The average person is said to check their mobile phone 150 times a day.
Everywhere one goes, there are people busy on their mobile phones, either talking to others, consuming content or networking on social media.
The mobile phone is influencing every aspect of people’s life and also changing the way we do business.
The way things stand right now, we could easily say that the device in your hand is shaping the technology revolution in India. The same holds true for shopping as well. Technology is redefining the way people shop and is making the process more interactive and convenient.
Gone are the days when one would travel through jam packed roads to get to the nearest mall or shopping area. Today, technology lets you sit in your drawing room and order your favourite handbag or pair of shoes in just a few clicks! What’s more, delivery to your home and easy returns policies mean that more and more people are taking to the online platform to shop with abandon. And just in case you thought that shopping online does not give you the feeling of ‘instant gratification’ that buying at the store does, well, companies are trying to solve that problem also through super fast delivery models.
So what are the technologies that are changing the way people shop? Let’s take a look.
Today, people with deep pockets in remote areas do not need to travel all the way to the city to shop. Technology allows them to do so from their own home, saving time and energy. Mobile technology has also opened out a whole new world to the villagers in India who were previously unaware of the retail boom in the country. The future of m-commerce in India is looking bright, especially in the tier-two and tier-three cities that are now exposed to home-grown and global brands in the country. Leading online marketplaces report that a major chunk of their orders stem from these cities and may soon overtake the order volume of the metros.
The technology revolution in India has not just given a push to buying but has also made buying more interactive. One of the apprehensions that people have while buying online is the nagging doubt as to how that particular outfit would fit them. The future of m-commerce is all set to erase all those doubts with a revolutionary ‘body scanning’ technology that can scan your body and show you how a particular outfit will fit you. With the arrival of this technology revolution in India, we are sure to see hordes of people taking the online route to buy all things ranging from shoes, clothes to sunglasses.
Another area where the technology revolution in India is coming in handy is in the field of visual search. People armed with a camera equipped mobile phone can snap a picture of an outfit or a pair of shoes that caught their fancy during a bus ride or at work and simply use a visual search tool to find similar products. Imagine seeing a beautiful pair of shoes on the way to work and being able to order them minutes after setting your eyes on them! While such tools are available with some niche players currently, we are confident that once they become mainstream they will be a blessing for the future of m-commerce in India.
With a mobile or a laptop screen becoming your personal avenue to the brand’s offerings, why shouldn’t brands go an extra step to make the experience a little more personal? Today, there are companies that let you place orders for customised products as per your taste. So whether it is the colour of your blouse or the shape of your shoes, the technology revolution in India is letting you dictate your taste and buy stuff that is custom-made for you. Embarrassment at wearing the same outfit as your bestie to a party is a thing of the past now!
All said and done, shopping was and will always be a social activity. Even though online shopping is done in isolation, people want to share the stories of their haul with their friends. This is a trend that many brands are leveraging and giving you options to share your purchase details on social media platforms in exchange for a discount. This has been observed to trigger a me-too behaviour and is actually leading to conversions from people who saw the post - a win-win for both the customer who got the discount and the brand that got an extra sale. Not just that, platforms like Pinterest even have a ‘buyable pins’ option through which you can convert your outfit inspiration into an outfit in your wardrobe in no time!
All these developments are changing the landscape of retail in India. What started as an alternative means of buying has now become mainstream with the online shopping boom. E-commerce and m-commerce are giving stiff competition to the brick and mortar stores and the day is not far off when the technology revolution in India will propel the former to overtake the latter. While the future of m-commerce in India is looking bright with the advent of these new technologies, it is now up to early adopters to leverage these developments and provide shoppers with increased options and convenience.
Image credit: blogmobile, neimanmarcus