What trend do you see in E-commerce in India in near future … say 5-7 years?

Note: This question was answered on 1st May, 2012

E-commerce in India address some needs that are specific to the Indian context:

  • Choice: There are quite a few places in India where consumers do not have a wide choice. Companies like http://www.allschoolstuff.com have orders from folks in smaller towns, only because stuff like Ben10 pencil boxes are not available in their town.
  • Savings: Indian consumers seek value, and online models allow e-tailers some cost advantages over physical store distributed goods.
  • Convenience: In major cities in India, driving or traveling to a market, finding parking space, etc. is quite a stressful experience.

My view is that many more categories will open up to online retailing. People on Quora have already started talking about motor spare parts online, car accessories online, etc. However, the niche categories will start seeing action after the wider appeal categories start becoming saturated. There are 100s of categories that can consider being online.

There will perhaps also be business models wherein the physical store is not to stock and dispense goods, but only to display and try, with the purchase being logged online at the store and delivered from a central warehouse [as this can reduce cost of goods sold due to lower inventory holding costs, lower dead-stock and lower unsold stock situations].



As financial inclusion becomes a reality across India, and as ‘safer’ payment options like virtual credit cards, etc. become more prevalent, electronic commerce can only increase. We are, in my view, seeing only the beginning of the journey.



Author: Prajakt Raut

Prajakt Raut is the founder of Applyifi.com, and author of the book for startups - ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’ Prajakt personal goal in life is to encourage and assist a 100,000 people to become entrepreneurs. _____________ Prajakt is the founder of Applyifi - an online platform that provides startups a 36-point scorecard and assessment report on the venture's investment readiness [www.applyifi.com], and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. Prajakt is also the founding partner of The Growth Labs, a platform where growth-stage companies get sharp, incisive advice from senior professionals and experienced entrepreneurs. [www.thegrowthlabs.in] Before starting Applyifi, Prajakt was the head of operations at IAN, founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-Director for TiE (2004 - 2007). Previously Prajakt had co-founded Orange Cross, a healthcare services company, and was part of the founding team member of Idealake Technologies. While in college Prajakt had founded a printing business and has spent over 10 years working in leading advertising agencies. Prajakt’s book, ‘Starting Up & Fund Raising’, helps startups understand an investor’s perspective, and helps them improve their odds of getting funded. The book also helps entrepreneurs understand the building blocks of a business.

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