Gaurav Khurana

Gaurav Khurana is the Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Online & Affiliate Business at PAYBACK India. He plays the role of a brand custodian who is responsible for driving customer engagement in the company. He utilizes his immense experience in product and brand marketing to build a stronger brand. With over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing & product management across industries such as loyalty, financial services and automobiles, Gaurav acts as a key influencer in defining overall brand and customer strategy.

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Changing Trends in the Ecommerce Industry

The Indian retail industry, currently ranks among the world's top five retail markets. The industry has been experiencing exponential growth, with retail development taking place not just in the metros, but in Tier 1 and 2 towns as well.

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There has been a marked shift in terms of the lifestyle preferences and buying trends among Indian consumers over the last two decades. With the opening up of the Indian economy in 1991, Urban India has gradually embraced consumerism and is increasingly opting for branded products.

India’s E-commerce industry has witnessed a major breakthrough in the last five years. Increasing internet penetration, safe and secure payment modes along with aggressive marketing strategies have all played a significant role in the booming E-commerce sector.

The Indian retail industry, currently ranks among the world's top five retail markets. The industry has been experiencing exponential growth, with retail development taking place not just in the metros, but in Tier 1 and 2 towns as well.

Growing internet penetration and the rise in the number of people using smartphones have acted as a catalyst for the retail sector while reshaping customer behavior and expectations. Along with this, increasing disposable incomes, rise in aspirational values of the consumer, urbanization, and change in technology have also contributed to a booming retail sector. Also, there is an increase in the young population who believe in ‘Working hard and living well’. They, too, are responsible for the spurt in activity in the sector.

Talking of the ecommerce industry in India, it has seen a significant growth and given rise to many first generation startups. This trend has been instrumental for a lot of offline retailers to move online to adapt to the changing consumer behavior.

To cater to the changed mindset of the evolved consumer, brick and mortar retailers are launching integrated online and offline strategies at all times and wherever they are. It is the need of the hour to reinvent existing models and adopt new strategies to satisfy the needs of the consumers who are evolved and connected.

Another interesting trend which has been observed is that the millennials are quite experimental in nature. There is a growing movement in new and unconventional categories like Furniture, Health and Beauty care, Apparel and Groceries as opposed to traditional online categories of books and consumer electronics.

If we look at the food industry, which is currently valued at US$ 39.71 billion [1], it is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent to US$65.4 billion by 2018. Food and grocery account for around 31 per cent of India’s consumption basket.

Indian Ecommerce market is expected to quadruple to $70 Billion, over the next 5 years. With growing number of smartphone users, competitive costs for connectivity, and expanded reach, internet users are expected to reach the 600 million mark.

Customers today have an ever changing choice of products and are looking for greater value propositions like wider assortment, higher discounts and convenience. E-tailers are constantly trying to adopt innovative strategies to cater unique need and preferences of customer.

In view of the same and in a bid to drive retention and loyalty, there is an increasing emergence of value added services and loyalty programs which can drive higher customer lifetime value for the e-tailers. Affiliate channels are also being increasingly viewed as means to drive new acquisition. Omni-channel business too has gained ground to cater to the needs of the consumer offering options and flexibility across multiple touch-points. A combination of all these factors putting ‘Customer First’ is useful to drive rewarding and repeat shopping experiences.

Going forward, the e-Commerce players are targeting the right market with the right experiences to create the next generation of winners.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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