As businesses prepare lean and flexible models that operate in an online-offline mix in the post-pandemic world, the focus for digital platforms in India will be on selling directly to the consumers in 2021.
"Small businesses in India are today evolving themselves as per the consumer and industry requirements. They are hungry for growth and much more resilient than we could've imagined. Merchants have come to understand the diverse nature of consumers and that innovation is the key differentiator," said Akash Gehani COO & Co-founder, Instamojo.
The payment gateway and e-commerce platform has on-boarded more than 2 lakh small businesses from tier II and tier III cities during the lockdown period.
"More than 70 percent of these entrepreneurs had no prior online presence. Small businesses owners are making necessary changes to their brands, to the way they operate, and also the way they deal with their customers online in order to survive in the growing e-commerce space," Gehani explained.
The company has launched a report on the e-commerce outlook for 2021 which draws the experiences of more than a million small businesses across the country, including Instamojo's merchants like LegalWiz, Syrow, Profitbooks and MSMEx.
According to the findings, entrepreneurs today understand the power of online presence and digital operations.
"There has been a 3 times growth in unique businesses creating online stores," the report mentioned.
MojoVersity, Instamojo's e-learning platform for entrepreneurs, saw a 9 times growth in enrollments and 11 times growth in the number of merchants getting digitally certified in 2020.
"As more entrepreneurs emerge from smaller towns and cities in India, accelerators and incubators are also expanding their services into markets to help nurture the upcoming businesses. Industry reports indicate that 40 percent of investors will come from Tier II and Tier III cities," said the report.
As a large number of businesses went online in 2020, they also recognised the importance of a wide social media presence.
The number of businesses updating their social media handles on their Instamojo online store went up an average of 30 percent (QoQ).