ECOMMERCE

The wave of change in eCommerce: Outlook for 2019

The integration of ecommerce in consumerism has been seamless and exponential in the past few years, having transformed the manner in which worldwide business is conducted today.

The global ecommerce market is ascending at a mammoth growth rate of 12.7% year-on-year with the current revenues standing at $2.012 trillion. 1

The Indian ecommerce sector has also seen tremendous surge. The digital revolution aided by proliferation of smartphones (560.01 million internet users), affordable data (120 million online shoppers), personal disposable incomes (29.8 million credit card holders), consolidation of industry players, and government initiatives such as Digital India, Start Up India, and Digital Udaan have all cohesively contributed to its growth2. In addition, the country’s ecommerce revenue is expected to catapult from $39 billion in 2017 to $120 billion in 2020 growing at an annual rate of 51% as per IBEF. The Indian consumer is in turn presented with a plethora of domestic and international products delivered at their doorsteps, allowing businesses to flourish like never before. Hence, it becomes interesting to observe the current shape of the Indian ecommerce sector including areas which may be further moulded in 2019.

Sector composition

According to an IBEF November 2018 infographic, there are about 1.2 million transactions per day in ecommerce retailing, of which 48% comprise electronic goods. Another 29% consists of Apparels. Hence, these two categories are expected to continue dominating Indian ecommerce this year as well. In addition, the increasing investment in ecommerce firms due to the rise in digital literacy is allowing new players to enter the market. Private and venture capital deals are deduced to increase. About 40 deals worth $1.12 billion were completed in the first half of 2018, nearly double the number of the deals completed in the entirety of 2017. These numbers are expected to rise in 2019.

Subscription-based offerings

E-commerce companies are increasingly offering subscription-based offerings to consumers wherein they receive certain extra benefits or tailored services. For instance, Amazon Prime, Amazon’s subscription service allows subscribers to avail early access to selected deals and free one-day delivery among other benefits. While some ecommerce platforms have already begun similar subscription models of their own, others are also envisaging to provide similar options to their consumers.

Subscription-based offerings

E-commerce companies are increasingly offering subscription-based offerings to consumers wherein they receive certain extra benefits or tailored services. For instance, Amazon Prime, Amazon’s subscription service allows subscribers to avail early access to selected deals and free one-day delivery among other benefits. While some ecommerce platforms have already begun similar subscription models of their own, others are also envisaging to provide similar options to their consumers.

Increased vernacular content

The rural Indian population was estimated at 906 million as per Census 2011. However, merely 173.42 million of them were internet users as of June 2018. Online retailers are therefore opining that the vernacular segment will be a new growth driver even as internet penetration is expected to grow as high as 45% by 2021, compared to the current rate of 18%. 3 Flipkart had already begun converting speech to text in 10 Indian languages in collaboration with an artificial intelligence company called Liv.ai. Other ecommerce players are expected to follow suit in order to diverge their target audiences to attract the vernacular segment. Another firm called Reverie Language Technologies is on the verge of raising $20 million in its quest to create language equality in the Indian digital realm.

Ancillary services and cashless transactions

Industry players are leveraging certain ancillary services aligned with their products and services. Some examples include introducing their own payment gateways (Flipkart’s Payzippy), e-wallets (Amazon’s Pay Balance), and even payment banks such as the those of Paytm and Airtel. These services are contributing to cashless transactions in the sector. A net addition of nearly 140 million debit cards has been recorded since the past few years4, while UPI transactions in India crossed 620 million in December 20185. In addition, according to a report by Google India and BCG, digital consumer spending in India is expected to increase by two-fold crossing $100 billion by 2020; driven by women and new internet users from Tier II and Tier III cities6.

Voice-based searches

Almost one-third of 3.5 billion searches conducted on Google today consist of voice searches, which will further comprise half of all searches within the next two years7. AI-enabled voice assistants like Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple), and Google Personal Assistant are the major contributors to this shift from text-based search to voice integrated searches. All these developments will push ecommerce companies to adopt similar or even better content marketing strategies.

In conclusion

With each passing year, the ecommerce sector in India is assuming a more definitive shape. It then becomes critical for businesses to sharpen their strategies and align with these focal points. As the lines between the offline and online world continue to blur, the need of the hour is for both older and emerging brands to enter the world of ecommerce with strategies that place them a cut above the rest.

CRM in eCommerce

eCommerce have completely changed the paradigm of how people shop in today's world. People are connected all the time and technologies also shape the way people communicate, especially when it comes to eCommerce. People become ambassadors themselves for brands that deliver timely and personalized communications through any digital channel.

