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The Impact of E-commerce in Rural India

The Impact of E-commerce in Rural India

E-commerce is the word ruling the business since the last few decades. Thousands of businesses have moved online to utilize the potential of the Internet for reaching a wider audience. Further, this translates into an additional revenue stream that gets you an increased ROI with less investment cost and time. Today, e-commerce has enveloped our lives in such a way that it has become a necessity rather than a passion. From the business perspective, it comes ahead as a massive opportunity and even established brick-and-mortar brands are exploring this territory today.

What makes e-commerce a booming trend?
E-commerce is a win-win situation for both the consumers and the merchants. The consumers are spoilt with choices of brands, fashion, comfort, and all at competitive pricing too. If we consider the merchants, they are able to sell goods and earn more profit in less time with or without a warehouse, as they are able to get connected with the production center directly for shipping.

This eliminates the need for managing and maintaining a warehouse of their own which accounts to massive investment in terms of rentals, manpower and labor costs. All these costs have been greatly reduced for them, all thanks to the online selling channel. Also, this mode of selling enables the merchants to get connected with more customers’ as compared to their physical store.

Is e-commerce only an urban phenomenon in India?
The Indian economy is dominated by rural population because a major chunk of the population resides in rural areas. Conversely, those living in urban settings are better educated, tech-savvy, and have a higher propensity to spend. In these circumstances, e-commerce or any industry for that matter, needs to strike a balance between both segments of the population. The big question here that sellers in this domain come across is whether e-commerce is only an urban phenomenon in India or it has scope in the rural areas as well. To start with, you need to understand the challenges and hindrances that may influence their outreach in the rural areas.

  • The product portfolio is also critical to the success of a seller that wants to target the rural market because it these markets are hyper local.
  • Customers may be apprehensive because of the lack of on-ground presence in their area.
  • Concerns related to the security of online payments is another reason that they may be dissuaded from shopping online.
  • Language is the key barrier as a majority of e-commerce websites use English as the language. To snag customers, firms will need to consider e-commerce development with vernacular languages so that they are able to communicate with the target audience’s in their local language.
  • Being available on the mobile channel is equally important as the rural residents may not have access to desktops and laptops and even if they do, they may be more comfortable with mobile shopping.
  • Access and transport infrastructure matters too because this will have a far-reaching impact on supply chain efficiencies.

Despite these barriers, e-commerce sellers and brands are keen about exploring the opportunities with this segment. Moving further, we shall see the impact of ecommerce website development at the rural areas of India. Recently, the technology has touched the rural parts effectively and has changed the general thinking that e-commerce companies may not reach the rural region of India.

How e-commerce businesses are moving ahead in the rural setups?
It is a known fact that the postal service has the power to connect every corner of the world. The Indian Postal Service has a long history and has evolved over the years. Evidently, today it has reached all the villages and remote locations in India successfully. Moreover, the last two years has witnessed a dramatic change in the Indian Postal service as it is getting collaborated with more than 400 e-commerce websites. Amazon and Flip kart are the major names that are included in this list.

Today, more than 1,55,000 post offices in the remote areas are connected to deliver the goods to the customers, irrespective of the far-flung locations. It is a welcoming scenario where e-commerce industries are involved in helping our country to become digital through logistics channel. The e-commerce stores may even explore the option of having their own delivery system for these locations, or they may use third party services like the postal services and other small agencies.

E-commerce exploring new frontiers in rural India
The e-commerce giants like Myntra, Jabong, Voonik, Amazon, Shopclues, Flip Kart and others are getting appreciable revenue coverage from the villages. The villagers are gaining benefits of online delivery system. And with the penetration of the Internet and the smartphones, most of the villagers are using mobile applications and computers to order their goods. These companies say that the products like electronic items, utensils, grinders, baby products, mixers, and, etc., are the main goods in demand.

And, the fascinating thing about the orders from remote locations is that there are lesser likelihood of returns of the goods as they order only the most essential goods. This is saving cost on logistics for the company, as they are less investing for taking the delivered goods back. Certain companies like Ipay, Storeking, eDabba and, etc., are completely working for rural locations and they have innovative web design and development and work in view of the consumer expectations and Internet connectivity limitations of the rural areas.

Conclusion
Certainly, it is high time for the retailers to achieve profit in their online business by tapping the rural population. However, there is also the need to understand the challenges of selling to the consumers who lack tech-savviness and may not really be comfortable with the concept of making payments online. The best approach is to focus on the parameters such as a simple design, intuitive navigation, secure payments, and seamless experiences irrespective of the connectivity-related challenges. Additionally, they should also work on strengthening the operational aspects of the business.

We, at Orange Mantra excel in Web design and development as per the internet range limitations and other shortfalls to reach and sell in rural India. We have a team that can understand these challenges and assist you in overcoming them as well. Get in touch with us for web development and mobile application development and explore the untapped region for your online business.

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