By Sanjay Desai
Online retail is the future of business. The last decade has proved worldwide, that businesses are being shifted from offline to online. After the impact of Coronavirus, there is a huge decline in offline shopping and a tremendous increase in online shopping. Studies have projected that worldwide retail e-commerce sales will reach a new high by 2021. E-commerce business is expected to reach a market size of $188 billion by 2025. Online penetration of retail is expected to reach 10.7% by 2024 compared with 4.7% in 2019. Moreover, online shoppers in India are expected to reach 220 million by 2025. This shows the kind of impact online retails have on people. With the increasing business, there are certain expectations too for online retail.
Shopping should be easy and lightning up the mood. It should not become hectic like work. There are certain scenarios in which sometimes, online shopping becomes too complex when the customer doesn’t get the desired product or there is some miscommunication. With the increase in order, these kinds of mistakes are frequent and hence, the proper system should be made and more work-force should be employed. Most people are attracted to online shopping, because of the services they get.
Initially, when online retail stores were started, the delivery time was much more, which didn’t attract customers to online shopping. But with time passing by and with the invention of new technologies, delivery is becoming faster. But not every online platform can do so. A one-day delivery system is what people require and is in more demand. Customers don’t want to wait for their products. It should be like offline shopping. The customer went to the shop and brought the product along with him. If this can happen in online retail, then it would revolutionise shopping forever.
This is one of the lacking factors of online retails that should be dealt with. Sometimes, people are defrauded and their privacy is compromised too. The data of the user is leaked and sometimes misused. A customer trusts the online platform, giving all the personal details so that data should be considered valuable. A proper security system should be formed so that the privacy of the customer is not jeopardized. Scammers see the online platform as an opportunity to earn money by doing fraud. And this has happened many times, so a team should be made who looks upon such issues.
Product description and virtual checking
The product should be described properly and with detailed information. It should be written in a way that a customer gets the proper idea of how the product would be. It can be just like offline shopping, when we go for buying something offline, the owner of the shop, displays the product and along with that, also explains the features of the products, how to use it and what not to do? These all points should be mentioned in the product description. Honesty is always appraised. Online platforms should be treated as a transparent medium; they should not be clouded with false things. Virtual checking of the product is new and is becoming a key feature of the online platform. Before buying the product, one can check how it will look on themselves.
What do customers expect after buying the product? Proper support from the seller. The online process doesn’t cease when the product is received by the customer. It is a continuous process, the customer sometimes needs to talk about the product and how to operate it or anything. The queries should be answered properly, hence a customer support team is always mandatory. With so many orders, it is not easy to handle them at ease. But it is the
services that customers pay for, hence after-sale services are a must for any brand to continue its domination in the market.
Online retail has never failed to amaze us. No one would have thought we would be so much dependent on online stores. But during the time of the pandemic, online platforms were doing their best works to satisfy all the needs of their customers. And this has made people trust them more. In the future, the online market is going to be huge than ever. There are many factors such as varieties of products, transparency, customer reach, among others that have developed the online business. Future expectations are high and the upcoming year is going to be challenging for online retail.
The author is director, Fabcurate.com