Top eCommerce consumer trends likely to impact Indian market in 2019
‘The Indian eCommerce demography is changing rapidly since the younger generation is now a decision-maker with regards to shopping and purchasing. This leads to a change in shopping trends. Since there are more working professionals, they lack sufficient time for shopping.” – Chitrangana.com
But by embracing technology, India’s eCommerce industry is now able to offer user friendly technology and customer service. Let us dive into five consumer trends we’ll see in the following year:
1) Specialised eCommerce Over Marketplace: With each passing day, consumers are choosing specialised eCommerce stores over websites that deal with multiple categories. According to Chitrangana, India’s leading eCommerce consultancy, consumers are avoiding websites such as Amazon and Flipkart due to crowded customer support. The bigger websites avoid taking responsibility for their products — that aren’t handpicked or quality tested before being sold online. However, the specialised start-ups are focussed on a product-driven approach and try to please customers with quality and personalised customer support. Expect more specialised websites to hit the market in 2018-19.
2) Domestic Brands Lose Stigma: Gone are the days when consumers preferred global brands due to the stigma that Indian brands lack quality. In fact, there are increasing signs that Indian consumers buy products based on parameters such as value, price and quality – regardless of their country of origin. A recent study revealed that Indian consumers prefer local brands to foreign ones in the majority of categories surveyed. Among these categories were fresh food, poultry, personal care items, detergent and small electronics. Foreign brands still have a stranglehold over milk power and cosmetics.
3) Automated Retail: In China, smart stores such as BingoBox and EasyGo are growing in popularity. It’s just a matter of time before India’s urban consumers were treated to automated retail experiences. How do they work? The smart stories are outfitted with technologies such as facial recognition, biometric computer vision and frictionless payment methods. Alibaba recently released footage of its “car vending machine,” which simplifies the car-shopping experience by using a combination of a mobile app, an unmanned garage, facial recognition technology and consumer data.
4) Age of Digital Content: With the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime already enjoying a good marketshare in India, it’s wise to expect more consumers to pay up for Premium Digital Content in the forthcoming years. Initially, consumers were hesitant to pay monthly subscription charges for such services. However, the influx of original content has forced more consumers to choose digital services over the more conventional entertainment platforms. With many services vying for exclusive streaming rights, expect more players to enter the market of premium digital content.
5) Call for Friction-Free Shopping Experience: By studying shopping habits, it’s easy to conclude that Indian consumers are now expecting a shopping experience that’s convenient and friction-free. Consumers are craving for a seamless experience, regardless of the mode or medium of purchase. In the U.S., some brands have merged with eCommerce sites to help provide a superior cross-channel shopping experience. A year ago, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market and Wallmart acquired delivery company Parcel, which allowed consumers to order day-to-day groceries directly from the eCommerce website. Similarly, Chitrangana expects Indian retail outlets dealing with groceries and day-to-day items to team up with the likes of Amazon, Flipkart or Reliance within the coming year.