The impact of COVID19 on the retail industry in India has been huge, with many small and medium businesses shutting down. Unorganized retailers have faced tough competition from online retail giants like Amazon and Flipkart.
The immediate impact of COVID19 on the retail industry was a sudden surge in demand for essential goods and services with a steep decline in demand for non-essential goods. The retail sector hit its lowest point when the government enforced lockdown on 1.3 billion Indians.
The end of brick-and-mortar retail?
The eCommerce industry has seen a sudden surge in demand in India because of the COVID19 impacts. The eCommerce market is expected to grow to $300 billion in the next few years. The country has one billion mobile phone users, and with rapid digitization and better internet connectivity, there will be a lot more online shoppers.
Indian retailers v/s eCommerce
Indian retailers have been slow to adopt eCommerce as their business model because many factors work against small and medium enterprises. Two major players have captured more than 80% of the eCommerce share in the Indian market, making it difficult for the average retailer to survive.
Here are the top five reasons why Indian Retailers are at war with eCommerce
- 80% share belongs to two major eCommerce giants
- Setting up an eCommerce business can be a moneysucker
- Lack of technical know-how
- Low conversion rates on a high website cost
- Lack of trust from consumers
vCommerce can be the solution that Indian retailers need right now to negate the challenges posed by the existing digital solutions. One of the biggest problems that Indian consumers face is distrusting online shopping stores. They prefer to buy on a COD basis which often leads to returns and refunds.
vCommerce will enable a virtual shopping experience that is pretty close to the real one. Consumers can interact with store owners or salespeople and also see the product they will be investing in.
vCommerce solutions for Indian retailers
A new app on the market, BigBox, looks like a promising candidate for introducing vCommerce to the Indian retail market. It is a hyper-local video shopping app that comes with the following benefits:
- Sell quickly through video calls.
- Hyperlocal video shopping marketplace
- No complex digital algorithms
- Simple & easy Instagram style catalog features
- No hardware required
- Mobile-first approach
- Delivery & Payment are taken care of by the platform
- The seller can set up a video store in minutes
- Expand through virtual branches to multiple locations
- Personalized shopping experience
There is no doubt that the pandemic has negatively impacted the retail industry and slowed down an already sluggish Indian market. Small and medium businesses were facing tough competition in the digital world even before the pandemic started. Today they have to adopt new ways to keep their business alive.