Riding on the boom in e-commerce since last year, this year too has been a successful year for the sector with several new trends coming to the fore. The rise in social commerce, video platforms growth, Q-commerce, hyper-local deliveries, etc. are some of the major trends shaping the industry.
For instance, e-commerce giant Amazon India, besides its success in its seller program, has been working to improve its presence in the ‘video streaming’ segment with its Prime Video Channel and its shopping app MiniTV users. The competition thus for the entire online space, not just on the direct e-commerce channels, is likely to increase.
An Amazon spokesperson said, “As one of the many key focus areas for 2022, we are scaling up a host of content-based initiatives for people to easily search for products, read up relevant articles on latest tech trends and launches, watch product review videos etc. through initiatives like Amazon Mobile insider, TV Insider, Mini TV, On-Site Articles, Video shopping, Amazon Live etc. all on the Amazon.in App.”
Flipkart, the e-commerce player with the maximum market capture in India, has been focusing on amping up its social commerce game. The company has re-launched its earlier vertical local marketplace 2GUD as the social commerce platform Shopsy.
“Today we are the only company in India which offers end-to-end social enabled commerce – basically all capabilities in commerce – making it social discoverable. In the last 2-3 months, we have seen business doubling every week, the numbers are significant, for certain categories the numbers are already a percentage of the total group business,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart.
Similar initiatives are being taken by other e-tailers like Myntra and even D2C brands are exploring to build their presence in the social commerce space. With players like Meesho, Gobillion, Dealshare, etc. getting decent traction, the segment is going to become very competitive in the year ahead.
Take Gobillion for example. The company, which raised $2.9 million of seed funds this year, is running on an annualized GMV run rate of Rs 24 crores and expects to grow to Rs 100 crore annualized GMV run-rate in the next 5-6 months.
“We are laser focused on our mission - making e-commerce social and accessible, and focusing on execution in key markets in East and Central India, delighting customers with the best deals on their groceries and daily essentials. We are a category creator in the B2C group buying space and really excited about our long term growth potential,” said Roshan Farhan, Founder and CEO, Gobillion.
Also, on the growth opportunities in the social e-commerce ecosystem, Vineet Rao, CEO and Founder, DealShare said, “In the last one year concepts that blend with our socio-cultural fabric like social e-commerce and community commerce have grown faster and demonstrated that this could be ‘the e-commerce model’ that is best suited for India. In India, the gross merchandise value (GMV) of such business models stood at ~US$ 2 billion in 2020. By 2025, it could be as big as US$ 100 billion."
Pulkit Agrawal, Co-Founder and CEO of lifestyle social commerce platform Trell has said, "Social commerce is by far the fastest-growing industry today, thanks to skyrocketing social media usage and consumers’ preference for seamless, direct engagement with brands. In fact, recent market study reports project that social commerce is expected to grow three times faster than previously expected."
"As leaders in the Influencer-led Lifestyle social commerce industry, 2022 is going to be a remarkable year for Trell. We are laser focused on bringing forth some massive initiatives to democratise the content creation space for all aspiring creators, who now look forward to it as a full-time profession to earn a sustainable income," Agrawal further stated.
Another major trend that cannot be ignored in this year is the advent of quick-commerce particularly in the space of grocery e-commerce, which itself has seen significant growth in the last two years. Dunzo, Grofers, Swiggy Instamart, Zepto, LoveLocal, etc. are some of the major players in the segment. These new-age start-ups, which have been getting reasonable funding this year cater to an estimated addressable market size of $50 billion.
LoveLocal, for instance, has recorded a surge of over 15 times in the business in the past 12 months. Akanksha Hazari, Founder and CEO, LoveLocal stated, "In the next 3 years, we aim to empower one million local retailers by taking them online and expanding our footprint to Tier-III and Tier-IV cities as well."
Role Of Enablers
Also, in the e-commerce industry, the key enablers such as logistics, technology and packaging have evolved tremendously to keep in step with the growth. The development of these enablers like Shoptimize, Easycom, Shopmatic, Shipway among many others in the field is proportional to the growth in the overall sector.
Shoptimize, in fact, reported a 273 percent increase in the number of transactions this Diwali season, resulting in a 386 percent increase in GMV.
“Amidst the trials and tribulations presented by the pandemic, technology is managing to keep several businesses afloat. Concepts like online shopping and D2C are driving a paradigm shift in the retail market, which is expected to continue in the coming years. And the exciting part is, the retail sector is booming, with growth which is not just occurring in major cities and metros but also Tier-II and III cities,” said Mangesh Panditrao, Co-Founder and CEO, Shoptimize.
Another e-commerce enabler EasyEcom, with clients being major e-commerce and D2C players, has shared some interesting insights into how the industry is changing. The company claims its clients have witnessed man-hour reduction, 100 percent manual errors elimination in the shipment and accounting processes with the services integrated into its business.
Punit Gupta, Founder and CEO, EasyEcom stated, "With e-commerce customer demands in the market, the e-commerce management along with warehouse and inventory management becomes crucial for any business to sustain in the market. We at EasyEcom, noticed a significant gap between the existing e-commerce ecosystem and what was actually required. Hence based on our deep experience in e-commerce, we built our first version of the software solution which instantly became a market hit."
How Bright is the Future?
E-commerce, possibly the fastest growing sector, is expected to grow to $ 111.40 billion by 2025 from $ 46.2 billion as of 2020, and by 2030, it is expected to reach $ 350 billion. The sector is clearly on the trajectory of becoming more efficient in terms of the supply chain, stronger connectivity with the consumers with social and video commerce.
Anand Ramanathan, Partner, Deloitte India reiterates, “Going forward, we see 3 key themes emerging which will lead to accelerated growth for the e-commerce industry. First is the rise of D2C and phygital business models which will help companies collect first-party customer data and offer increasingly personalized and tailored services to consumers, Second, is the rise of social and video-based commerce which will offer strong competition to traditional transaction-based models and third is the creation of ‘platform economies’ which will help organizations connect consumers, suppliers and vendors by leveraging technology.”
Given the scale and range of developments, almost all industry leaders and experts believe that these are surely exciting times for the Indian e-commerce industry which will continue for the next few years.