Information Technology has changed the ways of doing business. It has changed many aspects like product development, marketing and selling process, communication channels that have revolutionized eCommerce and thus changed the way of doing business. Ecommerce has brought new methods of doing business together with a great shopping experience. This change is primarily because of the fact that now online purchase offers more comfort, clarity and potential than the old-school brick and mortar store facility. Today there is a boom in the ecommerce business and India accounts for as many as 1,06,086 registered ecommerce websites.
The ways in which ecommerce has changed the business pattern in India are:-
- Easy initiative—The most visible change brought about by ecommerce is the ease of taking initiative or stated simply, starting a business. Now anyone can start their own online business from anywhere and sell their products and services even in an international market. Ecommerce has also paved the way for handicraft and handloom industries to make decent profits as compared to earlier times when there earnings were taken by middlemen. Now with ecommerce websites they can sell their product directly to the customer. One can buy and sell almost anything. It does not require much of technical knowledge to start an online store.
- Variety of low-priced products—Today there are a number of ecommerce sites with strong competition between them because of which the prices of the products are affected the most. So on the ecommerce platforms high quality products are available at low prices with great offers. Another reason for availability of the low priced products is that the ecommerce website owner pays only to host fees accounting to five or ten thousand yearly which might increase depending on the site traffic. Then because of the global reach of ecommerce websites the prices of the products are kept low as a seller can reach international buyers too so they don’t need to charge extra money for their products.
- Market monopoly is in—It’s easy to start an ecommerce business but difficult to manage and survive in it. One needs the skills of digital marketing surely to sustain the business in a decent way. It is because there are big brands online already which sell most of the essentials people need providing fastest delivery options which can be a tough thing for a startup to focus on. Prominent brands spend a lot of money on digital advertisements of their website with the help of digital marketing tools and techniques. The biggest challenge for an ecommerce startup is to break the monopoly of top brands which can best be done strategically.
- Ecommerce is the only thing left during the pandemic—A very notable impact of ecommerce is seen during the time of the corona pandemic. Because of the never ending restrictions posed on life and the living, everyone has only the option to shop online to avoid being affected by the ongoing pandemic. So people have become habitual to buy and sell online.
- Brand commitment is the rising thing—Brands in the ecommerce market are becoming committed to their channels contrary to the time when brands were confused on how to balance their sites, marketplace presence and partner channels. The brands now focus on giving a seamless experience to their customers regardless of the channel used for purchase.
- Personalized shopping experience-–By personalized experience is meant that people can buy according to their needs whatever they want for themselves. Personalized digital marketing like search advertising, location-based advertising, remarketing are used by the ecommerce companies. For eg, certain websites like Pepper fry have a feature of Augmented Reality in their ecommerce mobile app. By this feature a user of the app can see which furniture will suit his living room. Similarly Lens kart gives a function of 3D trial of frames where one can see which structure suits them the best. All this happens because of Augmented Reality.
- Buy on the go—In today’s busy and fast-paced life people can do shopping from anywhere they want to whether they be travelling, watching movies, attending a party etc.
- Variety of product options—When we go out shopping in a physical shop it becomes a tedious job trying to visit multiple shops to find out the desired variety. Shopping offline is time consuming and discomforting.
- Easy payment options—Ecommerce has changed trading methods. One of which is the cashless transactions. Today there are many versions of credit and debit cards available for online shopping.
- Ease of payment—It’s not only the customers who are doing cashless transactions, buying products via debit cards but seller and merchants are also being paid online. Now they don’t need to handle the cash because it goes directly in their bank accounts. There is no hassle for open money nor to sell in lending. The cashless transaction and trading through ecommerce websites is helping the government to grow and make the tax collection process transparent.
- Data-driven decisions—Ecommerce tends to increase the spending habits of customers and increase expenses. Ecommerce store owners are able to sell more globally, target the behaviour of buyers, retarget the customers on social media and through ads, collect the data and utilize sales conversion. All this is happening because of data-driven decisions in digital marketing and selling. An ecommerce store or website can analyse the data, can target and market the specific product more strongly, can launch the product in the new market because they track the source of customers, buying habits, interests, location etc through the tracking code on the ecommerce website. And it’s not possible in the offline shopping and selling methods. So we can say that ecommerce has changed the way of promotion and sale of products. And because of personalization and cross-selling, customers are spending more money online than offline.
- Business automation—Ecommerce has changed the way of business operations. Ecommerce business is online 24/7 which means it is automatic and run by internet or automation tools. Everything is available to automate ecommerce business. Everything from marketing, delivery, inventory management, advertising can be automated. Business automation is the change that is bringing ecommerce in the market.
- Easy to target the customer—Ecommerce websites according to shopping and browsing traits can analyse data and set their target audiences. They are also able to calculate the impact of their ads on social media. It helps them from spending unnecessarily on bogus platforms. The tools like social media advertising, cookies, keyword research tools, search engine marketing, display, video ads give the opportunity to target specific customers and locations. Ecommerce is bringing the change where the product is manufactured and promoted based on user’s interest and choice. And because of the presence of keywords, social media networking, display and video ads and the availability of data, ecommerce websites and owners are able to target the customer’s needs. Ecommerce is increasing sales and reducing the marketing cost.
- Retaining customers—Ecommerce helps businesses to re-target or retain customers. The ecommerce websites, online store owners, marketers can connect with customers on social media, emails, ads. They can update customers about their products on social media, they can chat in real-time, they can send newsletters and educate the customers via their blogs and YouTube videos.
- Staff can work remotely—The staff available for the ecommerce business is highly skilled. Every business needs expert sellers and marketers, managers and storekeepers. But it is difficult to find the right talent. With the coming of ecommerce there is a vast availability of freelancers and technical experts online who can plan the entire website and work remotely from home. Ecommerce plays a big role in the growth of online workers.
Ecommerce helps businesses to go global. It increases digital employment and builds new entrepreneurs. Ecommerce speeds up the economic cash flow of the country because of the involvement of the banking system in trading. Ecommerce brings new start ups in the market and enhances entrepreneurial capability in the next generation business leaders. It helps in economic development and increases demand for technical jobs and skills globally.