Apoorv is an experienced Technical Lead and according to him, consuming technology and creating technology are two different skills. As a Founder, he had to gain this expertise through strenuous hard work. Formerly he collaborated with a few techies to give a shape to his proposition but failed miserably. He succeeded in the second attempt with a trusted team of technology experts who are now driving the innovation of the firm and he also ensures that he understands every aspect of what is happening at the technological end.
- Can you tell us about the rise of e-Commerce and how Technology is uplifting it?
The e-commerce sector in India is growing at a striking rate as more and more people are now connected to the Internet. The technology is the main fuel behind the growth of B2B and B2C e-commerce industry. With 4G and very soon 5G, India’s smartphone penetration, which is around 42%, is only increasing with time, giving more online shopping exposure to the customers.
The E-commerce industry has changed the form of business transactions and the most popular thing being the mode of payments. The digital mode of payments provides an unmatched shopping experience.
We are in B2B e-commerce/ online-liquidation and for us, new technologies give us data to better understand the actions of the customer and provide services accordingly. With Artificial Intelligence, B2B e-commerce companies will undergo a huge transformation. AI enables effective decision-making at purchases, automates tasks, offer insights, saves man-hours behind procurement and purchases.
- How has e-Commerce helped small businesses grow?
E-commerce marketplaces are driving SME transformation across the country by allowing the smallest of the businesses to have access to the national market. Take for example EOLstocks, we have many buyers and sellers from tier II-IV towns who sell or liquidate their products online. With the onset of the pandemic, businesses realized the importance of digital transformation and everyone is bringing their business online at E-commerce marketplaces with minimal cost and investment. Also, there has been a renewed focus on inclusive development in our country and the initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat and others are providing many opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Could you elaborate on the Impact of COVID-19 on the e-Commerce Sector?
Our country is facing unprecedented times and some businesses and industries are hit hard and struggling hard to survive. However, a recent study by GlobalData, a London-based analytics company, suggests that the coronavirus pandemic will accelerate the growth of India’s e-commerce market, and it is expected to reach ₹7 trillion by 2023. The B2B e-commerce market is on the surge, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced B2B buyers and sellers to go digital in a massive way. All of this started out as a crisis response, but it has now become the new normal and has big implications on how buyers and sellers will do business. Now the B2B buyers are comfortable making large new purchases as well as reorders online. Earlier the e-commerce platforms were mainly used for smaller-ticket items.
- How have Small and Medium Enterprises fared amid the Pandemic Outbreak? How has it helped them become Technologically-Competent?
Firstly, SMEs in India are in their nascent growth stage and yet to reach their full potential. Many of the SMEs were struggling amid the Pandemic outbreak. A large chunk of India’s GDP is contributed by SMEs and their growth is definitely going to have a hug impact on the future of Indian Economy. However, the low technology adoption in SMEs is one of the primary reasons for their restrictive growth till now. One of the surveys suggests that 68% of the Indian SMEs do not use the Internet. The Covid-19 pandemic helped SMEs understand the importance of digitization. However, they still lack guidance in using technology. Many of them fear technology, which can also be attributed to lack of knowledge about technology and digitization. Knowledge and guidance about use of technology can be solved with structured trainings, knowledge programs, information resources etc. There should be rigorous efforts to make technology affordable as well.
- What are e-Commerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2021?
Thanks to the growth spurt in 2020, the e-commerce ecosystem is booming. We see more and more retailers are shifting to online selling and new businesses launching themselves through e-commerce. Some of the major trends that are expected in the year 2021 are:
Rise of B2B E-commerce: Traders, manufacturers, and wholesalers will continue to show a rise in the adoption of mobile apps and other digital platforms. With the B2B e-commerce space, mobile phones, apparels, groceries, furnishings, and healthcare are expected to thrive.
Mobile Commerce: By the end of 2021, it is expected that mobile devices will account for almost 73% of total e-commerce sales. Businesses now have to ensure that they are mobile-friendly and improve the customer experience for mobile users.
Omnichannel: All small and big retailers are focusing on Omnichannel experience and this will give e-commerce a big boost in 2021. We will see more people shopping from multiple channels instead of relying exclusively on a single one.
AI and AR: Artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key driver for e-commerce, and it is expected that online sellers will spend nearly $7.3 billion on the technology by 2022. Even augmented reality (AR) technologies will be used to provide customers with a rich buying experience.
Personalization: The future of B2B and B2C e-commerce will revolve around brands and businesses finding new ways to build a direct relationship with the customers and making the messaging personalized.
Automation: It is already prevalent in various functions of the B2B and B2C e-commerce from marketing automation to warehousing and beyond. We will continue to see increased applications of automation in the e-commerce space.
Voice Commerce: E-commerce businesses will continue to optimize themselves for voice search via Google home, Alexa and others in 2021.