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Industry leaders decode emerging trends that will reshape the future of Indian e-commerce

The e-commerce market in India is expected to hit $200 billion by 2026, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley. A decade ago, it was difficult to convince Indian consumers to shop online. But advancements in technology changed everything. The emergence of D2C brands, along with state-of-the-art logistical and digital payment solutions, enabled brands to reach out to a wide customer base.

YourStory in association with Cashfree, hosted a webinar on ‘The future of e-commerce in India’ featuring Reeju Datta, Co-founder, Cashfree Payments; Rhitiman Majumder, Co-founder and CMO, Pickrr; Sujith Nair, Co-founder and CEO, Beckn Foundation; and Bharati Balakrishnan, Country Head and Director, Shopify India to discuss the ever-evolving e-commerce trends.

Emerging trends

Rhitiman kick-started the discussion by talking about the trends that have changed in the e-commerce industry in the last few years. One of the emerging trends includes quick commerce or Q-commerce where customers expect delivery of everyday essentials within 10-30 minutes of placing the order. “Keeping the changing consumer expectations in mind, e-commerce sellers will have to keep up with fast delivery needs for the future,” he said.

Another emerging trend that Rhitiman spoke about is data-based decision making. Digging data and analysing it to understand consumer insights and making business decisions accordingly is the way forward for many online businesses.

Encouraging digital payments

Reeju from Cashfree Payments emphasised the need to increase the reach of digital payments. “What we need to do is work on the refund/return experience for digital payments. On e-commerce platforms, half the orders are still cash on delivery. To encourage digital payments, we try to process refunds faster to a customer who paid digitally than the customer who chose COD,” he explained.

Reeju noted that checkout optimisers on Shopify pop up to use UPI before proceeding to the payments page are a few features that can help increase the use of digital payments.

Decentralised commerce and open networks

Explaining the concept of open networks, Beckn’s Sujith said, “The model of e-commerce across the world is working on building solutions to make buyers and sellers come together on the same platform to have a meaningful e-commerce interaction with each other. Open networks are enabling choices where a buyer can be on any platform yet discover sellers who are not necessarily on that platform.”

Sujith believes that for the future of e-commerce in India, it is important to make e-commerce accessible to a larger population. “With all the progress that we have made, e-commerce is still under 10 percent in India. This implies that there is a whole ecosystem out there that is underserved. Allowing these choices and creating open networks can certainly aid the growth of e-commerce in India,” he noted.

Bharati believes that a country like India is most naturally going to adopt something like decentralised commerce. “We are a diverse nation and consumer needs change every 5 km and so do the merchants’ needs. We at Shopify have always spoken about democratising commerce and we believe India will adapt to it much faster than any other country. In a complex market like India, the more ways we can help entrepreneurs connect with their customers, the better it will be for the e-commerce growth in the country,” she added.

Sharing his vision for the future of e-comm in India, Reeju said, “It would be interesting to see how brands take their businesses to multiple platforms in the coming years. Also, we are looking forward to Indian brands making it big in the global markets.”

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