By Firoz Khan, Co- Founder and CEO, Gift Cards India
Founded in 2011, the direct sales channel of GCI Network Pvt. Ltd, Gift Cards India is a one-stop shop for all your Gift Card & Gift Voucher needs.
The world is on the move steadily. People are finding new ways to reach out to one another as the geographic distance between people is diminishing. This dynamic scenario of life has raised the necessity for consumers to be connected; wherever you are and wherever you go. This is why, now mobile is considered to be man’s new buddy.
e-Commerce in India is still in the formative stage, but it is growing at an alarming pace and has started to make some impact in metros. India is a billion people country with a mobile penetration of almost 80 percent. Now, that almost 40 percent of the consumers are available on Smartphone and we can see that in the next couple of years where everyone will move online for commerce. The majority of our population is very young which demonstrates energy to build and adopt anything new coming their way so, this new retail form is expected to have a very fast adoption rate.
By the advent of m-Commerce or e-Commerce going mobile, there are greater opportunity/prospects being placed for mobile for the future. It allows and encourages the consumers to browse quickly, easily and purchase products on-the-go, more regularly.
There are few major challenges that e-Commerce companies has been facing:
- Logistical issues: We need to really spruce up our logistic infrastructure, as India has more than 150,000 PIN codes and there is no other company that has the capability to deliver more than 10,000 pin posts, besides India Post.
- Absence of a robust payment environment: A major block for e-Commerce system. The online transactions takes a long time to process, they would crash or time-out halfway preventing from shopping. Indian consumers are still in cash driven economy and with limited usage of credit card/online payment mode, COD thrives.
- Post Sales Service is another big challenge for the industry. Most of the online businesses being a market place do not control the end-to-end processes. The quality control, post sales service control, etc are the areas which still needs major attention. The customer experience with the brand does not end with the sale alone; it’s extended till it’s installed and used.
The other aspect is expansion of 3G network into semi-urban and rural parts of India to increase the penetration rate and by introduction of 4G services in the cities such as Bangalore and Kolkata, there is a possibility that it will further push the growth rate of mobile based Internet.
A report titled “India on the Go- Mobile Internet Vision Report 2017” by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and KPMG has brought to light the magnitude of change in usage of Internet through mobile. The Indian mobile story is gaining importance in elephantine proportions. The report says that India is projected to have 236 million and 314 million mobile internet users by 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The opportunities that we can see is that many FMCG players have started selling products on e-Commerce websites or companies are taking the mobile route to capture the market as they see this market growing in the near future. To keep up with the new-age retailing; they are not keen on launching their own portals to sell the products. The companies can see more sense in partnering with the existing online channels rather than setting up their own channels. We can also see that Myntra has moved on to being an app only business which has recognized the opportunity of being mobile first in this market.
e-Commerce market has surpassed the borders and allowed India’s SMEs with a window to market beyond their existing boundary. By allowing FDI, startup e-Commerce companies are getting an opportunity to collaborate with foreign partners and build scale.