How technology is transforming e-commerce experience in the new India

The term “Incredible India” seems appropriate given the great diversity of languages, cultures and ethnic groups across the country. For India’s retail industry, which accounts for about 10% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), a huge consumer market is both an opportunity and a challenge. The problem is more pronounced in relatively unused rural and semi-urban areas, which make up about 65% of the population.

Although the digital transformation of India’s retail industry has already taken place in recent years, pandemic-related accompanying winds have accelerated the adoption of e-commerce by both sellers and consumers. It is estimated that unorganized retail occupies 90% of the market in India. It is said that 70 million of their online shoppers, and only 10 million are classified as “digital natives”. Without a doubt, in a country with a population of over 1.3 billion people there is a huge opportunity to attract more online shoppers with personalized products and services, especially from regional India.

The availability of smartphones and 4G in Level 3+ areas has opened this wide market for e-commerce players. Due to the lack of physical stores, online companies offer better value for money due to lower overhead. However, it should be emphasized that consumers who care about the merits, and expect quality products.

But given the multitude of languages ​​and customs, servicing remote cohorts faces unique challenges. In such scenarios, online organizations can deploy digital technology to offer their customers a personalized experience, contributing to higher conversion rates and greater brand loyalty. What’s more, the beauty of online sales is that e-commerce portals don’t have to worry about storage space and associated costs because the goods are delivered directly from the manufacturers. For sellers there are no worries that the inventory will be closed in warehouses until the sale.

While it all sounds kosher, more is needed to convince and convert customers in Level 3 cities and beyond. Therefore, online stores use a regional language interface to offer better customer service. In addition, retailers are deploying big data to decode consumer behavior to provide individualized offerings. In such situations, a deep understanding of customer needs helps increase satisfaction and retention.

The use of artificial intelligence algorithms and big data analytics also helps to analyze consumer behavior through information about their purchases, such as product benefits, browsing history, etc. The projected analytics are then used to improve customer use by customizing marketing campaigns to suit their habits and needs. For example, data from a major online vendor based on values ​​shows that customers who study the portal in regional languages ​​end up spending 20% ​​of their extra time on the platform, which includes more watching videos about products.

Accordingly, the customer experience can be personalized by analyzing their shopping history to present relevant offers and discounts. In addition, purchases from other consumers in the same demographic cohort can be used to upsell related products.

What’s more, retailers need to provide a personalized multi-channel experience that allows the customer to order an item on a website / app and then, if desired, pick it up at a regular outlet near them. Among all this, one needs to be aware of the importance of social media as a digital store where sellers can interact directly with potential customers. Instagram and Facebook are a prime example here, with the former offering visual showcases that help increase customer engagement.

However, keep in mind that social media marketers need to be digitally savvy and synchronized with customer needs and expectations. Any inconsistency of consumer expectations threatens unpleasant experiences that will be in the public eye.

When big data and other technology tools are used wisely to interact with consumers, they can act as a key difference in providing a clear advantage for e-commerce players in a highly congested and hypercompetitive retail market. In this way, one can establish permanent relationships with consumers throughout Bharat.

After that, despite the diversity of consumer choices, more satisfaction and increased brand loyalty is sure to happen in non-metro regions. Undoubtedly, technology can offer a winning offer to customers, resellers, online platforms and other retail stakeholders.

Sanjev Barnwall, co-founder and chief technology officer of Meesho.

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