The conference also opened up a new dimension for existing e-retailers, some of them the industry’s most influential business leaders and decision makers, and led them to challenge current thinking. Latest innovations in the retail industry were also unveiled at the conference.
The event also witnessed the launch of e-Retail report 2013, which highlighted some concrete facts about the e-retail industry. One of the most important highlights of the report was that Indian e-retail is surging ahead at the rate of 40% per annum, and the industry will reach the size of Rs. 7,200 crore by 2015.
Param Parmeshwaram, Chairman, Sulekha.com, shared his viewpoints on the status of e-commerce in India, saying, “The definition of e-commerce is very broad. On the online platform, the availability of products, pricing, and several other things need to be integrated in the best possible manner. Advertising alone cannot make any product successful. It can only act as a catalyst for getting more success among the consumers. Negative publicity has a strong, viral effect. This cannot be ignored, and any negative expression on an online platform has to be handled very carefully. There must be a well-defined policy to react to any such development.”
Sulekha has 1,50,000 merchants listed on its online platform, a majority of them representing micro and small-sized business.
Emphasizing on offering convenience to the online consumer, Manu Kumar Jain, Founder and MD, jabong.com, said, “In metros and big cities, online retail is redefining retail habits, providing flexibility and convenience. However, in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, it has offered accessibility to customers who have purchasing power and aspiration to buy lifestyle brands, but do not have access to such brands. Ultimately, e-commerce is all about providing convenience to the customers and simplifying their lives.”
'Indian e-commerce has taken very good shape, and we are witnessing great customer traction. Overall, the industry is going through a consolidation phase, which is building up and improvising the whole eco-system. I am glad to see that Franchise India has taken up this initiative to bring all the stakeholders together to define the future," said Atrash Aman, COO, homeshop18.com.
“Indian retailers are moving to the omni-channel, which represents a seamless customer experience across all available shopping channels, using a combination of mobile and social networks, brick-and mortar and online portal and whatever innovative channel one can integrate into the mix. A survey of around 500 people in India revealed that 24% of Indians shop online once a month, and the product which is the most picked by them is apparel.”
Gaurav Myra, Chairman, Franchise India, said,“An average Indian is spending between Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 in one go on online retail. This is considered to be the appropriate price range to take the advantage of free shipping, coupons and deals available. The maximum online buying is that of apparel, which accounts for 17% of the online market.”
Accessories have emerged as the second biggest product category, with 15% market share. The other categories which are doing well are consumer durables with 13%, books with 12%, jewellery with 11%, footwear with 10%, beauty and healthcare products with 8%, home and furnishing products with 7%, and gifts and flowers with 5%.