Mumbai: The Covid-19 led economic slowdown has been catastrophic for most sectors, barring a few. The e-commerce sector belongs to the latter. The pandemic and its aftereffects led to a complete transformation and a massive surge in the e-commerce sector.
Therefore, decoding the ‘Future of e-commerce’ through structural research became a function of paramount importance for us at the Havas Group. Thus, the network announced the launch of its recent Prosumer Report, a global perspective on the future of e-commerce that captures information and insights on the sector, done through the network’s proprietary research tool. Drawing on responses from 3,000 consumers from Brazil, China, France, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this recently launched survey examines the upcoming trends in the e-commerce experience.
Talking about the report, Pritha Dasgupta, CMO, Havas Group India, said, “Prosumer is Havas Group’s global report that is released 3 to 4 times every year, each one covering a specific topic. It is one of the longest-running thought leadership properties of Havas Group that has become instrumental in predicting emerging trends in consumer behaviour.”
She further added, “Over the last two years, digital adoption has been extremely fast and has become a way of life. If we specifically look at the e-commerce sector, it has become a breeding ground of innovation and in the last two years every leading company in this sector has grown aggressively. Our latest Prosumer Report gives a clear direction to the industry of where this e-commerce sector is headed, and also identifies trends of the sector.”
Prosumers are the leading-edge 15-20% of consumers, who are First to the market (usually 6-18 months ahead of the mainstream), Forward-thinking, Influential, Proactive and Socially and/or environmentally conscious. It is this key section of consumers that our research studies.
Throughout the pandemic, e-commerce has clearly established itself as the new retail norm as more than 8 in 10 Prosumers tell us they prefer the online shopping experience over the traditional format of in-store purchasing. However, 1 out of 3 respondents claims that their e-commerce experiences are quite boring. Havas Group’s Prosumer report deep dived into the e-commerce sector and came up with a few ways to upgrade the e-commerce experience by:
- Focusing on new rules of eCommerce: This includes free shipping & returns, seamless & fast delivery, customer ratings, loyalty discounts and purchases recommendations.
- Having a purpose beyond clicks: e-commerce must be about more than just access, it is about curating products that are good for society.
- Being on the right side of data history: Privacy is gaining momentum so data education should be mandatory.
- Expanding from a place to buy to a place to socialise: As e-commerce is becoming more human and is moving to social, making the experience more community-driven will bring results.
An over-arching theme that is evident through the research is that the e-commerce sector still has a long way to go to address the gap in consumer expectations. If there is one aspect that the younger generation demands, it is a better consumer experience despite acknowledging the convenience that e-commerce has to offer.
For this, the Prosumer report throws light on some rather interesting India specific trends that will go a long way in making the sector shine:
- The rise in community shopping experience: Post-pandemic, the desire to replicate in-store/mall experience has led prosumers to seek community shopping experiences from the e-commerce industry. In this context, we see a spike in demand for services such as the ability to shop on social media (66%) and the ability to interact with fellow shoppers (68%).
- The era of Transparency: Contrary to popular euphemism, consumers are not averse to data sharing. In fact, they demand transparency regarding what data is being collected. In this context, we see 97% of the prosumers rating privacy as the key attribute and 83% ready to boycott brands that do not have a transparent data collection policy.
- Personalised experience: 68% of Prosumers expect their e-commerce shopping experience to be tailored through personalisation and AI.
- Rise in responsible e-commerce practices: 95% of prosumers demand eco-friendly packaging and 69% want to see e-commerce organisations commit to sustainable practices across the value chain.
The Havas Group Prosumer report makes it evidently clear that e-commerce is no longer just about business transactions; it’s about customer empowerment and with the e-commerce market touching $84 billion in July 2021, this is a sector one just can’t ignore. Meeting the needs of consumers will ensure that the e-commerce sector moves from strength to strength. It’s where the future is.