Yes, I am talking about the only trillion dollar industry in the world, which has been growing in double digits every year from 2011. E-Commerce, the word is nothing new for people in the Americas, it is a fashion feast for people of Europe, Alibaba for China and Flipkart (Occasionally flopkart) for Indians. Retail stores have begun to move to the Internet in a very fast pace and according to every industry estimate and analysis this trend is not going to stop, at least for the next ten years. The fact that even after so many online stores coming up, only 7% of physical retail has actually gone to the internet is itself a predicament for the above analysis.
So where is this heading to? What is going to happen when every small outlet in your place start to open an E commerce store and sell their products online? Well, I am not talking about the threat to the physical retail stores. Here the real threat is to the E commerce stores itself.Being in India, Whenever I tend to buy a particular product( let’s say it is a Laptop), the first thing I do is press for three new tabs in my browser, open Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. Here starts my research. E commerce portals like Indiatimes Shopping, Rediff Shopping, Naaptol do turn up in some place or the other and give me suggestions.
There was a time when price was the only differentiating criteria in order to place my order. Today with the nurturing of so many online sellers, I expect the portal to be more beautifully designed, give me suggestions of what to buy, give me recommendations of the speakers or chargers which can go along with my laptop,and even the delivery time of my order is a crucial factor for me . When I see all this happening in another portal, all it takes for me is a click on the close tab symbol and go to the other one.
Remember in a virtual store, it is very easy for the prospective buyer to quit and that very hard for the seller to convince the prospect. Unlike the physical retail stores, E commerce stores will never get a second chance to explain or bargain. So what is the moolah? How can you tap your customers from flowing away? Technology has again come with an answer for that as well.
Big Data and Data Analysis is the answer that technology has thrown at us. Effective handling of the data that is gained out of the customer activities on your portal is going to play a crucial role in the customer retention ratio. Amazon is already doing this to a large extent.They have the click stream data and transnational data of their 152 million customers, with which they derive to a lot of conclusions, analysis and provide on the go recommendations to their buyers.
With so many E commerce companies coming up on a daily basis, it is going to be very tough for the stalwarts and also the rookies to survive this flow. Imbibing an efficient Big Data ecosystem will be a sure shot advantage for the E sellers. This is where companies like mine pitch in. We can create a Big Data Ecosystem connecting all the stake holders and create an environment of seamless customer understanding and connectivity. This is only one among the hundreds of ways to Connect to your customers, Increase sales, Analyse yourself and Grow with the help of the Feedback’s of your buyers. So what happened to my Laptop Purchase, well let me see if there any other stores online which can offer me better value. Talk to you soon !
( Author is Business Development Executive @ Sesame Technologies Pvt. Ltd.)