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COVID-19: E-commerce to pave way for revival of retail sector in India

COVID-19 is forcing businesses and consumers to accept and adapt to a ‘new normal’.

As economies grapple with lockdowns worldwide, businesses are struggling to ensure their products reach end users while consumers are trying to minimise exposure by ensuring their basic necessities are met.

E-commerce can truly pave the way for the revival of the retail sector in India by bridging this demand and supply gap.

Key drivers of e-commerce growth in India

  • Increasing internet penetration
  • Rising smartphone users
  • Growing investor interest

Findings from a recent Grant Thornton survey

We reached out to business leaders in consumer and retail sectors through a survey assessing the impact of COVID-19 on three key areas - sales, supply chain and operations. The following key areas were highlighted:

  • Single largest disruption in consumer buying behaviour: Significant share of offline spending will move to online; Focus on essentials and curbs on discretionary spending; Avoid crowded places for some time
  • Top segments that consumers would shift to online: Medicines and pharma products, PCs and laptops, fitness and wellness products
  • Only 37% respondents rated their cybersecurity preparedness as ‘matured’

.. among other responses

Here’s what business leaders need to consider as they PLAN their long-term e-commerce strategy

  • Personalise content: Artificial intelligence, machine learning and business intelligence will allow companies to monitor customer behaviour and come up with targeted campaigns
  • Use latest technology: Increase in use of chatbots and personal assistance apps will make transactions seamless, efficient and secure
  • Shorten delivery time: Players will have to come up with a more cost-efficient model focused on innovation to tap into growing customer base of Tier 2+ cities
  • Build omni-channel models: Retail locations will now play a significant role with growing demand for click and collect as well as online delivery

and more…