Artificial Intelligence can come to the rescue of Indian retailers by helping them derive insights through data collection and creating a much better customer experience. However, even though we may know technical jargon like blockchain, AI-driven software, conversation rates etc, in reality, the Indian retail industry lacks the know-how.
The first challenge that retailers face is bringing their business online. Even though there exists a market for ecommerce, India has been slow to adapt. The technical aspect alone has been a massive hurdle for most retailers to seamlessly cross over to the ecommerce platform.
The high costs involved with website development and maintenance have been another challenge.
The challenges faced by Indian retailers
Zero online presence
Most retailers in India are yet to have a basic website or join the social media world. They may lack the technical knowledge or not have enough time to create engaging content that would drive their online presence.
Ecommerce overhead charges are a moneysucker
Building a website, paying someone to maintain it, spending money on google ads, creating online catalogues, delivery charges, and returns – the overhead costs of running an online business is a big challenge for Indian retailers.
The big boys
The Amazon effect is real and has affected other retailers when it comes to dominating the online market. The big boys of the ecommerce space have driven up costs and made it difficult for small businesses to survive online.
Cancelled orders and returns
Most Indian buyers have recently shifted to online purchasing. With cash on delivery options available on most platforms, customers tend to make impulse purchases. Many customers cancel orders once shipped by the retailers, which means they now have to pay for shipping charges and burn a hole in their profits.
Many Indian customers are yet to warm up to the idea of purchasing online. They do not trust online retailers because they might have heard a few horror stories about fraudulent practices.
With higher real estate prices, low-to-none customer walk-ins, and the highly competitive ecommerce market amid the lockdown, the retail industry is going through one of the most challenging times in almost a century. It needs to change the way it operates by leveraging technology.
Vcommerce the future for Indian retailers
According to studies, 50 percent of internet users will prefer online shopping by 2026, and video selling will become the most preferred way to shop. With high online marketing and operating costs, retailers are constantly at war with the existing digital solutions.
The soul of the Indian retail industry is the in-store experience and selling expertise of the salesmen and women. Even though online shopping is gaining popularity, a majority of shoppers miss shopping in-person. With live video calling, customers can visit their favourite stores from the comfort of their homes.
The technology leveraged by v-commerce platforms will enable the Indian retailers market to seamlessly transition from ecommerce to v-commerce, solving many challenges faced by sellers.
- Sell easily through video calls
- Hyperlocal video shopping marketplace
- No complex digital algorithms
- Simple & easy Instagram style catalogue features
- No hardware required
- Mobile-first approach
- The seller can set up a video store in minutes
- Expand through virtual branches to multiple locations
- Personalized shopping experience
There are over 140 million hyperlocal stores, out of which 300,000 organised retail stores lack the technology to leverage hyperlocal opportunities.
The pandemic is rewriting the rules of the retail market, and sellers need to move forward. Vcommerce is the technology that will lead the retail industry towards a better future and simultaneously pave the way for AI development.
V-commerce platforms allow customer mapping, real-time interactions, and easy cataloging which means the retailer can spend more time selling and less time in maintaining their online store.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)