Understanding E-commerce in India

E-commerce

The online business industry is well established in India. And, everyday some or the other new player is taking a plunge. Though, a major contribution to its growth is provided by e-commerce industry. Even so, not many understand the intricacies involved in e-commerce industry.

By definition e-commerce stands for electronic commerce. Dealing in goods and services through the electronic media and internet is called as E-commerce. E-Commerce or E-business involves carrying on a business with the help of the internet and by using information technology like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). It relates to a website of a vendor selling or providing services directly from its portal to the customers. They use a digital shopping cart system and allow payment through credit card, debit card or electronic fund transfer payments. The e-commerce industry helps in reducing costs in managing orders while also interacting with a wide range of suppliers and trading partners. It also involves any form of business transaction in which the parties interact electronically rather than by physical exchanges or direct physical contact.

With the evolution of technology and increase in consumerism all over India, e-commerce is riding the high tide in online business. Today, the total number of internet users in the world is close to 3 billion, out of this India has a total of 259.14 million internet and broadband subscribers. Easy access to internet via mobile devices coupled with increasing confidence of the customers to purchase online is leading the way. Because of this, increasing number of people are registering on e-commerce websites and purchasing products through the use of cell phones.

According to a report, annual growth rates in leading e-commerce markets of Japan, South Korea and Australia will run at 11% to 12% over the few years. In retrospect, the rapidly growing market of China and India is 25% and 57% respectively.

Concept of E–commerce in India

Multi product E-commerce – Some e-commerce portals provide almost all categories of goods and services under one roof, targeting customers of every possible products and services. Indian e-commerce portals provide products like apparel and accessories for men and women, health and beauty products, books and magazines, computers and peripherals, vehicles, collectibles, software, consumer electronics, household appliances, jewellery, audio/video entertainment goods, gift articles, real estate and services, business and opportunities, employment, travel tickets, matrimony etc.

Single Product E-commerce – Automobiles sector portals providing selling and buying of vehicles including two wheelers, comes under this. Stocks and share market sites, also offers their services through these types of portals, with options for comparisons and research. Other major industries offering their products and services are real estate and travel and tourism. Besides these, matrimony and employment websites are a big hit across India.

Types of E-commerce

Business to Business (B2B) – It involves the full spectrum of online business occurring between two organizations, including purchasing and procurement, supplier management, inventory management, channel management, sales activities, payment management, and service and support.

Business to Consumer (B2C) – Business to Consumer E-commerce refers to the exchanges between Business and Consumer. It changes the traditional way of doing business with customer by getting goods from Manufacturer/Retailer to the consumer directly.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C) – Consumer to Consumers involves transactions between and among consumers. These transactions may or may not include a third party involvement.

Consumer to Business (C2B) – Consumer to Business is relatively a new model of commerce and is a reverse of the traditional commerce models. Here, consumers provide services or goods to businesses and create value for the business.

Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C) – This is a variant of the B2B2C model wherein there is an additional intermediary business to assist the first business transacts with the end consumer.

E-commerce in India

According to a research, Indian E-commerce revenues will increase by more than five times by 2016, jumping from U.S. Dollar 1.6 billion in 2012 to U.S. Dollar 8.8 billion in 2016. A survey by the Associated Chambers of Commerce concluded that, India’s E-commerce market, which stood at $ 2.5 billion in 2009, reached $8.5 billion in 2012 and rose 88% to touch $ 16 billion. The gradual increase in literate population and the internet penetration driven by some of the cheap and most basic cell phones providing access to internet is helping this substantial growth. The telecommunication technology has completely changed the way of our living, communication methods, shopping etc. It has a huge impact on how we communicate with friends and relatives how we travel, how we access the information and the way we buy or sell products and services. The growth of E-commerce volumes in India is also attracting the attention of players around the globe. More importantly, e-commerce creates more opportunities for business and also opens up opportunities for education and academics, which seems to have tremendous potential in the future of e-commerce in India.

 

~ Masuk Siddik