It does take a Village … e-Shopping goes Social

At the beginning of every year a number of experts descent upon various platforms and claim that this will be the year when monumental things will happen and the preceding years will pale in comparison. Hmm ..good point , but lets understand one thing , nothing good every happened over night. It takes constant effort and advancement of technology to get us here , and from here on also , it will not be fast paced supersonic speed journey but an everyday discovery and step by step walk. The below statement sums it all up:-

“If we have a good quarter it’s because of work we did 3, 4, 5 years ago. It’s not because we did a good job this quarter.” – Jeff Bezos

So why this sudden lesson in patience , U ask ? Here’s a funny one for you. I obsessively and dedicatedly read all such predictive articles pick up and get a sense of where the basic trend is leading us. What so many people cannot be wrong about are the new developments  in technology which are constantly changing the way we interact and react to our e-shopping habits. Have you checked out the PING app from Flipkart? It lets you share your product cart with friends , or that for a long time Amazon lets you tweet or share your purchase on FB . Not convinced ? do you know now Snapdeal has gone vernacular. The underlying message is that all this is pushing us to be more social , communicative and demonstrative of our feelings and shopping habits online. Wouldn’t you want to tell all your friends that you bought yourself the latest Bag or shoes or even that limited edition book you have been eyeing ?

Other than driving us to be more social , the next new trend that is picking up is Omni Channel . For all the right reasons . Its important to touch a customer at all the possible buying cycle points. One needs to reach on-the-move customers through multiple entry points – on web, app and in- store – as consumption patterns evolve. Until unless a e-commerce platform can figure out a strategic balance between in-store and online experience, it can hope to drive the next big wave. In India a lot of customers still prefer the touch and feel experience which in-store shopping provides, it is very important to tap into this crowd . With the right mix of technology it is not very difficult to now offer hyper local deliveries , click and pick commerce and service deliveries. Alongwith this Omni channel will also help in providing differentiated shopping experience based on diverse consumer demands and buying behaviors.

Lets take a step back and see whats driving all this. This is the buzzword that has been ruling the charts continuously for the last few years … yup .. you guessed it right , BIG DATA . Deploying Big Data insights and Predictive Analysis have been key driving factors in how e-commerce players have strengthened customer engagements. With the customer in the driving seat it will allow for blending various aspects of user experiences across multiple platforms, channels and apps . This is both a reflection of, and an impetus to, the way e-commerce engagements will develop as the sector matures.  The intuitiveness of an interface is the first stage at which impactful interactions can happen with customers.Product recommendations to consumers and business solutions for sellers have relied largely on recognizing insightful patterns in consumer preferences. The spate of innovations like more efficient product discovery, greater integration of social platforms to mimic peer-influenced purchase decisions, replication of offline browsing experiences are all steps in the direction to make a great first impact.

In the year 2016 , we will see more investments going in technology innovations and big data analytics to support back end processes as well . This will help not just the ecommerce platform but also the logistics partner in better tracking of products , analyzing future demand surges during promotion periods , and predicting bottlenecks in delivery. Businesses that will work towards transforming various elements of the value chain will enable the establishment of a sustainable e-commerce sector. Its too soon to write off the ecommerce marketplace as it is all set to create further disruption it the traditional economy .

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