The Indian retail market has seen phenomenal changes and will continue to grow by investing in the right direction
The pandemic-induced lockdown and movement constraint effectively marked an inflection point for retail and e-commerce. According to Statista, in 2020, retail e-commerce sales worldwide soared to 4.28 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are predicted to grow to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022.
Online shopping has emerged as the most demanding and popular online activity worldwide. The pandemic brought the “structural shift” in the shopping behaviour of the customers and strict Covid-19 protocols have played a major role in pushing the e-commerce and retail sector up to a greater extent not only in metros and megacities but also in tier-III regions and beyond.
Let’s take a look at the numerous opportunities to invest in the retail and e-commerce sector during the departure of the second wave and post-pandemic:
Customisation: Online and in-store
Considering balance in how populace picks and shop in 2021, there would be a high expectation on retailers to provide the best of both worlds either way, which further paves the personalisation. Consumers will want the same privilege, offers, variety and quality they get online, also they would expect the same level of customer service as they receive online. Here comes the necessity to balance out things, and this is why investing in tools that fulfil demand on both sides become important.
The best and prime example would be exploring augmented or virtual reality. It helps in making the purchases of items like furniture, home decor and clothing easier. Online chatbots, self-service in-store systems will help retailers and online business owners navigate and understand the actual needs of the customers. This will automatically boost the business profits.
Understanding the AI-driven market
This factor stands as a targeted approach amidst fierce competition. A huge number of retailers will face the challenges due to high uncertainties and so the buyer-seller relationship will play a significant role in surviving the crises and in standing ahead of the crowd.
Consumers’ budgets are strained by the major outside events and in this scenario, they are likely to turn to someone they can afford and trust when it comes to providing the best deals. Investing in AI-driven market analysis and forecasting helps in escalating the outcomes as a whole and keeps the business ahead of all the competitors. It results in targeting the adverts, promotions and offers. Furthermore, weighing up ROI as a part of this process all hinges on data.
The rise of B2B e-commerce
The B2B market in India is still at a very nascent stage, but the times are right for its growth. Increasing smartphone and internet penetration and a willingness by retailers to adopt new technology in the face of pandemic is driving its growth. However, many factors are going to play a role including pricing, assortment and supply chain. India is also seeing a growth in B2B liquidation space with new organized players emerging in the market.
Sustainability: A vital differentiator
Ethical, environmentally conscious and socially aware approaches and behaviour are the right way to conduct a business and it has eventually become an industry differentiator. Consumers now demand this and have placed it on the top priorities; also, it has now become a primary concern for retailers as well. A high-profile awareness of waste materials and climate change, eliminating the carbon footprint are the major concerns. It is therefore a revenue-based decision to invest in more sustainable operations.
Summing it all up:
Broadly speaking, young demography, smartphone penetration, increasing internet and relatively better economic performance are some of the key driving factors of an e-commerce sector. To tap into the enormous market, the e-commerce industry has witnessed an increase in innovation across platforms and ancillary segments like logistics.
The B2B e-commerce is expected to grow in the coming years and by tacking supply chain and assortment related problems, it can become a leading segment.
Over the last two decades, the Indian retail market has seen phenomenal changes and will continue to grow by leaps and bounds by investing in the right direction and verticals.
The author is Founder & CEO, EOL Stocks
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author's own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.