Sometime back, I wanted to buy a few t-shirts from a shopping mall opposite to my house but I simply couldn’t find the time to go to the mall. Sunday after Sunday passed as my wardrobe got outdated. I was disheartened to realize that I had no time to buy those t-shirts. Ironically my problem was different – I had no time to go to the mall because my brain knew it could mean a serious time investment of a few hours.
And then came up a surprise
One fine day, while searching on google, I came across an advertisement from jabong.com. Curiously I clicked on the ad link which took me straight to their home page. In the very next second, a pop-up appeared offering a Rs. 1500 cash voucher in exchange for my name and email address. I readily entered the info and in no time, I was shopping for my t-shirts on jabong.com. Within a few minutes, I zeroed in a few t-shirts and ordered them. Those I had been waiting to for so many weeks.
Something remarkable just happened
The upstreet showroom owner OR the downtown shopping mall lost a sale. And this story, isn’t unique. Many such stories are happening everyday, with busy executives, housewives and discerning teenagers.
Was there something wrong with the brick and mortar retailer?
The truth is – instead of going to the store to buy t-shirts, the shop came to me, on my screen. This incidence isn’t unique to me. A rising number of shoppers buy everything from diaper to furniture – Online. It signals rapidly changing consumer behavior.
So what are those consumer behaviors shaping modern retail? What is it that triggers so many people to shop online? We did some digging and identified 5 most common consumer trends that plays a major role in the growth of online retailing. These trends, cannot be ignored – even by the established retailers.
Here they are:
Trend #1: Consumers Save Time by Shopping Online
With our busy lives, time is the most valuable commodity. In my case, there was nothing wrong with the retailer next door, but I did not had the time to show up to their store. I achieved the same end-result with a few clicks and types, saving (earning) me a couple of hours. Online retailing can bring shopping convenience to your consumers, helping them save a bunch of time. An evolution of this convenience is coming up in the form of mobile apps, as consumers are moving towards smaller screens.
More Convenience = More Sales
Trend #2: Consumers Stay Loyal to Proactive Retailers
In a world of abundant product choices, your customer expects delight, every time. Imagine one of your regular customers who buy her summer wardrobe each year from you. And you exactly know her taste, attitude and what she might buy. This year she did not turn up and you came to know that she has moved to another town. Your chances of retaining them as your customer are slim unless you pick up online retailing as a channel.
What if you could just e-mail here a website link to your latest summer collection, with a personal note and a discount coupon? From the comfort of her home/office, she could take a look at your collection and make up the mind to buy from you – Online. You just doubled the chances of retaining her because you showed extra care and reached out proactively.
Online retailing has amplified proactive retailing, your customers expect much more than quality products.
Trend #3: Shopping is driven by Valuable Content
Modern consumer is spoiled by choices and are always on lookout for – Value. This quest for “Value” is leveraged by online retailers in the form of “Valuable Content”.
“Valuable Content” can mean different things to different audiences:
- For a fashionable lady in 30’s, a ‘2014 fashion ideas and trends’ catalogue could be a valuable information.
- For a tech savvy teenagers, discount coupon and hot deals could be a valuable piece of information.
- For a discerning executive, fit and style guide for formal shirts could be a valuable information.
Your online retail presence should not be a “me-too” online store but a powerful medium to communicate Valuable Content.
Trend #4: Internet Increases Shopping Appetite
One of the fascinating things about an online store is that potential customer can look at hundreds of products in a matter of minutes. As a result, it triggers “scarcity”. Even though the consumer may buy just a couple of products, you have made a lasting impression in her mind by offering so many choices in minutes. Through the online presence, your products got in front of your customers, reinforcing your brand in their mind.
Online retailing multiplies your brand recall.
Trend #5: Online Shopping is Habitual
In online shopping, the result vs. reward ratio is high. When we get something with relatively less effort, our brain perceives it as a reward and automatically lean towards it. It’s often referred as the “path of least resistance”. There is substantial scientific evidence to prove it. Online shopping is becoming a habit for a large number of consumers. The first time a shopper went online could be for a logical reason such as comfort, relevance, saving time or a special offer. But this one time behavior quickly translates into a habit after two or three good experiences.
If you do not drive customers to buy online on your store, they will buy online somewhere else.
So where does this all lead to…?
Retailers must truly understand the changing consumer trends and chart out their roadmap for online retailing. And we are here for help.
We have put together an online retailing success roadmap that lays down the groundwork for your online success. And if you can’t wait to get started, our platform can help launch your online store in no time.
Everyone knows how Flipkart – a seven-year-old company that founders started off with just Rs 400,000 – is now worth thousands of crores. But few people know that there are many more success stories happening in online retailing – as you read this. India has a huge appetite for online shopping and Indian consumers are getting hungrier by each day. Why are these online retailers growing so fast? Here are the 7 surprising trends to help you understand why online retailing is growing so fast in India:
1. New Generation-Y shoppers
According to a research conducted by Accel Partners, online shopping of physical goods in India will grow to $8.5 Billion in 2016. Number of online shoppers in India will more than double to 40 Million (4 crore) consumers. This is primarily because, in the next 3 years, potentially 40 million shoppers between ages of 19 – 24 years, will start spending money online. These shoppers also have significantly greater inclination to spend money online.
2. Average order value in online shopping is climbing up rapidly
The average order value is a definitive indicator of shopping appetite among consumers. In the last three years, average order value has been climbing up rapidly. It is projected to reach Rs. 3,600/- per order by 2016. Last year there was a significant jump in average order value as there was a penetration of new categories like jewelry, home décor etc. Indian shoppers are becoming more and more comfortable buying higher priced items online.
3. Mobile shopping is going to grow 27 fold by 2016
A majority of ~200 Million Indians shopping online will shop on smartphones. Mobile infrastructure in India is rapidly improving – smartphones, connectivity, mobile websites and apps. As a result, more and more people are buying online using mobile phones.
4. 400% Growth in Fashion Category
Last year (2013) was the rise of the fashion category. Fashion e-commerce revenues have doubled since 2012. Given the young demographic which is shopping for latest looks online, Accel Partners estimate that this category will see a whooping 400% growth in the next 3 years.
5. Women influenced sales will grow 5 times in next 3 years
According to i-Cube & IAMAI, working women segment grew by 43% in 2013 and constitutes nearly 10% of active internet users in India. It is projected that about 35% of online sales in 2016 will be influenced by women. Categories like baby care, home décor, jewelry etc have traditionally been influenced by women decision makers. As more choice become available more women are shopping online. Key factor in this growth is increasing supply of women specific categories e.g. jewelry, lingerie & motherhood products.
6. Significant population in India is waiting to go online
40% for other countries such as Brazil, Russia and China. With rising internet penetration, this number is going up rapidly. Historically, India catches up late but it comes parallel to global average soon.
7. Globally, India has the lowest ratio of internet population shopping online
Only 9% of online Indians shop online, compared to >30% in other countries. On the contrary, India has the second largest Facebook user base in the world and third largest internet population in the world. Combined with improved internet connectivity, India is catching up fast to reach the global average. This means 21% more internet users will buy online in near future.
If you are into retailing of any sort, it’s time to go online. However, instead of jumping into the rat race, take a strategic approach to online retailing. Download our FREE Guides and discover how you can establish yourself as formidable player in online retailing. Click here to download our free ebook.