analytics to serve customers more effectively in the next few months. “Security as an issue with online retailing is also largely been addressed, especially in the marketplace model of e-commerce and customers are showing an increased preference for this type of model,” says Issar.

A bright future

Assocham notices common items currently being sold online comprise of gift articles, electronic gadgets, railway tickets, accessories apparel and cosmetics and gemstones and experts are clearly noticing a  dip in the sales in physical stores. Going forward, many more companies will join the e-commerce or online retailing bandwagon with newer offerings.

Rawat believes India has more than 150 million internet users, out of whom nearly 50% opt for online purchases at present. Interestingly, the number is growing every year, and this is even more prominent during festival times. The non-resident Indians also shop more actively from online retailers. And these are positive indications for e-commerce companies that are constantly looking to offer an unmatched shopping experience to their customers.