'Online cannot provide instant gratification'

'Online cannot provide instant gratification'

At a time when eCommerce players are mushrooming in India, Reliance eCommerce Head of Business Chandrima Pareek feels that immediate gratification is something online players cannot give to consumers.

Talking to Deccan Herald on the sidelines of the South India Retail Summit 2015 here on Thursday, Pareek said, “Recently one player tried to deliver products within six hours in the city, which can happen occasionally. However, the immediate gratification is look, try, and buy and no doubt that is something online cannot give absolutely. At the end of the day, touch and feel will be important for the consumer.”

When asked about eCommerce growth in India, Pareek said, “If you look at the share against organised retail, eCommerce is just 0.4 per cent of the market today. The absolute number may look large, which is Rs 3,000 crore. But in the US, the market share of eCommerce is over 12 per cent.”

The consumer is evolving

According to her, in order to create a better retail India, one thing to remember is that the consumer is evolving or is already on the brink of evolving. “I think brands and businesses have underestimated this so far. Every company wants some topline growth...but I believe the focus is only on numbers. Instead, it should be on what the product means for customers, the value they get from it, and the need fulfilled by the product.”

Pareek said the current focus is on achieving bigger volume. “Don’t underestimate the consumer by thinking that they only need cheap or luxury products. They want to see the value in whatever they buy. ”

Myntra Senior Vice-President (New Initiatives) Gautam Kotamraju said digitisation is a big challenge in India. Though 4G service is being rolled out across India, not everyone is satisfied with the available speed, he said.

“ECommerce players cannot be brought under GST ambit as we are service providers. Infrastructure is a huge problem in India, which will stem the growth and expansion of the market. The Government should understand that as eCommerce players expand, we bring in more liquidity to the market,” Kotamraju added.

According to Pareek, ‘How do you use more sustainable fibres which won’t make our land toxic? or, ‘How do you use less water from where it typically takes 3,000 litres to transform cotton candy into a T-shirt?’ The consumer is probably willing to spend more, as he gets more value, and eventually that value is going to be fashion, she said.

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