How women are making it big in business via WhatsApp-based social commerce ?
How women are making it big in business via WhatsApp-based social commerce ?

Social commerce is not a new concept in the country major chunk of social commerce existed only in the fashion, beauty, and retail industries. Today, social commerce is gaining popularity for one of the fundamental aspects of life – fresh food. Fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables have become the most in-demand products as people switch to healthier ways of living and are eager to know the source.  

 A USD 200 Billionfresh produce category is now witnessing major disruption through social commerce. It is garnering the attention of consumer, entrepreneurs, and investors, . In fact, consumers are increasingly preferring their food sourced through social commerce for various reasons such as higher credibility, rational price and most importantly, fresher produce (delivered within a day straight from the farms sometime within 12 hrs). For women looking to be a part of the business environment without monetary investment, social commerce within the food category is the ideal solution. Let us take a look at how social commerce is playing a key role in helping women make it big in business.

 The rise of social commerce

Increasing internet penetration and social media usage have paved the way for the rise of social commerce. A majority of the population today uses and is in fact hooked onto social media and brands are leveraging this aspect. With the rise in demand for fresh produce,women are joining hands with brands to become resellers within their community to make a mark for themselves in their community by leveraging social commerce. Currently, fresh produce is a supply-led model and social commerce is flipping it to demand-led model that further helps in solving the problem of middlemen and wastage (since there is no inventory). Apart from this, it helps resellers connect with their customers-base efficiently and offer real-time feedback to the farmers regarding the quality of the produce.

 The emergence of women as dominant sellers

 For the first time, women are taking the center stage in spurring the adoption of e-commerce and helping the industry as well as themselves progress. The advent of technology, rapid digitization of businesses, and easy access have helped drive this change. For women sellers, a slew of features aided by cutting-edge technology such as voice chats/chatbots, real-time updates and feedback to the farmers, and most importantly, WhatsApp-based marketing is coming handy to open more doors to become micro-entrepreneurs.         

Additionally, women sellers also have ahigher average order value, better retention and repeat orders, making them more suitable. In fact, not justurban cities, but women resellers hail from tier-II and tier-III catchment areas are hopping on the fresh produce social commerce bandwagon to fulfil their goals and achieve financial independence with almost no investment. A whopping 68% of women in most platforms sell from tier-II and tier-III cities.

 Women sellers also help customers gain the trust factor for unbranded products since they usually tend to lean towards known/established brands. In return, social commerce platforms offer easy access for women to build an entrepreneurial empire of their own through community engagement without hindrances. Particularly in vernacular language-led social commerce platforms, women are dominating the space, even though the concept is still at a very nascent stage. They are learning the tricks of the trade and are keen on flourishing in the competitive business environment.

 Social commerce is quickly becoming a multi-million-dollar market in India. However, the country has a largely unorganized market, particularly in tier-II, tier-III and tier-IV cities, especially for the fresh produce category with millions of farmers scattered across the country. Additionally, shopping for fresh produce is a social concept of sorts. Since the pandemic has forced us to adhere to social distancing norms, social commerce is flourishing and women are leading the way. With technological advancements, greater digitization and the availability of regional languages providing easy access and seamless experience, the rise of women entrepreneurs through social commerce is inevitable.  

 ( The article has been authored by VarunKhurana, Founder, Otipy )

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Unveiling India's Retail Revolution: Tech Disruptions, Consumer Shifts, and the Future of E-Commerce
Unveiling India's Retail Revolution: Tech Disruptions, Consumer Shifts, and the Future of E-Commerce
 

India’s retail industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation driven by technological disruptions, evolving consumer behavior and new innovations redefining the retail experience. As Deloitte’s ‘Future of Retail’ report observes, these pivotal forces have set the stage for online retail to surge 5X over the next 7 years. With projections indicating e-commerce growing at 25 percent annually until 2030 compared to offline retail’s 10 percent, digital channels are primed to dominate India’s $1.5 trillion retail market in the years ahead.

Decoding the Underlying Market Drivers

As per the latest retail industry data, India’s Tier II and III cities have begun overshadowing metros as the next e-commerce frontier. In 2022, order volumes from Tier III cities witnessed 65 percent year-on-year growth, and Tier II cities saw 50 percent expansion. In contrast, Tier I cities clocked a modest 10 percent increase over the same period. Given this divergence, industry projections indicate Tier II and III cities will continue dramatically outpacing their Tier I counterparts in online order growth rates over the next decade.

Attractive value propositions like wider product choices, discounted offerings, convenience, and personalized engagement are driving smaller cities to warm up much faster to e-commerce adoption even within an inflationary climate. For retailers chasing the next wave of growth, the writing is clear – India’s underpenetrated towns and cities housing over 900 million people hold the key to market leadership.

Rising Data Analytics Creating Asymmetric Advantages

As consumer interactions increasingly shift online, data is creating radical differentiation between legacy retailers and digital-first brands leading tech-driven transformation-commerce majors are setting new benchmarks in leveraging analytics across areas – from inventory planning aligned to local consumption patterns to predictive demand forecasting models minimizing stock-out situations.

Delivering Relevant and Personalized Experiences

Hyper-personalization represents the new battleground as customers expect communications, recommendations, and experiences to reflect their individual preferences. Indian shoppers are willing to spend more with retailers who can effectively tap into the power of data to tailor offerings aligning with their needs and interests. Brands leveraging AI and ML to deduce insights from purchase journeys and browsing behavior hold an edge in continually customizing engagement across channels.

The Way Forward: A Roadmap for Retailers

Adopt Omnichannel Strategies Aligned with Evolving Consumption: As smaller cities drive more than 60 percent of e-commerce volumes, retailers need a presence across online and offline channels with a hyperlocal outreach to tap into growth opportunities beyond metros. Localization, vernacular interfaces, and experiential stores are key.

Build Intelligent Supply Chains Resilient to Disruptions: Invest in data integration across the value chain to obtain end-to-end visibility. Leverage analytics for demand planning, inventory optimization, and predictive maintenance. This can minimize stock-outs, and ensure faster deliveries while improving supply chain profitability.

Deliver Personalization through Customer Analytics: Capture every customer interaction and apply analytics to discern behavioral patterns. Offer contextually relevant recommendations via multiple channels. Personalize communication and marketing content based on purchase history and search trends.

The Pivot to Experience-First Retail Powered by Technology

As the Indian shopper gets more evolved and demanding, customer experience across retail journeys is emerging as the biggest differentiator for both customer acquisition and retention. Retailers unlocking the power of analytics and technology to elevate personalized engagement, and minimize friction while tailoring experiences to align with local preferences will lead to market dominance in the future. The secret sauce for success lies in using data and innovation to blend online convenience with offline experiential retail - a trend that will further accelerate as India ascends into a trillion-dollar consumer market.

 

Authored By

Prerna

Prerna Kalra, Co-founder & CEO of Daalchini Technologies

 

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