Industry TrendsMentor's Perspective

8 things to know about E-commerce trends and opportunity

We had conducted a GoCrackIt Intern Meet Up at IIM Bangalore on 27th April. The theme of the Meet Up was “ E-commerce: Trends & Opportunities”. The event was chaired by Pallavi Palkar, National Head (T-2 cities) – Bigbasket & Tridev Kundu – Supply Chain Design – Flipkart. We discussed multiple issues around E-commerce and career opportunities in the sector followed by very engaging discussions with students. Some of the insights we gathered from the discussion are as follows:

  1. Why E-commerce as a career
    • New challenges
      • E-commerce industry is a very nascent stage which gives tremendous opportunity to come up with innovative ideas and at the same time implementing them
      • Enjoyed problem-solving in real time which is never discussed in theoretical books
    • A shift from traditional industry to totally new environment
      • Identified how traditional methods can be used in E-commerce industry
  2. How customers are evolving in E-commerce industry
    • New concept of “Middle India”
      • An interesting concept of Middle India was introduced by our mentors which can be roughly referred to consumers with disposal income and technological savviness
  3. Impact of Emerging/Emerged technology on E-commerce. How skill gaps can be bridged
    • Required for scale
      • Technology is definitely required for scaling and improving the customer experience to name a few
      • Our mentors talk about examples such as preferred delivery slots for busy customers, routing algorithms for supply chain, Automated Guided Vehicle at warehouses
    • Technology v/s excess manpower availability
      • India is still a labour-intensive country even today, so we need to see the cost benefit of technology v/s cheap manual labor
      • Technology will be more feasible over cheap labour once the technology eco system develops
  4. Difference in marketing approach in T1 and T2 cities
    • Difference in value proposition
      • The value of E-commerce is different between T1 & T2 cities, while customers from T1 cities are value convenience and the customers from T2 cities are more price sensitive
      • The channels to reach out are TV and Newspapers for T2 cities
    • Ease of operations in T2 cities
      • In T2 cities, there are no traffic problems and hiring is easier because a lot of talent is available
    • Challenges of operations in T2 cities
      • Issue in local pin code intelligence
      • Varying region languages
  5. Trends in payments
    • Understanding buyer behaviour
      • Cash on Delivery (CoD) is still preferable
      • Financial companies are understanding customers’ credit behaviour and bringing more schemes
      • One example is Buy Now Pay Later, so that E-commerce firm can sell even when customers do not have funds during the lean period of the month
  6. How to retain customer loyalty
    • Efforts for multiple customer engagements
      • Flipkart’s move towards grocery will help it engage more with customers as groceries are bought frequently
      • Strict quality control to ensure less customer return and customer delight
  7. Efforts for reducing losses
    • Introduction of profitable product segments
      • Private levels can be a profitable segment
    • Being more cost effective in operations
      • Reducing supply chain cost and other areas can help
  8. Competencies required for getting into E-commerce firms
    • Problem solving skills
      • This is one of the most important skill. The ability to break down a given problem into sub problems and solve it accordingly
      • Ability to think on your feet
    • Think like a CEO for your own career
      • Define what companies/type of companies you want to join and thoroughly know the recent initiatives/progress/achievements of companies
      • Approach hiring managers with the problem which you can solve for that company
      • Think beyond marquee E-commerce companies and explore other smaller/niche companies to get a foot hold in the industry

2 thoughts on “8 things to know about E-commerce trends and opportunity

  1. That was one of the most informative and fruitful events for me. Gained a lot of new insights about the real scenario in e-commerce world, which was different than that we study from the books.
    Thanks Gocrackit for the event and the invitation.

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