In small cities or villages, people have to compromise due to the small shops and a limited variety of products and services available locally. Traditional brick and mortar shops and conventional commerce is not able to satisfy customers in terms of variety. Normally people have to visit 5 to 6 shoe stores in 1 market to buy 1 pair of shoes due to size, color, price or design problem, etc. And it’s tough for retailers to provide all the variations. That’s why eCommerce is important. It brings in more variety by expanding the boundaries of traditional commerce.
People can visit more than 5 websites to buy shoes in a few minutes, which is far more convenient than visiting 5 different shops. They can check colors, offers, sizes, models, and various details related to shoes. And it takes 20 to 30 minutes to decide. With the traditional retail method, you need to spend the whole day if you decide to shop for shoes or anything else at the Mall. That’s why I believe that eCommerce is important to provide a variety of products with speed and that too at home.
Selling products and services online is less costly than traditional methods. There are various high overhead costs that are included in offline commerce. Recurring expenses such as store management cost, counter cost, inventory cost, security cost, transportation cost, Shop rent, and salary, etc. So the retailers cannot afford to sell the products at a low cost.
That’s why eCommerce is important because it reduces the fixed cost and variable cost and people get the products and services at a low cost.
If we talk about educational eCommerce then it’s really changed the way people consume the products and services. For example, traditionally it takes a minimum of 6 months course offline to learn graphics designing. And people have to visit the study center each day for 2-3 hours for a 6 month period. It’s not providing flexibility, freedom for the learners to choose their own hours, mood and best focused time of the day. Nor are the teachers available all the time in the offline classroom. As a result, it takes lots of time to build and improve the skills for faster employment.
Traditionally people don’t know what’s new (shoes, clothes, cosmetics, electronics) in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, village shops, local market or even shopping malls until they don’t visit. Even local retailers don’t know what’s hot in the international market.
That’s why in the past you found that there was a difference in the thinking, personality, appearance, and habits of people from metros and those from villages, etc. But owing to the unprecedented development in eCommerce and communication technology, now people from even the most far-flung areas such as Leh and Ladakh get notifications and messages from sellers about existing Diwali and Navratras discount offers.
Today customers can find the best shopping deals within a second by visiting a link on their mobile. Now the same branded jeans are worn by trendy people in Mumbai and also worn by a fashionable Darlaghat village person. Similarly, students from Shimla can join the same career courses as students from California are studying. It means eCommerce has connected people, eCommerce has equalized the appearances, eCommerce removed the gap between metro student or village student.
Developing countries are trying to increase transparency in the commercial activities to remove corruption at ground zero, where trillions of rupees are transacted between buyers and sellers for goods and services. POS (Point of Sale) machines, digital transactions, UID integration with Bank accounts, etc. are few steps taken to increase transparency.
And in commercial transparency eCommerce is playing a responsible role in explaining buyer’s and seller’s debit, credit and bank account details. It enables banks/government to check where they spend, wherefrom they earn and how they earn and transfer, everything is accounted for.
Gone are the days when it was tough for local retailers to sell or expand their business, products, and services all over India or the world. It was tough due to the market conditions, local competition, low advertising reach, higher expansion cost, small brand equity, consumer interests, and various other factors.
But eCommerce is a boon for such visionaries who strive for business expansion. One eCommerce website or online store is doing the job for small scale businesses, companies, and retailers with 30 to 50000 monthly operational costs. Not only are they able to expand rapidly, but they are also making a higher profit with lesser hassles.
Traditional commerce was known as a job provider for people living in the metros and bigger cities. 30 years ago metros, cities were the biggest source of work and money for people. Villages were known for poverty, less skilled workforce, and poor living standards when compared to the metros based on economics.
But today, whole economics has changed due to the development of eCommerce. Today, people living in the metros are more stretched for money, more worried, more populated, and morbid with various things than a village or small city people.