CMR Business Analytics Roundtable





The Future of eCommerce: The Present Reality and Future Transformation

E-commerce in India is thriving, thanks to a booming online retail industry that defies slow economic growth and spiraling inflation. The Indian e-commerce industry has been growing at a staggering growth rate of 88%. The trend, when analyzed over the years, shows that the e-commerce industry faced barriers, had a five-year-long dip and finally showed a positive growth rate by overcoming the drawbacks.

Between 2000 and 2005: The first wave of E-Commerce in India was characterized by a small online shopping user base, low internet penetration, slow internet speed, low consumer acceptance of online shopping and inadequate logistics infrastructure. Thereafter, the IT downturn in 2000 led to the collapse of more than 1,000 E-Commerce businesses in India. Following this, there was muted activity in the space in India between 2000 and 2005.

Between 2005 and 2010: There were basically two major transitions that took place that aided in the build of E-Commerce story in India. They were:

  • Online Travel: The entry of Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) in the Indian aviation sector in 2005 marked the beginning of the second wave of e-Commerce in India. 
  • Online Retail: The growth of online retail was partly driven by changing urban consumer lifestyle and the need for convenience of shopping at home.

 Present Scenario: The current structure of online retail market can be broadly divided into two parts:

  • Category focused players or Vertical Players
  • Multi category players or Horizontal Players

While the vertical players focused on penetrating a single category deeply to offer huge variety and range of products, horizontal players offered wide range of categories to the consumers making it a one stop online shop for them. The current trend is that either most of the single category players are getting acquired by multi-category players or the single category players have started added multiple categories to their own business thus converting into Multi-category players.

Role of Analytics in E-commerce:

With the advent of secure payment gateways, browsing speeds and availability of multiple form factors available in the markets, the process of online buying has become simpler over the years. Even now, the change in customer landscape, their buying habits, and trust over communities to rely over each other’s feedback is changing at a fast pace and that has brought newer ways to make one’s presence. And to respond to that, E-commerce players have evolved significantly in their decision making over time. The primary job of E-commerce industry is to make user experience on their website delightful. Other than that they are simply a platform between sellers and buyers. With such focus on user experience, analytics itself becomes a product instead of just being business enabler. Some of the critical factors which makes analytics a very important tool for E-commerce organizations are:

  • Revenue Maximization: The most successful of the e-commerce businesses understand the importance of assigning adequate resources and using optimized tools to target and acquire profitable customers. 
  • Customer Service & Strategic Planning:  Using the techniques available in analytics, trends are discovered into customers’ behaviors that result into actionable insights that the company can leverage using its support functions. 
  • Inventory Management: Data Analytics have evolved to a level where technology can be integrated with statistics to create inventory management systems that are able to predict demands. Advanced analytics can create predictions based on available parameters like no. of customers, mean age of customers, expected events, traffic data, and purchase data.

The journey of e-commerce in the future is promising. However, to stand the test of time, companies need a mixed-approach implementation that is influenced by globally tested strategies, along with local elements. It might have failed in the past decade but this time around, it is here to stay and grow more speedily than ever.

Topics of Discussion

  • What do retailers predict for the growth of e-commerce?
  • What are the opportunities for growth?
  • How can closer collaboration with the entire eco-system improve the bottom line?
  • What are the challenges of integrating IT systems?
  • How are online habits of shoppers changing?

A Must attend event for  CAOs, BA/BI Heads, CMO, Marketing Heads and other analytics/marketing key person from ecommerce vertical.