The commerce behind Indian ecommerce

4:36 AM Suvir Sujan 7 Comments

A lot of promise on the Indian e-commerce front! Consumers shopping online is growing exponentially, mobile driven commerce is accelerating.  The Snapdeals and Flipkarts are becoming household names. But what is forgotten in this e-tailing revolution are the unsung heroes - the ecommerce enablers - most importantly logistics and supply chain/inventory management.

Lets runs through the process - Assume a consumer clicks the buy button on an ecommerce site and chooses Cash on Delivery which continues to be a predominant payment method in India  and chooses one day delivery.

How does the ecommerce vendor manage its orders? How does the vendor manage the warehouse? How does a vendor manage suppliers and get inventory in a timely fashion to be shipped to the consumer? If a customer pays cash, how fast and securely does the cash reach the ecommerce vendor?  This is where the ecommerce logistics companies like Delhivery and inventory/order management software companies like Unicommerce come into play.  The less talked about heroes that help enable the trade to happen or in other words they are the "commerce" in e-commerce!

India will see a huge revolution in the e-commerce infrastructure space over the next decade just like the tower companies and other mobile telephony equipment companies powered the infrastructure revolution in the wireless telecom space.  Unlike in other developed economies where some of the basic infrastructure around logistics and retail technology was already in existence and e-commerce players focused solely on building out the front end by plugging into this infrastructure effortlessly, India is seeing the ecommerce players and the infrastructure players growing up simultaneously and adapting to each others needs as they grow and form a robust ecosystem.


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Scalability of these services still remains a point of strategy here in India. Product or Service has to be MISSION CRITICAL. Long term contracts/subscriptions, pmt recovery for non mission critical saas products are few other concerns that have to be thought deep about.

A good list of most ecommerce services here:

Great article .. Even OOH aggregator MyHoardings a growing startup in OOH advertisement sector is looking for investments .

Mika May said...

Thanks for the article really informative !
about IT services.

Kate Winslt said...

Many venture capitalists are looking for good startups to invest in e-commerce business in india. It's high time to invest on e-commerce, given the buying power of Indians and the big market.

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Best explanation for the commerce linking within the Indian eCommerce. Thank you very much for the sharing.

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