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Companies will go after profitable growth rather than wooing customers with deep discounts (in other words, running on losses). A bigger user base will just be the cue for companies to reduce discounts and focus on profitable growth, according to Betaout.
The cash scarcity in the market will affect cash-on-delivery, ensuring near-complete digitisation of payments for e-commerce companies. Betaout says that the trend of consolidation in the Indian e-commerce sector is here to stay. Mergers and acquisitions will lead the way as investors push for profitability and better unit economics. In addition, home-grown e-commerce players feeling the heat from international players will likely come together to enhance offerings and strengthen their market position.
Betaout also notes that the e-commerce industry in India is getting increasingly more competitive and therefore there is a need to stand out in the crowd. As the online ecosystem matures, private labels are expected to be the key differentiator, with their scope becoming more broad-based in coming years.
“While we are already witnessing a rise in unified commerce, 2017 will see them come together as a single point of strategy and execution. The need will arise from the merging of IT infrastructures, aimed at seamless integration of physical and e-stores, thereby developing a single touch-point for multiple utility,” says Betaout
Artificial Intelligence will help companies effectively market their products, leading to intense targeted marketing approaches, according to Betaout. Chatbots, designed to simulate conversation with human users usually over the internet, will gain prominence in 2017 and will assist e-commerce companies in providing seamless customer service from start to the end of the purchasing process. (KD)
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