The online sector accounts for 25 per cent of the organized retail market in India and is anticipated to reach 37 per cent by 2030. While apparel has remained the most-shopped category online, other segments like grocery, personal care, and electronics are on the rise too. This e-commerce progress has pushed offline retailers to either come online or adopt an omnichannel approach.
But there are challenges. Unlike e-commerce biggies that ensure high online security to shoppers, there are several smaller e-commerce players that operate in the absence of authentic security software, making shoppers prone to online risks such as data theft and data breach. Another challenge for Indian buyers is touch and feel. Shoppers wish to experience the product before paying for it, and e-commerce players have failed to offer this satisfaction. Moreover, the excessive focus of e-commerce players on gross merchandise value has been another challenge that has led to heavy losses, rising costs, and lower returns. Several small businesses have failed and been wiped off.
The rapid rise of e-commerce in India has resulted in a survival crisis for kirana stores and small retailers. The steep discounts have killed the customer base of local retailers. To address this concern, a new and strict e-commerce policy has been introduced. The policy primarily focuses on prohibiting steep discounting practices of e-commerce giants, thus protecting the interests of small retailers and making sure they operate in a fair marketplace.