India’s e-commerce market is expected to hit $200 billion by 2026 as per the report published by Morgan Stanley last year. We if look at market leader, majorly it is largely ruled by Flipkart and Amazon and if sources are to be believed Google is all set for e-commerce foray in India. Google’s entry into e-commerce space which is valued at around USD 38.5 billion will certainly create ripple. Though Google has earlier plans to invest in Flipkart but now it is planning to come by its own.
A report titled ‘ Digital Lending - A USD one trillion opportunity over the next five years’ suggest that by BCG estimated that over 40 per cent of mobile phone users in India would be using a smart phone, with 250 million new users in this space being added every year.
Report also indicated that as many as 650 million Indians will have a digital footprint (internet access) by 2020, with more than 85 per cent having access to high-speed internet.
Google’s entry in this highly competitive e-commerce space will certainly create more challenge for existing players big or small. With massive Internet users India, it is certainly a big opportunity that no one wants to miss out.
Certainly, the big companies has the advantage of being ‘big’ but it does not mean small e-commerce companies have lost on all opportunities. We should not forget the fact that homegrown companies will certainly have the advantage in long run as consumers would be more attuned and comfortable to shopping online with them. Also, no doubt, it is all about ‘Product or service’ that you are offering but there are small things which really creates a difference.
Here are few tips that small e-commerce companies can adopt to compete with giants:
Write product description smartly
Product descriptions are very important element of search engine optimisation (SEO). Never rely on product description provided by product companies or sellers. Such practice won’t allow any SEO benefit.
You can use provided content as base but do not use them as it is. Big brands might have product portfolio as large as hundreds or thousands. And, creating unique description for every single item might not be possible for them.
Here is an opportunity for you. Look for the ways to add value in the existing content. You can look at innovative ways adding 360 degree view of product image along with buying guides, case studies and usage videos. Try to make it as user friendly as it can be.
Focus on subscription model
Subscriptions ensure fixed monthly revenue. Even big e-commerce players such as Amazon is investing heavily in promoting their subscription model, for example, recently, Amazon had run two day long campaign called ‘Prime Day’ to increase the number of Prime subscriptions. As per the data released by the company, more customers in India joined the Prime membership program in the week leading up to Prime Day than in any other week before, with more than 35% of new members living in tier 2-3 towns.
Subscriptions are the win-win situation not only for seller and e-retailers. Even customers get shipping advantage on subscription based orders. If you are operating in food, grocery, beauty & wellness kind of category then ‘subscription model’ might be boon for you.
Improve your shipping
Most of the e-commerce companies lost their business due to poor shipping. There are various studies which shows that shoppers tends to choose the items which are labelled as ‘free shipping’ or ‘discounted shipping’.
Since you are start-up so offering free shipping might not be a viable solution. But, you can consider offering discounted shipping on certain cart value, for example, you can offer free shipping on orders above Rs2000 or maybe you can offer free shipping for your first time customer. However, whatever might be your strategy do not compromise on quality and experience. There is nothing bad than customers receiving damaged products.
We hope that above write-up is useful to you, if you are a start-up in an e-retail or have build an online brand then request you to share your experience/ challenges with us right beneath the article in the comment section.