The year 2012 has begun with a bang for the Indian e-com market, as the industry buzzing with growing activity. Internet Retail Expo 2012, the 3rd edition of India’s Premier Online Retail Event adding dynamism to it scanned the various aspects of online retail business and brought experts from retail, social media and mobile, at one stage to share insights on the role of recommendations and reviews in growing the retail business in India.
K Vaitheeswaran founder & CEO of Indiaplaza.com set the tone for the event with his insights on future of online retail in India. “E-commerce in India is still in nascent stage. It is growing at the good pace. However, the real e-commerce will only happen when offline retailers go online.” Other speakers at Internet Retail Expo 2012 discussed the offline-online retail problems and came with a view that the challenge for the offline retailer is how to compete with online stores who sell the products at heavy discounts.
Talking about the importance of building the multi channel retail enterprises Manoj Chandra, CEO, Allschoolstuff said, “The vast majorities of retailers have recognized this new reality of being multi-channel and are making significant investments in online, mobile and social media to build brand and drive new revenue streams. It’s a process to getting to consumers through various channels and implementing culture change to be part of the digital commerce.”
Mahesh Murthy, managing partner of Seedfund was of the view that the physical stores have a great advantage over the online stores because of their brand connection with the customers. “All they have to do is give that unique added bonus to their customers and I’m sure that the buyers will be willing to pay as much as they are paying in the offline stores,”said Murthy.
Harish Bahl of Smile Group, which has backed a string of online retail portals, while answering the offline retailers questions said, “ Online retail bridge the physical distance between retailers and consumers. There wouldn’t be a single retailer who wouldn’t want to go online and there lies the whole opportunity.” Whereas emphasizing the point on real opportunity, Sandeep Aggarwal, CEO, Shopclues.com said “Online retail has already seen the phenomenal growth in the country like US and China. The next big market is India and it is growing with internet penetration. It is high time to go online as consumers in India like online shopping.”
Sunil Singh, managing director, Global Logic, a software research and development services company spoke about the major trends and key challenges that the e commerce industry still faces and ways to tackle the trust deficit between customers and the online medium. “The rate of growth of the internet is still a challenge. We are still waiting for the innovation as far as payment options is concerned apart from providing good customers’ experience.”
Internet Retail Expo 2012 exposed various online retailers to latest innovations, trends and insights of the industry with magnified analysis. More than 350 people registered for the event, whereas 15 exhibitors participated. Service providers like witnessed a great platform to showcase their product & services. For the offline retailers, planning to go online, guidance with insightful knowledge provided them direction on how to go online. Summing it up, IRE 2012 event gave exclusive opportunity to develop strong relationships for bright business prospects.