According to the latest marketing newsE-Commerce is a booming industry in India, and this is evident from the success of companies such as Amazon and Flipkart. Thus, the consumer market is gradually increasing in the country. According to MoneyControl, a reputed marketing news agency, several bigwigs of the large Indian companies recently met in Mumbai. This meet was to gauge their views on the changing scenario in the retail sector. But, one important subject was discussed, i.e. is offline (physical) marketing still a competition to E-Commerce?

It’s true that a breed of customers still exists which do not want to buy anything on the market before actually getting a feel of that product. And this is very true in case of clothes, perishable foodstuffs, consumer durables, etc. Thus, as long as reliability issues still exist, there will be no dearth of customers going to the shop, as compared to just buying with the click of a button. Packing issues, product quality, brand originality, return of goods in case of faulty make, etc. are still some aspects, which make customers stay away from online shopping.

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Another reason for the offline market to skip its death involves the ‘fun’ quotient associated with going to a store, interacting with others, improving retailer-customer relationships. Online buying of course doesn’t offer it all. It looks as if some people actually find window-shopping more exciting than smartphone screen shopping!

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Although India has experienced rapid urbanization in the past few decades, it is still a country with lakhs of villages and other rural settlements! Now, digital media, E-commerce and the latest technology in marketing and retail has not been able to penetrate these regions, and hence rural people still have to go to a shop to buy even the simplest and smallest of commodities. To make matters worse, even if some sites are present on a limited basis in semi-rural areas and towns, they still don’t provide optimal ‘cash on delivery’ system, which proves to be difficult. Limited use of debit and credit cards, banking options, etc. are contributing factors for rural less E-Commerce.

Whatever the medium of shopping exists, in the end, the customer always wins. In this digital age, it is a dire need for people to switch to E-Commerce as much as possible. But, for this to become successful, a change in peoples’ mindsets as well as approach in the market is needed.

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