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Future of Indian E/M-Commerce: Behavior Pattern Based Strategies

India’s e-commerce and m-commerce have been a success story worth looking at over and over again. The industry that had remained stagnant and produced consistently uninspiring results for so many years, picked up pace in a way that couldn’t be predicted by the best of the analysts. With current fast paced competition in the industry on every aspect from pricing and product availability to delivery times and user friendliness, there is a serious need for online retailers to innovate in order to stand out.
India’s top online retailers which now also includes American giant, Amazon in the race, find themselves in the most aggressively competitive environment in the country. With Indian customers sensitive to price, quality and availability of products, missing out on any of these factors may prove costly. With the entry of mobile payment and digital wallet company, Paytm into the e-retail space, it has only made things more interesting. Originally limited to online mobile recharge and bill payments, the wide availability of the paytm promo codes over those of other retailers allowed the new player to gain considerable chunk of the market quicker than anyone had predicted.

Paytm was able to successfully leverage its digital wallet customer base to bring in sales in retail. The company offered cash back and coupons for customer acquisition rather than major advertising budgets by others including Snapdeal and Flipkart. However, something Paytm was successful in predicting is their customer’s love for coupons. Despite the availability of deep discount deals and offers, other all-category online retailers haven’t warmed up to the coupons. Paytm’s strategy could have been a simple preference to coupons, but it also could have been  infinitely different and smarter - Data Driven Strategy.

Data Driven Strategy:

The potential of data driven strategy for growth in sales and profitability for e-commerce, although has found itself in debates several times over, it is yet to receive the attention it deserves from Indian online retailers. But Indian retailers have every reason to change this behavior and warm up to the Big data and its potential to help make their best decisions. Data science can help retailers capture even the smallest trends with effective algorithms that can then be used to either adapt or take advantage of the said trends. These trends could be based on consumer behavior, international market course and values, and a variety of other factors.

The M Word:

India’s mobile commerce is growing faster than its e-commerce, so much so that, many retailers have entirely shifted focus from desktop to mobile. With smart phones’ onrush consistently increasing, the behavior is only expected to rise. For many new players, mobile is the way to go as they operate on a ‘app only’ model. Mobile commerce allows companies to observe customer engagement and transaction trends at more microscopic level and subsequently make sense of retrieved data to take appropriate actions to improve engagement.