Almost 3 months down the line in 2022, let us start with a perspective before we peep into the future! Back in the early 1960s the Ohio based Mansfield Telephone Company announced in its news journal that humans would be able to carry phones in their pockets. But the rider they added was, “far in the future”. In the current context of our world, future is not far anymore. It is the NEXT unit of time- depending on the field of technology that we are talking of. The pace of technological advancement has gathered so much speed now that it would be naïve to wait for things to happen in the farfetched future.
Cut to the present, previous year itself becomes bygone history in the fast paced world of online shopping. The advancement in technology coupled with the change in demographics, constituents and the necessities of the time add up to this year-on-year growth trajectory. 2021 saw India jumping to 8th place in the pantheon of online shopping countries in the world registering a healthy 6% growth rate.
Most market pundits got it right when they prophesied online shopping trends in 2021. The pandemic was the fulcrum for their projections, in a way. We can safely presume that the fight over ‘clicks VS bricks’ has been decisively put to an end. Expectations of people preferring to stay home, work from home, take cognizance of health care more seriously have all cumulatively culminated in people taking to online shopping in the year that went by.
Usually past holds a mirror to future. But starting 2020, the ‘need of the hour’ has been the guiding force in 2021 and continues to do so in 2022. Let us look at what we can expect in 2022 in terms of growth and trends in online shopping behavior.
SHIFT IN BUYING PATTERNS: Shoppers will continue to focus more on Grocery Shopping, healthy eating options, healthcare, and education rather on fancy electronics. According to a joint survey conducted by GroupM India and Mobile Marketing Association, the Indian online retail market in general is primed to grow three-fold in the next five years, with sectors such as grocery, education and health leading this swell. This simply means- more frequent repeat orders- as everyone needs these on regular a basis. Volumes automatically look north. Increasing internet penetration facilitates tier II and III cities to gravitate successfully to online shopping as was evidenced by nearly 46% rise in sales volumes from these zones. We can expect the trend to continue and grow to around 62% in 2022.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPUR: This is a healthy viral effect, for a change on the country! Social Media will come to occupy large chunks in peoples’ lives and influence their shopping behavior. The platforms will see more and more special collaborations between brands and retailers. This is going to be further pushed up with the influencers chipping in with their recommendations. Business owners would do well to take to social media marketing along with remote/online ordering system in a big way, if they have not already! These digital channels combine the advantages of customized discounts, competitive pricing, ease of receiving payments, obtaining reviews and ratings, among other things.
SWIFT DELIVERY OPTIONS: Make no mistake- delivery, the last mile connectivity is going to be the ultimate game changer. The game has shifted from ‘same day delivery’ to ’10 minute delivery’ model. Massive investment is flowing into this sector with leading players like Blinkit (Grofers), Dunzo, etc. going all out to provide a seamless shopping experience to their online patrons. This is a compelling value proposition for both the shoppers and business. However, Vocal for Local will be a clear winner as buyers will opt to purchase in their neighborhood and coupled with swifter deliveries this will enable local players to compete with the big players in the race of customer acquisition and retention. Xirify has been catering to this segment effectively, with a near 100% month on month growth in volumes.
MOM & POP RETAIL STORES WILL FACE A GREAT COMPETITION FROM DECENTRALIZED WAREHOUSING: The concept seems contradictory to the idea of warehousing, but it is an extension of that philosophy. What is now being officially gaining name as Dark Store, these smaller warehouses across territories to cater to the local market areas are on the rise. Co-opted from the West by BigBasket in 2018, dark store network is the culmination of the necessity to reach out to local markets swiftly, effectively, and economically. Major etailers like BigBasket, Amazon India, Flipkart, Reliance, Dunzo are busy spreading thin across the length and breadth of the country. The regular mom and pop retail business owners needs to up their technology game to stay in competition with them.
ENHANCED EASE OF PAYMENT: Well, when was the last time you paid with cash and change for a purchase? Just swipe or scan and move on will be increasingly in vogue in the future. In fact, the strong emergence of well-connected Online payment and UPI network will drive more people to make online purchases. When first introduced, the monthly UPI transaction values took a painful four years (August 2020) to double but just 14 months for the next double. The writing is on the wall for all to see. The convenience, speed and reliability of the network will be a boon for the online shopping industry as a whole. Go catch it, or shall we say, cash it, now!
Growing adoption riding on the friendly policies from government and increasing investment in the right areas of online commerce will see it blooming at a record pace in the years to come by. The journey has begun.
Board the bus and take a safe ride with Xirify. Happy Selling!
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