By Manthan Dhameliya
The Indian retail industry has just recently begun to shift digitally. The pandemic has been giving a significant push to online shopping, leading to India witnessing a grand rise in the introduction and up-gradation of digital and technology across various sectors, especially e-commerce and the online shopping sector. The Indian e-commerce space is currently at the ninth position in cross-border growth worldwide. It will increase from four percent of total food and grocery, apparel and consumer electronics retail trade in 2020 to eight percent by 2025. This growth will position the industry as one of the most promising hubs for entrepreneurs, innovations, and businesses to profit.
The wave of Social E-commerce
Currently, people prefer to shop online while they stay at home owing to the large number of internet users and their presence on social media.
Today, online retail platforms offer quick delivery, a smooth supply chain process, and AI-driven chatbots offering 24-hour customer assistance have further accelerated the rate at which businesses are going digital. It is not a novel concept. However, the amalgamation of social engagement and e-commerce gives way to all companies, more so for homegrown businesses to connect with their customers, make sales, and understand their changing needs. Building this cohesive business strategy has reduced their customer acquisition cost and used social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Companies that have seen a positive change in their sales channels are functioning well, which has helped businesses build their online stores without any investment. Customer engagement and retention were made possible with the spectacular influx of engaging video content, pictures, reels, AR/VR experiences and customer feedback shared by existing customers. Implementing content-driven, experience-driven and network-driven strategies have helped businesses expand their reach and brand awareness.
Technology Helps Augment Business Growth
Unlike traditional stores, innovative technological advancements have made it more effortless for businesses to integrate their online and offline customer interactions from even the urban markets. Thanks to automating the processes have helped the business take a streamlined approach. Integrating AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the Indian business landscape and big data analytics also enables them to analyse customer behaviour, trends, habits, and needs. It has a significant influence in building a tailored approach for customer acquisition and building the correct product catalogue. The increase in usage of mobile phones has been a boon, with the 5G network offering customers an accessible model to make online payments through digital wallets on online marketplaces. Additionally, an efficient and modernised supply chain is enabling businesses from Tier 1 metropolitan cities and Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to drive growth in today’s Indian market and contribute to the growing economy and businesses in the country.
2022 forecasts noteworthy advancement in business functioning with the help of AI (Artificial Intelligence). It will play a significant role in helping customers with appropriate feedback and recommendations, leading to more conversions, customer base expansion, and brand recall.
Technological advancements and social e-commerce are taking the world by storm very quickly across all sectors. There is massive scope for embracing these changes to drive the expansion of businesses, especially in the D2C model. We are not far away from the day when high-end technology like AI, VR, ML, and quality social e-commerce activities will be the ‘new normal.
The author is owner of Kreeva. Views expressed are personal.
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