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Online Retailing in India – Challenges and Opportunities You Should Know

In this article, we will discuss these opportunities and challenges related to online retailing in India, in detail.

Today is the world of digitization where most of people are investing their valuable time in surfing the internet. During these times, it’s amazing to be capable of bringing our business ideas to online platforms. Online retailing has been buzzing for years and has become one of the most convenient options for selling and buying desired goods and services.

Online retailing allows you to reach your potential consumers and expand your outreach in the market efficiently. Due to the widest increase in the use of the internet and the growing interests of the people, E-commerce has gained popularity in India. Online retailing allows the sellers to find their targeted customers and sell a wide range of products and services at low-cost investments.

Online retailing in India has not only benefited the sellers and businesses but also provided comfortable options to the buyers. They are free to scroll down several varieties on their devices and buy the desired products at competitive rates. For the past few years, many companies have brought their retail stores online and gained popularity among the customers with more conversions and sales.

To any kind of business whether online or offline, certain challenges and opportunities are associated. If we talk about online retailing, at one instance, it has provided multiple advantages to the customers and retailers. But in many ways but they also face a few challenges while running an online retail store.

Understanding these opportunities and challenges will help in creating business plans for online retailing that will be beneficial to your business in the long run.

Learn about top online retailing platforms in India where you can sell handicraft items.

Opportunities for Online Retailing Business in India

Online retailing has successfully grown around the world and India. It gives people a more convenient platform to shop from any place and at any time round the clock. According to the previous surveys for finding the scope of online retailing, suggest that people love buying because of the incredible ease and convenience of shopping experience. 

This is the main reason, many retailers are switching towards online retailing. And also to cut out marketing costs and accelerate the growth of their business in the highly competitive market. The effortlessness involved in shopping, payments, and home delivery of products has encouraged consumers to head towards online shopping and provided better business opportunities to retailers.

Online retailing in India is witnessing great success and will continue to gain popularity in the upcoming years. Several factors are involved in growth and creating opportunities for online retailing. Let’s look into them one-by-one:

Opportunities for online retail business in India

Increasing Number of Internet Users

Today, most of the population is using the internet and spends more time browsing and surfing. India owns a huge young population who carry out their various tasks from payments to shopping through online modes. The rapid increase in users on different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and others brings good business opportunities for online retailing. 

The telecommunication industries provide wonderful budgeted packages on internet usage which is attracting people a lot towards the internet.

Continuous Evolution of Mobile Technology

With the advancement in mobile technology continuously, new models of smartphones, tablets, and iPads are being developed. People are adapting to the latest trends fast and making use of them. The online customer base is growing fast because of the use of these technologies in daily life. Accordingly, experts are developing unique and innovative mobile applications to make various tasks easy and more efficient.

Nowadays, a significant number of online businesses are developing their mobile apps to allow ease of shopping to the customers and they are liking it. Because it reduces the stress and headache of roaming at different stores to hunt those pairs of shoes they saw trending for their customers. These existing and upcoming trends in mobile technology are creating better opportunities for online retail business.

Highly Convenient Shopping Experience

Online retailing can provide incredible ease of shopping to users. They can shop anytime at their convenience. There are no limitations about time as the online retail stores will work 24×7. They just need access to high-speed internet, online payments, and will get products delivered at their doorstep safely and on time. Even they will get a cash on delivery(COD) option for payment, at many online stores. Thus eliminating the threat of insecure online payments.

Ease of Comparison and Wide Ranging Varieties

With online retail marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Flipkart, the customers can find and select their desired products in one place. They can compare different varieties and prices of products at multiple stores while sitting at home and make the best-suited selection.

Traditional retailing makes this task full of stress and tiredness, which can be avoided by switching to online shopping. The customers will also get great varieties of products in one place which is usually not possible in offline shopping.

Easier Online Payments Methods

Many studies have indicated a great increase in online transactions for the last few years. The introduction of multiple electronic cards like debit and credit cards, internet banking, mobile wallets, and UPI transactions has brought a great revolution in online payment. The effortless and faster online transaction supports the growth of the online retailing sector.

The appeal of safe, secure, and quick online transactions using different methods has also encouraged users to utilize such options for payments. The user can use any kind of payment mode suitable to their needs and successfully make the payment in a few clicks.

Easy and secure transactions contribute to the growth of online retail businesses and attracting more customers. Many online retailers also give the facility of Cash On Delivery, if anyone is not comfortable with pre-payments. Financial sectors are making continuous developments for enhancing the security of online transactions. That will bring more customers to shop online, thus increasing the business opportunities for online retailers.

Evolution of Internet

In India and other parts of the world, the internet has evolved to advanced levels and generations. That not only give high internet speed but also convenient access to the internet on all devices. Now people can easily access full speed networks on their mobile devices. That has also contributed to creating great opportunities for online retailing. 

People can use their smartphones to carry out their major tasks and shopping with ease.

