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How should brands & platforms prepare themselves to be on top of the game catering to a growing number of online shoppers?

Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has released its latest report titled, “Ten Things You Should Know About E-Commerce in India”. The report mentions the trends around online shopping preferences by consumers and how brands should change their strategies accordingly

India is experiencing a dramatic increase in e-commerce and digitally influenced spending as the country ranks second in the world in terms of internet users. In this regard, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has released its latest report titled, “Ten Things You Should Know About E-Commerce in India.”

Alongside rapidly growing internet users, digitally influenced shoppers and online shoppers have more than doubled in recent years to reach 260-280 million and 210-230 million, respectively in 2021.

According to the latest report released by BCG, over-45 and “next billion” cohorts predominate, and women are catching up with newer shopper cohorts who are just as likely to include moderate to heavy buyers. While e-commerce spending by PIN code diverges sharply from offline spending, smaller cities are playing an outsize role. Rural areas show enormous potential and the online growth categories are changing dramatically. Similarly, marketplaces now have more digital influence than search sites. Social media/chat ranks as a small but rapidly growing online-purchase channel. 

Moreover, as consumers grow more sophisticated, they expand to new platforms contrary to popular belief, e-commerce is not just about value plays.

How should brands prepare to cater to the needs of online shoppers?

·        Alter the e-commerce strategy to reach out to the above-mentioned cohorts.

·        Take the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell even to new shoppers.

·        Develop the right go-to-market approach at a PIN code level, based on the maturity of the online adoption.

·        Use online channels to strengthen distribution and reach in smaller cities and rural areas

·        Integrate marketplace-based advertising into the brand marketing calendar, and boost customer reviews and ratings on relevant platforms.

·        Support discovery and consumer purchase across social media and chat platforms in integrated, seamless journeys.

·        Build a presence across multiple vertical and horizontal marketplaces and social commerce and conversation platforms, and stay abreast of consumers’ evolving preferences.

·        Take advantage of the potential to offer a premium product assortment, larger package sizes, customised packaging, etc., on online platforms.

What should the platforms do to fulfil the requirements of online shoppers?

·        Understand the specific needs of these cohorts, and design offerings and features to meet them.

·        Provide a seamless first-time shopping experience, and maximize the new-customer share of wallet.

·        Adopt a micro-market-level fulfilment strategy to maximize gross merchandise value and growth.

·        Ensure engagement and a seamless purchasing experience in smaller cities and rural areas, while strengthening the supply chain to cater to evolving delivery expectations.

·        Modify the platform design, offerings, UI/UX, and depth of assortment to cater to the needs of high-growth categories.

·        Develop a focused search monetisation strategy, and enable customer and influencer engagement on the platform.

·        Develop ways to integrate new social commerce models in order to address consumer pain points and further propel commerce.

·        Continuously adapt the platform proposition to retaining evolving and discerning shoppers

·        Leverage opportunities to build need-based premium plays, such as superior customer service and customisation.

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