By Vivek Koul
We live in a world where we communicate with each other over mobile phones than we do face to face. For keeping in touch like shopping, hailing a cab, or ordering food, everything begins and ends with that smartphone. The smartphone is the new sun and everything else orbits around it. India has emerged as the fastest growing and largest internet market in terms of number of users. Our country is growing spectacularly as far as online business is concerned. The online shopping industry of India is now fast catching on, not only in the larger metro cities but also in the smaller cities. If the Internet is anything to go by, the technological and the economic growth of India is moving into the top gear. Electronic commerce which is simply the system of transacting business through the use of electronic and digital media as the computer and mobile devices, has become not just a necessary but also an effective means of global economic development. The astronomical growth of interconnectivity through the computer network (Ie, internet) has made electronic commerce a veritable tool for quick business relationships to be formed without any form of physical contact. At the click of the mouse, business transactions ranging from banking, shopping and all manner of trading are carried out by millions of internet users on a daily basis. Furthermore, the payment options and gateways available for the customers like Googlepay, Phonepay and other online payment services have made the shopping transactions very easy with a single click of the mouse.
E-commerce has transformed the way consumers shop in India in the past few years, supported by an increase in Internet and smartphone penetration, a rise in digital literacy, and the government’s digital push. The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards online shopping and the emergence of new variants of the virus will further push people towards online shopping. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well. Growing Internet penetration, entry of global majors, rise in smartphone adoption, innovation in mobile technologies, access to funding, millennial consumers and digital payments is fueling the growth of the ecommerce market in the country. Pheno sector and growth can be observed in the E-Commerce these days in India. Participation of niche companies in online trading, Unmatched FDI (foreign direct investment) and Uniform GST (Goods and Services Tax) are some of the driving factors for the booming rise of Ecommerce sector in this country. The evolution of e-commerce is traced back to 1970’s with the emergence of internet. E-commerce was developed for the business community in the early 1970s to facilitate processing high volume and high value transactions electronically. Electronic Data Interchange was the first business-to- business application. Subsequently, internet added a prodigious new dimension to e-commerce. The power of the internet as a global access was realized with the arrival of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1994. Never in the history of mankind has a popular innovation spread as fast as internet. United States (US) has been considered the leader in the application of e-commerce. The origin of e-commerce in India coincides with the introduction of Internet connectivity in the country in 1989. As such, e-commerce in India is in its infancy. Historically, Rediff-on-the-net, one of India’s leading online services, set up India’s first e-commerce on August 13, 1998. Then, India entered the age of e-commerce the day the government deregulated the Internet Service Provider ( ISP) policy in November 1998. Since then, there is no looking back and the country is proliferating in the Internet. The rate of growth of penetration of Internet has been spectacular. The growth is basically driven by rapid technology adoption led by the increasing use of devices such as smart phones and tablets and access to the internet through broadband, 3G, 4G etc which led to an increased online consumer base.
E-Commerce, a sector that created buzz in the late 90s, has bounced back very strongly and is giving a new shape to digital India. As we all know that online shopping is picking up in a big way in India. It is changing the retail scenario totally. Inquisitive minds are getting fascinated by some of the popular ecommerce market places like Flipcart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Shopclues, PayTm etc which in turn has made the shopping very comfortable and convenient. With attractive and convenient shopping options at the core of the consumer facing business, the e-commerce industry offers the power to create innovative, sustainable, consistent and seamless shopping experience across all channels. All this is going to boost the Indian economy and will also revolutionize the online business in India to a great extent. Another point worth mentioning is that the expansion of e-commerce in India, so far, has been uneven concentrating in a few metropolitan cities, namely. Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. The common man residing in rural areas of the country is, however, still unaware of happening in the Information Technology (IT) sector. Obviously, much progress in e-commerce cannot be achieved until the country’s vast rural sector is not brought within the folds of internet. Hence, hitherto untouched rural sector by Internet so far offers a great potential for E-commerce in India. All this boils down to the fact that e-commerce has set in but much is yet to be tapped in this respect in our country.