“The sooner we drop the ‘e’ out of ‘e-commerce’ and just call it commerce, the better.”
These words by Bob Wilmette, former president of Best Buy International, will soon be breathing reality as e-commerce treads on to replace the standard forms of shopping in most sectors.
“Online or electronic retailing is the sale of goods and services through the internet.” E-tailing includes B2B(business to business) where a business deals with another business and B2C(Business to consumers) where a business sells directly to a consumer, and C2C( consumer to consumer) where websites, after charging a commission, provides an environment for customers to sell their goods and services to other customers. Online Auction comes under this category.
The Internet was brought to India in 1995. E- commerce soon followed. Starting with B2B which was used mainly by micro and small enterprises, B2C e-commerce also took off around the same time in 1996 with online matrimonial and job portals.
The scene radically changed when LCC (low cost carriers) were introduced in the aviation sector leading to the growth of air travel in India. Information related to travel, tickets for flights and trains, schedules, etc were all available online. E-ticketing sector, which provided large scale customer satisfaction, boosted the morale of other entrepreneurs who were looking to venture into online retail which led to the launch of multiple e-commerce websites in 2007. And then there was no looking back. Now, everything to anything is just a click away. Online retail has gone through drastic changes in the past few years with even facilities of baby sitters being sought online and beauty parlor being arranged right at home.
For a banker posted in a small town, Praneta finds it a blessing. She says ” Undesired working locations really make it difficult for a shopaholic like me to find the desired brands. And hence online shopping is not one amongst many options. It’s the Only Option.”
Online retail has also removed the time restraints. You don’t have to wait for 10 am for the shops to open. You can look up for options anytime, anywhere, even at midnight.
Also the stock and sell technique used by the websites has provided buyers with magnanimous discounts and deals.
Senior Cabin Crew Kavita talks about how their odd flight timings restrict them to go out shopping even if they live near the best markets of Delhi. There is also the issue of conversation regarding bargaining which she tries to avoid. Being in the hospitality business, one gotta be social and polite all the time. So trying to avoid such situations after work is obviously expected. She also adds,
“Makeup products are part and parcel of our lives. And for regular users like us, it becomes inevitable to look for offers and online products provides us that and more”
The huge varieties of products, which never ceases to amaze, adds another feather to the cap of online retailing.
Rohan, a software engineer says, “I have never understood the concept of ‘shopping for pleasure’. I am always the one to go for precision and online shopping helps me greatly in my pursuit. All I gotta do is put filters for the brand, size, color of my choice, and Voila! It’s done”
It’s a small world” is actually becoming a reality with websites offering all sorts of products from most corners of the world right at your doorstep.
Books, exotic dress material, electronic gadgets, salon service, cab, food – you name it, you got it.
And now, with #[email protected] trending indefinitely and the lockdown seemingly getting limitless,’e-everything’ is what we are depending upon. Even education, yoga workshops, concerts, seminars are being offered online.
Online Retail in India is growing at a huge pace with expected growth of up to US$ 200 billion by 2026. E-commerce is clearly on the way to become the new normal. The reason is as simple as Patrick Curtis of wallstreetoasis.com puts it “Why leave the comfort of your own home when you can get something custom made to your exact size for less? I believe this is the future.”
Well, I guess it’s not the future anymore. It’s right here, living and growing as we do.