Computers have changed our lives. Today,a fashion enthusiast need not worry about running to stores. He just needs to go online browse through sites and with the click of a button undertake a transaction. There are many online stores which offer a varied line of products.
All this was unimaginable two years back but today everything can be done with the click of a button, from shopping for clothes, to shopping for groceries, to ordering a birthday cake. Online shopping, which was once a small niche in the shopping format, has grown leaps and bounds with time and is expected to increase further.
It’s surprising that a decade ago India had less than three million internet users, and by the end of this, it is expected to increase to about 150 million users. So it seems that e-commerce is here to stay. But what is the future of e-commerce?
According to me the future of e-commerce will evolve and the following trends may be introduced:
Online stores will find it difficult to compete with the physical stores as is seen in the present due to the intangibility part of its interface. Hence, to increase traffic in the future, online stores will have to personalize the products they offer. This can be done by compiling customer information without being intrusive, as every shopper expects some privacy. This cannot be done by asking them their likes and dislikes or preferences via surveys or suggestions. This won’t attract any customers. However, social media and a customer’s purchase behavior on the website will help a retailer learn more about them.
2. E-commerce Blogs
It’s a recent trend and will gather steam, as followers build up. India has a lot of fashion bloggers that sell their goods online; however it is still in a nascent stage. They offer their merchandises on their blog, but also route it on Facebook. From time to time, they develop and tweak their online payment method and other added perks. This is a developing area where shoppers can expect long and detailed information about their future possessions. And it’s completely in the hand of the blogger to decide how to maintain close ties with customers.
3. Niche Markets
Niches act like an important category to shop. It helps you one be distinct in the market place. For example, Flipkart started off as an online book store, however today it encompasses a wide variety of goods. Acting as a niche market will help a retailer gain increased superiority in the category that they offer. This will help the brand a lot in the future as expert knowledge and uniqueness is what distinguishes one brand from the other.
4. Mobile shopping
Mobile internet usage has increased and new technologies enable our handsets to act more than a mere calling device. People like to shop on the go and mobile internet is the perfect medium for this. New apps have made life easier for both shoppers and retailers as it has become easier to track consumer behavior. From all these trends you can see that the future of shopping seems to be a consumer driven one, where your customer is the cynosure of your business and your business model is centered on him.
However a few years down the line, these techniques may become obsolete, as better services appear with time.
However, we as consumers, just need to sit back and shop.
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