As Google Loon gears to spread its reach to the remotest corners of the country, with approval pending from the government for its internet-transmitting balloons, the rapidly growing E-commerce industry can look forward to more opportunities for expansion. The low-cost, high-speed internet technology creates opportunities for new ventures to make their foray on the internet and thus extend the boundaries of E-commerce beyond the urban areas.
E-commerce Trends in India
A joint study by Grant Thornton and Assocham suggests that the number of online shoppers is likely to touch 40 million by 2016. Though slow growing at 19%, there are already 243 million internet users in India as of 2014 and this number continues to grow with rapid mobile internet adoption. The growing broadband penetration and acceptance of online marketplaces will push the expansion of the E-commerce spectrum further, especially with greater internet perpetuation through the project Loon. The high price of owning a brick-and-mortar store combined with the greater access to customers in a global market will tip the scales towards E-commerce.
Internet and Opportunities
India is already a favored destination for outsourcing retail merchandise production by some of the leading brands globally. These manufacturers are mostly tucked away in the small towns of the great country. If internet access reaches to remote corners, there will be access to greater manpower that is skilled and the manufacturing can be shifted to more cost-effective locations. Also, using the power of the internet, the middleman can be eliminated and merchandise can be shipped directly to end consumers.
This will be especially effective in the case of perishable farm produces where the high number of middlemen ensures that the prices escalate sky-high before they reach the end customer while the farmer gets a negligible share.
New Products, Services and More Technology
Mobile technology has already expanded rapidly and the availability of budget smartphones has put basic internet services at the fingertips of a large number of users. Also, with technology such as voice commands, images, and videos, multiple languages support, the services can be easily availed by the masses. In 2012, Google had started the Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), which is discontinued from this year after witnessing the surge in online shopping this Diwali.
They recognize that small and medium online businesses will not wait for the one time in the year when GOSF comes to witness phenomenal sales. It is projected that the number of online shoppers will hit 100 million by 2016. When it first started, GOSF witnessed 90 retailers’ participation. As the internet grows, and the number of internet enabled devices multiplies, there will be more avenues for E-commerce and M-commerce, which implies more retailers aiming to access a greater number of customers online.
It is easy to set up business on the internet even without an E-commerce website via social media where word of mouth publicity and online banking is all that is needed to complete a transaction. Many small and medium businesses are making their foray in a similar manner and with Project Loon, more opportunities can be easily foreseen.
This is a guest post by Vaishnavi Agrawal. Vaishnavi loves pursuing excellence through writing and have a passion for technology. She has successfully managed and run personal technology magazines and websites. She currently writes for Intellipaat, a global training company that provides e-learning and professional certification training.
The courses offered by Intellipaat address the unique needs of working professionals. She is based out of Bangalore and has an experience of 5 years in the field of content writing and blogging. Her work has been published on various sites related to Data Science, Hadoop, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Project Management, Cloud Computing, IT, SAP and more.