Yes. It is unprecedented and it’s a phenomenon. We are probably at the surface right now with the e-commerce juggernaut proliferating at a very fast pace.
Rediff Shopping, Indiaplaza Shopping were there in early 2000 also, but it was never a revolution. This is the second avatar or rather E-Commerce 2.0 when all the chords have struck together to pave the foundation for a new and vibrant economy.
I strongly believe, the way forward would be hinging on the understanding of “how e-commerce is perceived by the generation having the most purchasing power”, which would be the folks born in 1970s, 80s and 90s now (as in 2015), lets call them Generation A and slowly shifting to folks who are born in 2000 – 2015 whom we can call as Generation B and then, the ones who would get born in 2015 and beyond, whom we can call as Generation C.
Generation A would fuel the ecosystem pillars and build a definition for e-commerce. A lot of support industries would be created and largely a full working and repeatable model will develop in the next five years. Generation A will make the purchases and establish faith in the system (as its already happening around us). Since this generation has understood and seen the Internet appearing as a concept from no-where, desktop, tablet and mobile would be the form factors instrumental in shaping e-commerce for the next 5-10 years.
Generation B is currently seeing it all develop. All excited and fancied by the super convenience, it understands the Internet through tablets and mobiles first than the desktop. It is acting as an influencing generation in this process and would largely setup the content and products in e-commerce. It would build the potential and the very reason for e-commerce to surge ahead faster.
Generation C is currently a generation which is in its infancy right now. Imagine the first lens through which they see e-commerce and Internet in general would be “how”? Wearables / IoT / Drone Internet? It’s difficult to fathom right now. By the time, this generation is ready to engage – e-commerce would be prevalent as a way of life and not a surprise or an experiment.
Given this conditioning, E-Commerce has a long way to go. It is not only the “e”, that would grow, but the actual commerce will positively impact supply chain and logistics network, payments, technologies on the mobile, advertising, and marketing. It’s an undeniable transformation, which we would be experiencing.
On a global scale, the Indian revolution of e-commerce would not fall short of impacting the global economy. Local players would compete on a global scale and that would significantly drive innovation & the influence of India on regional economies and largely over the world.
From a consumer standpoint, he would be the biggest beneficiary. Access to a virtual large mall at any point in time, at any point of access is a huge plus from a convenience and quality of life perspective. There would be a longing for the middle class to be an upper middle class, and the lower middle class to come up on the rung. With the digital India and positive efforts from the government, the rural India would undergo a transformation as well.
We have not reached a tipping point yet. With over 700 million people in India, yet to come online and shop, the e-commerce behemoth is waiting to be discovered to the fullest.