India’s internet population will reach 250 million from current 130 million in next two years which will increase the number of online shoppers.
Growth of e-commerce did not limit to mega stores (horizontal stores) like Flipkart and Futurebazaar but also to specialised stores (vertical stores) in the market which offer products from toys to baby products. Often, one may doubt the need of a specialised store, when the similar segment of products is being offered at a mega store.
The online stores works similarly like an offline retail. The specialised stores like Mom & Me continues to have customers even though there are hypermarkets in the proximity which offer wide range of products from different segments. The megastore may have similar number of products (SKUs) in the segment compared to a specialised store but it is the variety, availability of products, focused customer care, detailed description about the product is what a customer to a specialised e-store, said Vijay Jumani, co-founder and CEO, Hoopos.com
The specialised e-commerce stores cater to tier-2 and tier-3 cities unlike offline specialised stores. These e-stores also bring variety of products to customers’ doorsteps. “For instance, we delivered products to 4,000 different pin codes. The technologies also help the customers to see the classified display for different age groups from maternity to 12 years to get the right product. The user interface and experience which enable the customers to find the right products will drive the sales,”he said.
The internet population in the country will reach 250 million from current 130 million in next two years which will increase the number of people who shop online. The current e-commerce market is in a learning phase and businesses are analysing the products and locations that bring profitability to the company. Over time, the businesses will optimise and cater only products to the locations that will bring profitability, said Vijay.
Cash on delivery is a trust building model. There is also shift in the customers from COD to electronic payments over time with the trust. “For instance, we have seen 13 per cent of the sales shifted from COD to e-payment in last 11 months. Still, COD takes 55 per cent of our sales. Few of the stores even started having last mile delivery agents who collect the payment through card or cash and create trust among the customers after which the product is dispatched,” he said.