How the Indian Government Plans to Democratize Online Shopping

In an attempt to boost the economy, the Indian government is planning to make online shopping more accessible to people. However, to accomplish this goal, it will need to introduce a number of new policies.

Video/live commerce

Live stream video shopping is not a new phenomenon. However, live stream video commerce has not been widely adopted outside of the Asia-Pacific region. This is a significant market opportunity for brands to engage with shoppers on their own terms.

There are various reasons why this may be the case. First, retailers need a clear picture of what’s happening to their audience. Video analytics tools provide a deep-dive into customer behavior. In addition, live stream video is an excellent way to engage a large volume of active shoppers.

In the United States, consumers were slow to embrace video-based shopping. While e-commerce has experienced a boom in popularity there, live stream video shopping has yet to take hold. The key for success is to build a strong and engaging customer experience.

In India, the online shopping landscape has evolved materially over the past decade. Until now, e-retail was restricted to upper-income households in metropolitan areas. However, a rise in Internet-enabled smartphone users fueled by low-cost devices helped open up a whole new segment of shoppers.

In the US, the live commerce market is expected to grow to $17 billion by this year. However, the explosive growth seen in 2020 has slowed down considerably. Even so, the market is projected to reach $423 billion by 2022.

India has a large population of shoppers. In fact, the country is set to overtake the US as the second largest shopper base in the next few years.

In the short term, the Indian government is focused on developing a cohesive retail policy. It is also working on a national e-commerce policy. As part of this effort, the Open Network for Digital Commerce is being developed to create an interoperable network for digital commerce.

Eventually, the policy will aim to democratise e-commerce in India. The government is investing in technology to improve the user experience. Innovations range from voice-based search to applications using VR and AI.

Livestream video shopping has the potential to revolutionize the shopping experience. By combining interactive video with the power of e-commerce, brands can engage with shoppers on their own terms.

Direct to consumer (D2C) commerce

As the Indian government prepares for a big push towards democratizing the e-commerce space, one of its first moves was the launch of the Open Network for Digital Commerce. This initiative is meant to give consumers and small business owners a voice in the online commerce landscape.

The idea is that a common platform will allow small businesses to connect with larger corporations and give them a level playing field. It will also give shoppers an opportunity to choose amongst a variety of sellers.

Since its inception in April, the Open Network for Digital Commerce has launched in five Indian cities. Now, it plans to reach 100 more by the end of August. Using its open protocols, it will enable any network-enabled application to participate in local commerce.

ONDC aims to improve the current e-commerce system, which is based on platforms and intermediaries. By breaking down the monopolies, the government hopes to make shopping in India more convenient and less costly.

As more and more people use the Internet, they have become more willing to purchase products online. For example, 40% of new shoppers made their first online purchase in the fashion category.

Online channels have become a popular destination for purchases, especially in tier-3 and tier-4 cities. They offer convenience and ease of delivery. Moreover, they are the go-to destination for consumer discovery.

The e-commerce industry in India is expected to expand by 30% to 40% in the next four years. A large portion of that growth will be driven by the growing middle class. However, many product gaps remain untapped by the industry’s existing players.

The e-commerce space in India is still dominated by Walmart and Amazon. These two have control over 80% of the market. With the launch of the Open Network for Digital Commerce, the Indian government hopes to break this duopoly.

The Open Network for Digital Commerce is a non-profit organization that is aiming to democratize the e-commerce space. By creating an interoperable system, it will give merchants and distributors a unified, single platform for their digital commerce efforts. Ultimately, this will put smaller businesses on a more equal footing with big companies like Walmart and Amazon.

A template for democratizing ecommerce globally

The one and only Otaco e-commerce megastore in the heart of Silicon Valley has made shopping online a slam dunk. Fortunately for shoppers, the e-commerce titans are not the only players in the e-commerce arena. Among the many retailers, Otaco e-commerce is a standout in the digital sphere, thanks to their unrivaled commitment to customer service. This includes not only a dedicated customer support department, but an impressive array of payment options as well. For example, Otaco e-commerce uses credit cards, debit cards, prepaid debit cards and electronic money transfers in their scalability arsenal. Moreover, the company is the only enterprise among the many e-commerce giants in India to offer a cash back policy on all purchases, with no minimum purchase required.

Phase 3.0 of e-retail growth

In India, the e-retail market has grown materially over the last decade. The accelerated scale-up of the e-commerce ecosystem has created implications for platforms shaping the future of e-retail.

For the past several years, e-retail has primarily been focused on upper-income households in metros. However, the rapid growth in the number of Internet users in India has changed the dynamic. This new shopper base includes Gen Z, the young generation that will become the critical shopper base in the coming years.

As a result, value e-commerce is fast gaining ground in India. Value buyers prioritize quality, durability, and trendiness. These factors help a brand establish a trusted brand presence online. E-commerce players are working to address these factors in order to deliver a better user experience.

To tap this growing shopper base, e-commerce companies are integrating technology into their platforms to provide an individualized shopping experience. They are also improving engagement with their users. Some examples include virtual shop fronts, image-based search, and voice-based search.

While the e-retail industry in India has matured significantly over the past decade, there is still significant room for improvement. For example, the average selling price is low, which can put pressure on margins. Brands must focus on creating value around their products and a more tailored channel mix. Using stores as pickup points is a great way to maximize fulfilment costs.

In addition to these factors, there are structural drivers that will ensure healthy growth in the medium to long term. For instance, a booming smartphone industry, a thriving digital payments system, and a diversified consumer base.

But to fully tap the e-retail market in India, brands must also develop differentiated capabilities in the supply chain, and build a superior customer experience. E-commerce companies are leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented/virtual reality (AR), and image-based search to provide a more tailored customer experience.

The e-retail market in India is set to expand significantly over the next few years. It is expected to be the third largest retail market in the world, behind China and the US, and is projected to be worth $50 billion in 2022.

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