e-Commerce, B2B or B2C; The Customer is King!

Shopping style, especially in urban areas has changed considerably. Consumers prefer to search and analyze online before making a purchase decision. A permanent shift in retail transactions towards e-commerce has taken place. This transition seems to stabilize in the future which is evident from the historical data and future projections from experts.

e-Commerce Statistics

  • e-commerce order volumes in India increased by 36% in Q4 2020; the Personal care, Beauty, and Wellness (PCB&W) segment was the largest beneficiary.
  • Smartphone shipments in India reached 150 million units and 5G smartphone shipments crossed 4 million in the Year 2020, driven by high consumer demand post-lockdown.
  • The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026……….

As we understand that “A coin has two faces”, both offline/traditional shopping and online shopping have their own advantages and disadvantages, courtesy of their inherent features. Online Shopping being the latest trend has certain encouraging benefits as compared to traditional shopping. It emphasizes the concept of Value Buying more effectively than traditional shopping.

General Experiences with Traditional Buying

Before we consider the merits of online shopping and the benefits to consumers, it would be useful to review the following aspects of traditional buying:

  • Consumers, after making a purchase often realize that another better product was available in the market!
  • Customers felt like losers when they find the same product at a cheaper price in another store!
  • Buyers got frustrated while hopping through multiple stores physically to search for a product of choice!
  • People on many occasions buy products due to seller’s pressure against their preferred choice!……………….

The above list is based on past buying experiences and the corresponding behaviors of multiple users. It is quite possible that you might have experienced a similar situation in the past too. e-Commerce is a good solution to respond to such challenges and provides a lot of other benefits through the use of technology.

e-Commerce and Online Shopping

It is evident that e-commerce is becoming more convenient and cost-effective due to increased competitiveness and advancements in technology including 5G. In support of the above, given below is the list of important benefits of online shopping and reasons explaining why online Shopping is preferred to conventional shopping.

Convenience

Search and learn about whatever products/services you require; evaluate your choice with multiple options in the market; place orders 24X7 whenever you have some time; make payments safely with an order or at product delivery; track your orders with regular updates…

You can do all the above buying activities from your home or anywhere in the world. Isn’t this convenience, offered by e-commerce, one major thing that we all aspire for…….

Better Prices

Better deals and lesser prices are available online. In some case products come to you directly from the manufacturer without a middleman being involved, in another case economies of scale and high competition keeps the prices low, and also sellers’ innovative combos give much better value. Many online shops offer discount coupons and rebates as well.

More Variety 

The choices that you get online are amazing. You can get several different brands, categories, and products all in one place at any Multi-Brand online store. Without spending money on travel you can learn about the latest international trends. You can shop from sellers located anywhere in the country, or even the world, meeting your choice and price expectations w.r.t. selection of colors, sizes, availability, order customization, delivery, etc…

Gifting Options

You can easily send gifts to your relatives and friends, no matter where they are, on occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and so forth. Online sellers have Gift delivery options, wherein they take additional care for fragile gift items during packaging and physical delivery.

Fewer Expenses

The total cost of buying a product is much more than the price that we pay to the seller. Purchasing is generally accompanied by other outside expenses on things like eating out, transportation, impulse buys, etc. The cost of our time is another factor to consider… You may save many such costs while buying online…….

Product Comparisons

Comparing and researching products and their prices is so much easier online. Also, we have the ability to share information and reviews with other shoppers who have firsthand experience with a product or seller.

No Queues and Crowd

While shopping, you may not like spending your time standing in queues and crowds. The wait may be frustrating on occasions and events esp. during festival season. Also, it tends to be more chaotic when there are more crowds out and this sometimes makes us feel rushed or hurried. Car parking is another big issue that we face in crowded marketplaces. All of these problems can be avoided when you shop online.

Less Compulsive Shopping

Often times when we’re out shopping, we end up buying things compulsively that we don’t really need. All because shopkeepers push us or use their selling skills to compel us to make these purchases. Sometimes, we even compromise on our choices because of the lack of choices in those shops.

Pre-Owned Products

The marketplace on the Internet makes it much easier for us to buy old or unused things at attractive prices. You can buy a second-hand car from Cars 24 and get a very good-conditioned car with suitable warranty and service options; if you need used furniture or any other household item, you can visit OLX and get connected with the owner for buying. New entrants are entering the market with better deals and options.

However, Online shopping lacks trust as in the offline version. The need of the hour is to learn value buying and a shopping site, where you can get the advantage of buying from your favorite store, with the convenience of Online Shopping.

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