Saving Time and Money

In this era of busy schedules and stress, online retail stores can save much time invested in shopping out for products. Also, the online stores provide products and services at cost-effective rates which is truly beneficial for customers.

We can see that the advancement in technologies has paved a smooth and successful path for online retailing. And many more opportunities are awaiting. If challenges are dealt with, these opportunities can lead to the successful growth of electronic retailing and online business in India.

The retail market in India is expected to cross  200 bn mark by 2026 
according to Invest India sources.

Challenges for Online Retail Business in India

Although Online retailing observes growth opportunities there are some challenges that can create hindrance in the path of success. Let’s look into these challenges as well. To have a better understanding before you start an online retail business in India.

Challenges in Online retailing business in India

Difficulty in Generating Traffic and Attracting Potential Customers

These days, anybody can easily create an online store and start selling products and services. But to get a good amount of traffic on store and reaching the customers is one of the biggest challenges. Your sales and business is dependent on getting the right kind of traffic and buying customers on your online storefront.

Utilizing effective digital marketing strategies to get good visibility on search engines and reach on social media can help your business. Even if you are on top of searches, it’s not necessary that you get sales. Customers go through the content, compare products, analyze costs, look at the reviews, and feedback on several websites. Before making any buying decision they can be easily distracted on different platforms.

Thus, it becomes a big challenge to find the right customers and bring worthy traffic to the store.

If you want to learn more about how you can grow your business online 
with the help of digital marketing, read it here.

Choosing the Right Product to Sell

It’s an important decision to make to find a unique and demanding product that you can sell the online store. Thousands if not millions of start-ups and established online stores and retailers are available over the internet. So to compete, you need to think out-of-the-box to bring good value to your customers with your products.

Deep Market analysis and customer demand analysis are the essential components to make the right decision for choosing the best selling product for online retail business.

Building Customer Trust and loyalty

Acquiring new customers is a painstaking process but retaining them is also very essential. You will need to go through immense hard work to build customer trust and satisfaction. Efficient and punctual delivery services, quality products, cost-effective deals, and quick customer support are a few mandatory points to follow for building customer trust and loyalty. 

If you fail to do so, you may lose many of your customers and their trust and this will directly hamper the business.

Reliable Manpower and Transportation

Online retailing needs dedicated and reliable human resources to manage all the operations pertaining to sales and delivery. Hiring skilled people may help in the growth of the business. Because, at every point of sales, only efficiency and accuracy matters. From order booking to timely delivery, it involves a lot of talented manpower who can fully satisfy the customer’s requirements.

If we talk about India, there are still major issues regarding logistics and transportation in many places due to undeveloped roads and highways. Due to this, in many remote places, people are unable to get product delivery. That becomes a major challenge for online retail businesses in India. Although, technologies are evolving to find the best solutions to the problems still there is much more to do.

Secure Payment Issues

Although a great number of quick and well-secure payment methods have been introduced for online transactions, still people are afraid to make the prior payments. Sometimes, due to technical error or inaccuracy, transactions fail that also make the customer leave the store site.   

Additionally, people prefer COD mode of payment but this practice affects the continuous rotation of income for online retailers as mostly third parties are involved in the process. Sometimes, the store owners need to pay extra costs for this and hence can create problems for them.

Excessive Competition

Competition is good for business, but excessive competition can devalue your products and services in the market. The online market is loaded with retail stores and sustaining here is very critical.

People consume a lot of time in browsing and analyzing different sites, comparing products and costs before buying. Customers are mostly attracted to the exclusive offers and discounts they get on some sites.

To stand out in this competitive world, online retailers need to formulate effective strategies to attract the customer. This is also one of the biggest challenges many newcomers and existing players face several times.

So, these are a few major online retailing opportunities and challenges which must be taken into account for establishing a successful retail business.

Online retailing is gaining huge popularity among the masses as it provides great benefits both to the retailer and consumers. Ease of shopping, multiple varieties at one place, exclusive deals, best prices, and home delivery has compelled customers for online shopping. 

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These trends will enter into a new revolution of success and demands if businesses execute with deep research and effective strategy.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

How to choose the right kind of product to sell online?

It is necessary to perform deep market research towards the demands of the customers. You need to think something distinctive to make your product unique and target a niche which is specific to the customers and less competitive. Thus, there are better chances to get more customers and sales.

Is online retailing easy?

Although online retailing offers a lot of benefits and profitable sales it is not that easy to do online retailing. To run an online retail business, a lot of efforts, market researches, and strategies are required to sustain in the competition. You will need to face a number of challenges to maintain a successful online retail business.

How can online marketing be done for the business?

There are many online marketing tactics that you can follow for promoting an online business. It includes:
1. Content Marketing
2. Social Media Promotions and Marketing
3. Search Engine Marketing
4. Search Engine Optimization 
5. Enhanced User Experience

About Nandini

Nandini Yogi is Co-creator and Senior Editor at Online Business in India . She is Writer by Heart and Business Developer by Profession. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Instagram.