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Trends to keep an eye on in the e-commerce sector 2020 Per: Saahil Goel
Currently, India is witnessing unprecedented digitization across the country. Indians are actively jumping on the digital belt and making digital tools an active part of their daily lifestyles. Thus, a change in the buying pattern from ordinary brick and mortar stores to e-commerce platforms is also natural.

Well, this is why the Indian e-commerce sector has already become a difficult segment with a market size of $ 50 billion. Over the next five years, that figure will more than triple to reach $ 188 billion in market size.

So, let’s try to find out what are the top trends in the segment and how they will step out in 2020:

PWA (Progressive Web Apps)
PWA is a type of web application that uses advanced technology to create web pages that have the look and feel of a mobile application. This is the better side of the internet experience for any user, especially since it can be accessed with or without the mobile app installation. For example, Pinterest saw a 40% increase in conversions with its PWA (Source: AppMaker). Search time has also increased significantly through better user experience and the convenience of not downloading the app, which takes up a lot of mobile storage space.

With increasing competition in the e-commerce space, more and more market players (including small e-spools) will be tapping into PWA to enhance the user experience, generate superior traction and drive business expansion.

The rise of the subscription service model
Today, custom subscription service models are experiencing a positive attraction in all markets. This is also true of the e-commerce segment as it allows market players to become more efficient, cost-effective and reduce smaller operations, especially in relation to logistics. Moreover, the main focus of all large and small e-commerce platforms is the acquisition of serious customers who show interest in buying products and receive them without the addition of NDRs.

Digital subscription-based logistics platforms make it easier to increase awareness of customers’ tastes and preferences. This approach helps companies make informed business decisions, have better forecasting and manage inventory efficiently. So, technically enabled subscriptions for logistics operations will be picked up this year, especially as e-commerce platforms aim to reduce non-deliveries.

Automation from start to finish
The sheer volume and speed that modern ecommerce operations require the need for full automation. This will be more noticeable with increased communication via chatbots, automatic calling, SMS and AI-based applications in 2020. The year will also mark a shift toward real-time tracking of parcels by sellers, as opposed to the simple end-delivery status. Third-party logistics players like Shiprocket are already in high demand for an automated tracking page that offers the ultimate status of regular shipment. Furthermore, customer retention will receive a positive boost with fewer differences in customer communication. Business intelligence through data analytics will reduce NDR, ultimately reducing last-mile delivery costs.

Personalized customer service
Again, e-commerce captures competition without the hassle of multiple players watching the lion share in the segment. In this scenario, the delivery of personalized services by e-commerce companies to their customers will increase in 2020. Such initiatives will include adding to the customer experience and enriching the customer. Their answers and opinions can be given more weight. This trend was triggered by social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. that began to personalize the news of their users according to their browsing interests. 3PL players like Shiprocket, on the other hand, also provide a wealth of personalization options in the form of features such as branded monitoring pages (for remarketing) and the ability to create a custom eCommerce site at no cost.

Automation for last-mile delivery efficiencies
The unrestrained last-mile delivery automation can be seen in full steam as hyperlocal delivery players like Swiggy, Dunzo, Zomato, etc. promise their customers a 30-minute delivery. Similarly, Amazon has automated its logistics operations to reduce ETA more products by introducing one- and two-day deliveries.

2020 will further characterize the introduction of such services through the 3PL platform, which will empower smaller e-commerce players to automate their logistics operations for efficient last-mile deliveries. Sellers will be looking for features such as real-time shipment tracking, COD acceptance, AI-focused courier recommendations, ease of scheduling downloads, optimized route planning and so on. They will help companies more easily manage last-mile deliveries and provide reduced shipping costs, improved customer retention and maximized profits.

Drone delivery
Last year, drone rules were launched in India. With it, we will soon see how this new delivery mechanism enters commercial logistics operations. Multiple market players, including Amazon, Dominos, Swoop Aero, UPS, etc., are currently testing their feasibility. About 80% of Amazon packages can be easily delivered via drones, and this could make the eCommerce platform launch a service in India. Introducing drone-based delivery will reduce delivery time to less than 30 minutes and is expected to aggressively increase market competition. It will also save about $ 50 million in costs for shipping companies.
These are some of the major e-commerce trends in India this year. Today, the industry is at a crucial time and has a promising future with over one billion customers. We certainly live in interesting times.

(The author of the article is the CEO and co-founder of Shiprocket.)

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