E-commerce is here to stay, going by the visible sales trend that is emerging this Diwali season. While the brick-and-mortar retailers are not making much headway, e-commerce outfits seem to be ruling the roost. With customers increasingly beginning to feel at ease about buying high value products online, including white goods, most e-tailers including Amazon, Snapdeal and Myntra have started flexing their muscles to usher in the Diwali season. All online shops are still offering discounts, but none of the humungous kind that was the calling card of the billion-dollar sale, no doubt cautious after the Flipkart fiasco. There is no need to go below the basic price to get customers as healthy discounts which are over the top of those offered by regular stores and shopping malls.
As if acknowledging the writing on the wall, Kishore Biyani of Future Group has declared his intention to tie up with Amazon to sell the company’s merchandise online. With more such tie-ups on the anvil this festive season, the beneficiaries would be the Indian public. As far as e-commerce companies are concerned, India can only get better as a target market. Consider the demographics: 35 per cent of the population is aged between 15 and 35 years and 30 per cent below 15.
India’s e-tailers are known to have invested $6 billion in the last three years, including $3 billion in the last three months. As e-tailers hit the fast lane, the spin-off effect is visible in many associated segments. Feeding on the e-commerce adrenalin are the real estate through the growing warehousing sector needs, logistics by way of increased traffic for courier companies and of course the media as, befitting any sunrise industry, e-tailers too are going for big ad spend. And the fun has just begun as e-merchants are yet to tap into its customers getting hooked to transactions on the mobile phone. Because, with almost 90 per cent of India’s Internet users also being mobile phone users, therein lies the scope for the next big e-shout.