Flipkart’s take on why 2011 was a landmark year for digital

Sachin Bansal, Co-founder & CEO, Flipkart expounds key highlights for the digital industry in the previous year and what it means for the future

e4m by Rahul Dubey
Updated: Jan 4, 2012 8:51 AM
Flipkart’s take on why 2011 was a landmark year for digital

The year 2011 was a crucial one for the digital industry in India, especially from an e-commerce viewpoint. Flipkart, one of the leading players that have contributed to the space, believes that all the right elements came together for the digital industry in the year. Sachin Bansal, Co-founder & CEO, Flipkart speaks on some of the highlights.

On Enhanced Connectivity
The year, 2011, has been a landmark year for the digital industry. While the infrastructure components like broadband and wireless connectivity finally came together, the trend of instant access was further boosted by smartphones becoming more accessible to a lot more consumers. Digital became the byword this year especially, for marketers looking for larger platforms to reach out to their audience.

On Growth of Social Media
Social media continued to gain prominence across industries and consumers moving from simple peer-to-peer connectivity to a platform used extensively by companies to interact with their customers. At Flipkart, for example, we have more than 8.8 lakh fans on our Facebook page that we engage with on a regular basis.

On Online Convenience and Pricing
The huge surge in digital consumption also brought about a wave of smartphone and tablet wars in the market with the consumer benefiting from a number of high end models and features being made available to them at a range of prices. More and more Indians are becoming online shoppers with every passing day. The evolution, which started with the travel industry, is now spreading to the retailing industry of physical products. While the advantages of larger selection, convenience and pricing are well known; what is driving the rapid conversions now is the greater reliability and trust in the channel. As the critical mass builds, we expect a virtuous cycle with positive word of mouth bringing in ever increasing number of consumers into the online shopping world.

On Surge in e-commerce
While 2011 has largely been a positive one for the industry, there are several changes that are still needed in order to help this industry reach its true potential. In the online shopping industry especially, the need of the hour is a uniform GST across the country. Currently inter-state movements of products often pose a problem given different taxation rates. This would need to be resolved in order to extend one’s reach and further smoothen the e-commerce experience. One of the bigger challenges being faced by the online shopping industry is a fragmented back-end. Greater attention from government and private entities, more investment and the entry of serious players would be needed to create a better structure with respect to payments and logistical infrastructure.

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