Today, internet offers a tremendous opportunity for businesses that follow “Brick and Mortar” model. Utilizing the web gives your business a power and scope that no physical retail outlets can match. With greater exposure to internet, consumers are now able to review, compare & order products online, anywhere and anytime, due to which ecommerce is growing at a fast pace.
Today’s digital revolution involving the Internet and worldwide use of websites has set the stage for e-commerce. This digital revolution is leading countries towards an “information society”.
In simple terms, ‘ecommerce’ or ‘electronic commerce’ means buying and selling of goods or services on the Internet. Ecommerce includes commercial transactions in which the order is placed electronically and the goods or services are delivered in tangible form. E-commerce is built on the structures of traditional commerce by adding the flexibility offered by electronic networks. This facilitates improvement in operations leading to substantial cost savings as well as increasing competitiveness and efficiency through the redesigning of traditional business.
Scope of Ecommerce in India
To talk about India’s ecommerce industry, it is showing rapid growth as both buyers & sellers are adopting the online trading channel. The online community is growing by leaps and bounds as an increasing number of consumers have started transacting online because the initial fears and apprehensions are being laid to rest.
Several factors responsible for the tremendous growth of Ecommerce in India include:
- Large Internet user base
- Latest Technology has bridged the gap between online buyers & sellers
- Emergence of social media marketing which allows you to stay connected with customers
- Improved fraud prevention technologies that offer a safe & secure business environment
- Increased web presence of corporate world because of lower marketing & infrastructure costs
- The youth of the country finds online transactions much easier & convenient
- Availability of user friendly ecommerce platforms by companies like Pro ITPULP, Shopify, Vendio etc
- Wider customer reach as consumers in Tier II & Tier III cities are realizing the potential of internet as a transacting medium
From the above mentioned factors behind the growth of ecommerce in India, availability of platforms by the well known companies like Pro ITPULP, Shopify, Vendio etc has played an important role in assisting the store owners in a lot many ways like:
Vendio: Vendio provides the leading multichannel e-commerce platform to sell products across the Internet’s top marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon. Vendio helps businesses succeed by offering them the solution they need to seamlessly and cost effectively manage their online sales. This Platform also provides sellers with the marketing and analytics tools including email marketing, comparison of shopping engines, search engine marketing etc.
Pro ITPULP: Having spent almost two years of tremendous research & analysis, Pro ITPULP has launched a new ecommerce platform to help the SMEs, go offline to online. Their platform not only helps you to launch an online store, but it also offers a wide range of features to enhance your store. Some of these features include real time updates, live conversations, promotional tools like banners and testimonials, store design customization etc.
Shopify: Shopify has a super-clean design that makes setting up a store incredibly easy. It provides APPs Garden on the stores for extensive functionality and integration of different networks. This, unique feature behind the success of many social sites like facebook, allows you to add some useful Apps like ShopiMap, Madify, Searchify, WordPress importer etc. to your store. These Apps help in making their usage simpler. You can also develop your own features using the Shopify API.
A lot of companies & individuals are reaping out the benefits of internet by adopting the ecommerce model. Below, you can encounter one of the most interesting success stories of Computex India Ltd.
Few years back, Mr Shriram Rajan (owner & MD, Computex India Ltd.) used to have two computer hardware stores located in the local markets of Hyderabad & a service centre located in Secunderabad. The company offered a wide range of computer hardware products including desktops, laptops, monitors, screens, printers, scanners etc. and was enjoying modest success. But the owner-director Mr Shriram Rajan wanted to raise sales without embarking on an expensive marketing push and so he decided to follow an online business model. To learn more about the overall experience, let’s hear it from Mr Rajan himself:
“Before setting up our online shop we used to sell our products direct to other businesses & end consumers through catalogues and sales representatives. In order to get the most out of our new sales channel, we drew up a brief covering what we wanted to achieve. We decided that raising turnover and opening up new sales channels were the key objectives.
We found that we were losing out potential customers as we did not have an automated process to capture them. So, we planned to create an ecommerce website of our own to help us convert more enquiries into sales. By automating our processes, we can track buying habits and use this data to improve our offerings.”
With the help of ecommerce, customer orders now come straight into our database from the website, reducing our processing costs. More importantly, the website has improved our cashflow. Since we’ve started accepting payments online, we’ve been receiving them far sooner than before.
We now sell our products across India, and because our business is effectively open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we can compete with much larger businesses. In order to maintain this performance, we’ve registered the website on several search engines, which in turn is generating lots of enquiries.
Overall, going online has benefited the business enormously and our turnover has reached to a remarkable position. Having adopted the Ecommerce model has proved to be an excellent decision taken by us and now we can see a list of dealers who have started following the online channel of business”.
Selling products and services online can have various advantages for businesses, leading to increased profitability and lower costs. Some of them are listed below:
- Reaching a global audience, thereby increasing sales opportunities.
- Competing with larger businesses as you are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Improved product offerings by understanding consumer behavior
- Using your online shop as a catalogue for existing customers
- Huge savings in set-up and operational costs. You don’t need to rent high street premises, pay shop assistants or answer a lot of pre-sales queries
- Reducing order processing costs – customer orders can automatically come straight into your orders database from the website
- Your products showcased on your website, provides a huge exposure to the millions of visitors on the web
- Unlimited shelf space for your ever growing product range
- Ability to effectively promote your brand using various promotional tools like social media updates & providing discount coupons and gift vouchers online
Having understood the scope of ecommerce and the benefits of selling products & services online, we can say that; whether you have a new business or an established one, whether the volume of your business is large or small, you will always have an opportunity to generate profit by demonstrating your products & services online, thereby widening the radius of the viewer exposure circle. And thus, it’s time for the merchants to go online.