When we talk of online retailing, one has a notion that it is not safe and that not too many people would be indulging in it. But that’s a big misconception and just for the record, India stands third in online shopping after Singapore and Hong Kong. The numbers are ever increasing and in the last quarter of 2008, the average online spending by Indian customers rose by 42 per cent and was tagged at $3442.
Reason for rise
Online retailing began with the Future Group’s foray in 2007 and has been on the upswing ever since. Changing lifestyles, convenience and the option of saving time are all collectively making this format a success. According to Kashyap Vadapalli, Director, Marketing and Business Development, e-Bay India, “The two primary reasons for the increase in online shopping are that online retailing offers fantastic deals for customers, so they prefer to shop online. The increasing use of credit and debit cards also plays a significant role.” But a website can not be a success if not managed well. So even if it’s online, the retailer needs to provide an experience so smooth that it creates loyal customers. You can partner with search engines which can help direct people to your website. Such partnerships give the retailer greater visibility and help him become popular among the masses.
Cross selling is a technique where retailers pool in interlinked products and direct the customers by making suggestions for buying products which go very well with what they have already bought. This helps them make related purchases.
Scare of online purchasing
There is a set of people who are actively buying online there is another set of people who resist making purchases online. Security is their concern. A lot of fraud takes place online where the credit card passwords can be hacked and put to misuse. As a retailer, you can provide safe payment gateways and ensure that no misuses take place on your website. This will give your customer a sense of security and will help increase the traffic on your website. However Vadapalli feels that it is just about making people shop with you once, “If they shop with you once, they will definitely come back to you so our endeavour is to bring around the first customer.” And further predicting a bright future for the format he says, “All the macro economic changes taking place with an increase in the use of internet and the availability of it at home (as compared to a few years back when people used to go to cyber cafés) and the regular use of debit and credit cards is making people comfortable about online shopping. I feel it is a time where it is poised to rise in India.”
It is a known fact that the retailers who have online portals have greater profits as compared to those who don’t. So if you still don’t have one, may be it’s time for you to make one… So, do it before the competition overtakes you. Happy e-tailing!!
Must for your website
Attractive design of the website
Continual shopping cart
Complete product information
Store location information
Strong site search engine capabilities
Partner with search engine
Sectors most prevalent for online purchasing
Travel related bookings
Fashion and lifestyle products