Online and virtual commerce is one of the fastest growing segments in India today, and while e-commerce is still at a nascent stage, recent developments show positive trends in the industry.
Home shopping network Star CJ launched their webstore last month, and while the company will be launching a comprehensive marketing campaign soon, as of now, they say that the site met with internal expectations.
Paritosh Joshi, CEO, Star CJ, said, “e-Commerce is still in early days in India. Consumers are still not as numerous as in traditional retail, but the industry is growing. At this stage, people should not be focusing on differentiation and segmentation, but should instead focus on getting their core competencies right.”
According to Joshi, the e-commerce industry would be driven not by convenience or discounts, but rather by knowledge. He said, “We want to partner with our consumers in fully understanding a product, so that they can make an informed purchase. For this reason, we believe that TV is a great medium for a virtual network, because it’s a mass medium where you can show, and explain a product before a person buys it.”
The inhibitors that prevent the adoption of e-commerce, Joshi said, had more to do with ease of use lack of seamless interfaces and a lack of trust.
He noted, “Managing inventory is the most difficult part of the value chain. With minimal promotion, we’re getting people to come, and we are seeing steady growth. We are only operating in 30-40 towns because we want to ensure quality of service, because trust will come from satisfaction, and will lead to word of mouth, which is the best kind of marketing.”
Star CJ is also running promotional activities on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with online advertising, but Joshi said that the company would also be advertising in traditional media soon, starting with print, as mass media would bring in new customers quickly.