The customer journey starts even before they visit any eCommerce website. They may either express interest on your product by commenting in any of the social forums or by sending inquiry directly. Converting these prospects is seen as a critical element to any online site and this is where a Customer Rleationship Management or CRM will be of great help.

What is a CRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. It usually refers to the practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to enhance the customer's overall experience. As per SalesForce, CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a strategy for managing an organisation's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability. In today's world, CRM solutions have cemented their need as a useful post sales tool for businesses to connect with their customers, determine cusotmer preferences, and understand their expectations.

CRM in eCommerce

The best way for a company to build strong relationships with their customers is to build up customer loyalty. A CRM for eCommerce will enable you to get to know your customers, to better understand the decisions they make, to tailor to their preferences, and tie all your marketing together seamlessly. CRM system can also give customer facing staff detailed information on customer’s personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.

A CRM platform can benefit your eCommerce website in the following ways:

  • Get a better understanding of the customer
  • Attract new customers
  • Retain current customers
  • Decrease customer management costs
  • Personalization opportunities
  • Tracking customer behavior and preferences
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Up-to-date information on the customers
  • Strong customer support

Conclusion

CRM helps the brands or companies to create long-term customer loyalty and profitability by serving every customer as an individual. In today’s competitive marketplace, customer relationship management is critical to a company’s profitability and long term success.

eCommerce trends for 2016

The world of eCommerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace and 2016 will be the the year where one can get to see a lot of new trends that can transform the way people do shopping.

Since every year we see newer trends emerging out of nowhere, it represents a great opportunity for the eCommerce site owners as well as a huge challenge in terms of figuring out to make use of it better to attract and retain more customers. Below are some of the trends that will be closely watched by both customers and store owners alike:

Mobile eCommerce

Gartner predicts that “by 2017, U.S. customers’ mobile engagement behavior will drive mobile commerce revenue in the U.S. to 50% of U.S. digital commerce revenue.” This means that store owners have to build mobile applications that offers great shopping experiences for the customers.

Growing usage of multi channel

Gone are the days where people used to rely on websites to fulfill their buying needs. If the last couple of years have witnessed customers adapting to smartphones for their purchases, this year onward one will witness a growing usage of tablets for purchases. This will also pose a challenge to the store owners to provide a unique experience to the customers irrespective of the device they connect with.

Mobile Payment

Mobile payment method is touted as one of the “Next Big Thing” in eCommerce as mobile traffic continues to out-beat traffic from desktops from the previous years. Companies like Apple and Google are readying their strategies around mobile payment methods to ensure that they get the best out of this change in consumer behavior.

Customer Experience

This is another area which is supposed to pick up as we drive through 2016 as shoppers are more worried on the quality levels of after sales customer service provided by the online sites. We expect the site owners to adequately staff the online store the same way they staff their offline stores.

Using content to engage and sell

Every one knows the importance of providing unique content and this year will be no different from the previous ones. A huge demand from customers to know more about the product will drive the need to create content that can be consumed easily in the form of Videos. As we are all living in a world that is well-informed, anything that does not live up to the expectations of the customers will boomerang to the brands and stores. Since customers are spoilt for choices the comforts in the form of convenience and security play a huge role in retaining them. The future belongs to the retailers who engage them by providing value, thereby earning their trust.

Trends for eCommerce in 2014

The world of digital commerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace and the year 2014 will be seeing lot of attention paid by eCommerce companies for making their presence felt in the changing digital landscape.

Here are some of the trends that will witness a surge in this year :

User Experience

With the use of smart devices on the rise for online shopping, online businesses will be able to provide their shoppers with a customized user experience. Allowing customers to save favorite products, a smooth checkout process and recommendations based on browsing habits are going to set the bar for customer expectations.

Mobile Commerce (mCommerce)

This is one of the hot things for eCommerce in 2014. Mobile Commerce is sweeping the industry and shoppers will expect a seamless mobile shopping experience. Small businesses need to make sure their sites are optimized so that customers can view them on any type of handheld mobile device. Seamless browsing, saving, and shopping across platforms will be crucial for any business that wants to grow in 2014.

Social Media

Social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ are expected to make a stronger impact on search engine rankings in the near future for eCommerce companies. Time has come to all eCommerce companies, irrespective of sizes, to embrace digital marketing to get that extra sales.

Other trends include :

  • Responsive Web Design implementation for the sites to offer a seamless customer experience
  • Demand for Customer Support, services and product quality
  • Growth of borderless eCommerce
  • Web Analytics and Big Data convergance
  • Video Marketing for brands and products
We at Nexia Commerce, gives more stress towards creating
eCommerce Solutions by considering all of the trends listed so as to make a brand successful in the digital commerce space.