While e-commerce has been gaining dominance in the Indian retail sector with the emergence of e-tailers such as Amazon and Flipkart, certain product categories still sell more on offline stores. For electronic/electrical appliances and lifestyle-related products including apparel, shoes, accessories and fashion products, "online is more of a supplementary channel, brick and mortar sales being the predominant mode of sales," CCI said in its report titled Market Study on E-commerce in India on Wednesday. The online channel is still in the nascent stage and for consumer goods such as mobile phones and grocery, offline stores and Kirana shops dominate sales.
However, brick and mortar stores have also realised the potential of e-commerce and instead of playing second fiddle to retailers such as Amazon and Flipkart, they are increasingly choosing to launch their own websites. "Some of the large brick and mortar retailers surveyed have launched their own websites to complement the physical sales," the report said. Even then, smaller retailers still rely on third-party marketplace platforms to access the online consumers. Retailers are also shifting presence online by selling exclusively via online medium, with no brick and mortar presence. For example, a large number of retailers in the grocery space are sprucing up doorstep delivery arrangements as they face the heat of online grocery platforms.
E-commerce: A win-win for customers and retailers
One way that e-commerce has changed the retail game for both the retailers and customers is dynamic pricing. While customers enjoy greater transparency in terms of prices and price-comparison on various platforms, it has also helped sellers to monitor the prices offered by rivals on a real-time basis and use the same for setting their own prices. "Being on price comparison tools is considered advantageous as consumers use these tools to find the best deal and it enhances visibility of the brand," the report said.