E-commerce has emerged as one of the best examples of technology utilization that has transformed the traditional technique of business into the digital space. The transformation of technology has led to the increase of internet users significantly. E-commerce or electronic commerce is a process of trading goods and services through digital devices and internet networks. The shift in digital space is also rapidly influencing the current condition and trend in several aspects, including academic, medical, banking, government, and business. The rising internet usage and Smartphone penetration are constantly allowing E-commerce to transform the business game in India. Among e-commerce mediums, a website is considered to be the main platform that can ensure competitive advantages and is one of the factors that can determine e-commerce success. Since 2014, the Government of India has announced various initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India, Skill India, Innovation Fund, and more to accelerate the growth of E-commerce trade in the nation. It is also expected that the heavy investment by the government in rolling out the fiber network for 5G will grandly enhance the E-commerce business in India.
We, as one of the rapidly developing nations, acknowledge the booming significance of MSMEs as an opportunity to further enhance our economic relevance by incorporating them into e-commerce. The increased participation of MSMEs in e-commerce has also been reflected by the International Trade Centre (ITC). In one of the ITC’s most recent surveys conducted on 2262 firms, the statistics indicated that of the firms that engage solely in cross-border e-commerce, 82% are MSMEs. The rising momentum of e-commerce platforms clearly suggests how these digital platforms can potentially foster the rapid inclusion of MSMEs in the market. Some major developments in the online shopping segment highlight how consumers prefer to shop online considering its easy process and time efficiency. The market research suggests that the most favorite E-commerce mediums used by the consumers are social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram because of their easy accessibility and direct communication with the seller.
MSMEs are now realizing that it’s important to have clearly defined and well-structured websites and applications that can intensify their sales while boosting acceptance of their e-commerce platforms. These MSMEs now understand that the digital space demands users’ data privacy and security in order to drive efficiency and growth. In addition, with a good and clear digital navigation flow, users can get easy access to information or specific products on the website as per their want. The User Interface and User Experience on the website are being seen as important factors, MSMEs should keep in mind that the appearance of the website should easily deliver or give directions to the users to the information they are seeking. In order to boost website engagement, which will later establish brand awareness, MSMEs can make themselves aware of digital advertising tools like Google Ads or publish articles or trivia related to their business products, and also implement SEO on each web page and individual articles or advertisements. Integrated e-mail on the website can be used to provide up-to-date information to users. The presence of a subscription really helps MSMEs in doing direct marketing via e-mail. The ongoing digital transformation suggests that the development of E-commerce platforms is the need of the hour to meet consumers’ needs and to enhance MSMEs. Clearly, E-commerce plays a vital role in the economy of many countries, majorly for MSMEs in increasing the number in trade and business.
Authored by – Mudit Pareek, CTO, Saraf Furniture.