Express Computer
Home  »  Columns  »  Winning the e-commerce battle in India

Winning the e-commerce battle in India

0 401

With the growth of online websites both international and local, we are increasingly noticing that the Internet-savvy Indian customer is ready to shop online for everything from groceries to jewellery and beyond.

By Varun Jaitly

The increasing broadband penetration and the flood of e-commerce companies have helped carve a ripe industry, providing opportunities and flexibility to consumers and businesses alike. To put things in context, Google’s online shopping festival, popularly known as GOSF, attracted two million unique visitors in 2013. That’s twice the number of users who engaged in the three day long online shopping festival a year before.

According to Google, of the e-commerce websites that partnered for the event, over 200 organisations including the likes of Snapdeal, Myntra and eBay saw daily sales increase three to four times; it wasn’t just electronics and shoes that shoppers lined up for. Categories as diverse as housing also benefited with Tata Housing closing bookings of over 55 apartments!

The success of such endeavours has only spurred the Indian e-commerce industry to invest more heavily into advertising, promotions and online festivals and the current holiday season promises to be witness to the largest online shopping frenzy in India. Online retailers, just like their brick and mortar counterparts, recognise the value of capitalising on this seasonal rush and need to be prepared to maximise their sales. Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the challenges that online retailers face when it comes to this surge and how these need to be tackled for them to have a successful season.

Performance

When shoppers transact online, they give up on the experience that a brick and mortar store provides, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a disadvantage. There are ways by which online retailers can provide a fulfilling experience that will have shoppers coming back for more. Catalogue and ease of navigation are the obvious ones; but performance is the critical pillar without which even the most obvious parameters can fail to bring success. Overall website performance—the speed at which a webpage, along with images and other product information details loads on different devices is mission critical. Aberdeen Group found that every one-second delay in page load time equals 11% decrease in the number of page views or seven percent decrease in conversions.

Mobile

It is critical to note that e-commerce is not the only revolution taking place in the subcontinent. Mobile and in particular, affordable smartphones along with cheap data plans are accelerating adoption of the online channel.

For online sellers, it’s important to understand that performance delivered to shoppers logging in through different devices needs to be consistent. They also need to account for the extremely disparate Internet speeds that visitors may have access to, as this can hamper the overall experience. For instance, high definition images of the latest designer bag only make sense when users can render it on their device. Users accessing sites from tier two or tier three cities often have an inconsistent 2G connection. Online commerce portals are hence required to have the intelligence built in, to identify network strengths in order to deliver the best possible experience, regardless of a user’s device, location or network.

Scale

Online shopping events, flash sales or any triggers that increase traffic require organisations to account in logistics for scale. Think of a website as a concert venue and the trigger as an extremely popular artist performing on a Saturday evening. Execution and logistics define success or failure. Failure can come in the form of websites or pages failing to load or rendering a sluggish performance. We’ve seen many high profile and hugely public black outs when launching a new promotional offer or a new product online. This in turn, would result in loss of potential revenue and brand erosion. Commerce websites should continue to be available during peak traffic and deliver a consistent performance.

Prioritisation

In times of peak traffic, there is the risk of origin infrastructure getting overwhelmed. To avoid running into a complete black out and missing out on transactions, there should be a mechanism in place to prioritise users. In case the number of users checking out peaks, other users who are about to transact can be put in pre-defined queues. After all, it’s better to provide users with a waiting room, rather than having a black out in the final stages of a potential transaction.

Overall, to be successful, online retailers must tackle all of the above challenges. It is important to keep in mind that many shoppers on these online websites are likely to be first time users, which means the anxiety to transact online is already high. A high performance web experience, which is reliable and secure, will not only help gain the trust of first time customers, it would also help the company gain loyalists, who would want to return to the website repeatedly, thereby driving up sales and profits for the retailer.

– The writer is product marketing manager, Asia Pacific & Japan, Web Performance Solutions, Akamai Technologies

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

LIVE Webinar

Digitize your HR practice with extensions to success factors

Join us for a virtual meeting on how organizations can use these extensions to not just provide a better experience to its’ employees, but also to significantly improve the efficiency of the HR processes
REGISTER NOW 

Stay updated with News, Trending Stories & Conferences with Express Computer
Follow us on Linkedin
India's Leading e-Governance Summit is here!!! Attend and Know more.
Register Now!
close-image
Attend Webinar & Enhance Your Organisation's Digital Experience.
Register Now
close-image
Enable A Truly Seamless & Secure Workplace.
Register Now
close-image
Attend Inida's Largest BFSI Technology Conclave!
Register Now
close-image
Know how to protect your company in digital era.
Register Now
close-image
Protect Your Critical Assets From Well-Organized Hackers
Register Now
close-image
Find Solutions to Maintain Productivity
Register Now
close-image
Live Webinar : Improve customer experience with Voice Bots
Register Now
close-image
Live Event: Technology Day- Kerala, E- Governance Champions Awards
Register Now
close-image
Virtual Conference : Learn to Automate complex Business Processes
Register Now
close-image