What is e-commerce or e-business?
E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods over the internet. Typically, all the transactions that take place in a store happen over the internet. This includes browsing products, placing orders and bill payments – all online. We call such a store an e-commerce store.
What are e-commerce websites?
An e-commerce website is a space where customers buy products online. Through e-commerce websites, businesses perform many functions. They display and sell products, accept payments, arrange shipping and delivery and provide customer service. This happens without the need for a brick-and-mortar store.
The E-Commerce Market in India
A couple of years ago, mobile internet subscriptions were expensive in India. But, when Jio came into the scene, these services became cheaper. Owing to this, many Indians have now gained access to the internet. As of 2020, almost 50% of the Indian population has access to the internet. That’s almost half of our population. This data proves yet again that the internet is the place to be. It only makes sense for businesses to inhabit this space too.
A busy lifestyle, lower prices and the Covid-19 lockdown have changed customer habits. Indians are more reliant on internet shopping now than they were 10 years ago. Hence, e-commerce companies are here to stay and the battle of the best is heating up.
Here’s Our Curated List of the Top E-Commerce Companies in India
Amazon has cemented itself as a global household name. It has an impressive product catalogue and a sizeable number of sellers. This has increased Amazon’s appeal to all facets of the Indian customer.
It is one of the most preferred e-commerce websites in India. This is all thanks to its easy exchange, returns and refund policy. With prompt customer service, Amazon is undoubtedly the number one marketplace. From books, electronics, furniture, apparel, decor to groceries, Amazon has everything you could need under one roof.
Amazon has started two initiatives to encourage more sellers to join the platform. They are Self-Service Registration (SSR) and Easy Ship Policy. These policies have earned the trust of many sellers.
Owing to this, Amazon India has achieved celebrity status. They have introduced a paid membership program called Amazon Prime. Through this, customers can access Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music and Prime Delivery.
Second only to Amazon, Flipkart is a homegrown e-commerce business that won hearts. Originally founded as an online bookstore, Flipkart now sells electronics, clothing, home furnishings, health, wellness and beauty products. Since e-commerce was a relatively new concept 8 years ago, Flipkart was able to capture customer interest. Flipkart did this by enabling the cash-on-delivery payment mode.
Flipkart further solidified its status as a top player by doing two things. It introduced the Flipkart Big Billion Days campaign – an annual mega-sale. Products go on huge discounts and millions of customers shop during this sale every year. It also has exclusive partnerships with brands like Xiaomi and Moto. Customers can get their hands on these products through Flipkart and Flipkart only.
This etail giant has staked its claim as the best e-commerce business for fashion products. From clothing, footwear, accessories, international designer brands to home decor, Myntra houses an incredibly vast collection. It was acquired by Flipkart in 2014. Myntra later acquired Jabong, its biggest competitor, in 2016.
Preferred by many when it comes to fashion products, Myntra’s quality remains unmatched. Myntra has made expensive designer brands affordable to the average customer. This etailer is the perfect example of making fashion affordable to the masses.
One way Myntra has retained its customers is through its loyalty program. This free loyalty program is available to repeat customers. After customers cross a price limit, Myntra bumps them into Myntra Select. Select members enjoy priority sale access, free-delivery coupons and third-party vendor coupons.
Myntra has sustained its popularity via frequent partnerships with celebrities. They are exclusive sellers of celebrity brands like Deepika Padukone’s All About You, Hrithik Roshan’s HRX and Virat Kohli’s WROGN.
Nykaa carved a niche for itself when it entered the Indian market. It targeted an industry without an exclusive e-commerce presence: beauty & wellness. Before Nykaa, Indians purchased beauty and cosmetic products in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Nykaa is perhaps one of few to have a hybrid selling model in the reverse order. It started as an e-commerce store. Post its massive success, it established physical stores across the country.
Indian customers found Nykaa favourable for two reasons. First, they could shop conveniently from the comfort of their home. Second, they could get their hands on international beauty brands. Not only that, they could buy from popular brands that were not available anywhere else in India. e.l.f., Charlotte Tilbury, Tonymoly, Dermalogica and Murad are a few brands that exclusively sell on Nykaa.
This feature has helped Nykaa attract high-paying customers. As Nykaa was gaining traction in India, make-up and beauty gurus were taking over YouTube. They had a strong chokehold on popular culture. Thus, by offering exclusive international brands, Nykaa established itself as a strong e-business.
Nykaa now has a free membership program for loyal customers like Myntra. Nykaa Privé members can access special discounts, free-delivery coupons and birthday-month freebies.
A novel concept when it first entered the market, Bigbasket is an online grocery delivery service. Bigbasket became a household name thanks to shahrukh khan becoming its brand ambassador. This marketing strategy helped Bigbasket gain customer trust and loyalty.
Buying groceries online was virtually unheard of before. With most city-dwellers leading a busy lifestyle, Bigbasket made it convenient to buy groceries on the go. It gained a loyal following due to its wide assortment of products and below-market prices. Bigbasket has a wide variety of products from national and international brands. From fresh meat, frozen food, fruits & vegetables, snacks, dairy, gourmet foods to personal care products, Bigbasket is an online supermarket in all respects.
It targets only select cities (like metros and emerging commercial hubs). It has a paid subscription that users can join to gain free delivery and priority slots.
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