eCommerce News- December 2021

Havas Prosumer Report: 95% consumers demand eco-friendly packaging from eCommerce

  • Drawing responses from 3000 consumers across 6 countries, Havas Group of India has decoded the ‘future of eCommerce’ through its structural research. 
  • As per the Havas Prosumer Report, the future of eCommerce is Personalised, Transparent and Responsible, as 68% of the Prosumers expect personalisation in their eCommerce shopping. 
  • One should note that while 97% of them value data privacy, 83% of them would even boycott brands that do not have transparent privacy policies. Further the reports says that 95% of the Prosumers prefer eco-friendly packaging.

Profile: Vikas D. Nahar- Hapillo

  • Happilo International Private Limited, a health food brand selling healthy  snacking was founded by Vikas D. Nahar who came from a farming family background Started with government initiatives and a mere investment of Rs.10,000, Happilo today is standing on a multi-crore platform under his  leadership. 
  • Pioneering affordable nutrient dense snack packs for just Rs. 20 under Hapillo, his motive has been to make nutrition dense  healthy food e accessible.

Why is Meesho a bigger threat to Flipkart than Amazon?

  • Flipkart is not leaving any stone unturned to maintain its rank in its eCommerce battle with Meesho. 
  • Meesho is seen as a platform that caters to the price sensitive audience whereas Flipkart and Amazon have huge customer bases that prefer convenience over price. 
  • Meesho in its two big funding rounds has raised $300 mn & is $570 mn. It is strong in the apparel and home care category. 
  • Flipkart which has its dominance in electronics & mobile has raised $3.6 bn recently to up its game.
  • Meesho bags around 2 mn orders per day as compared to Flipkart & Amazon that bags 2.5 mn orders per day despite being eCommerce giants.

Pee Safe to Expand its Outlets Across the Country in Next 12 Months

  • Pee Safe, the online women’s personal hygiene brand, which has around four retail outlets across the country and is planning to launch 50 more stores within the next 12 months. 
  • In its aggressive offline expansion, the outlets will be franchise-owned brand exclusive stores (FOFO). 
  • “Pee Safe has always been a digital-first D2C brand but now we are reaching out to our customers where they are by offering an omni-channel experience,” Pee Safe founder and CEO Vikas Bagaria said.

Pickrr Logistics Tech Stack Widening the Growth of eCommerce Businesses

  • After the pandemic halted many businesses in 2020, people shifted their shopping activities online. This increased the load on the Indian Logistics supply chain.  
  • Pickrr in its new tech upgrade has developed a recommendation engine to help businesses choose the fastest and most cost effective courier partner.

Shiprocket to Build 25-30 New Warehouses in the Next 12 Months

  • In a  new development to expedite delivery timelines, Shiprocket has announced that it will build 30 new warehouses at the cost of $20 million.
  • COO of Shiprocket, Akshay Gulati informe media that the development is aimed at storing products closer to consumers so that delivery period can be  reduced to 24 to 48 hours from 2-3 days.
  • The company, which has around 13 warehouses across India, is providing shipping and fulfillment services to SMEs, D2C retailers, and social commerce sellers.

Opinion: Should India Push for Customs Duty on eCommerce?

  • When e-commerce was still at a nascent stage, in September 1998, the “work programme on e-commerce” was adopted by the General Council of the WTO. 
  • During the time ‘electronically transmitted products’ such as software came under the eCommerce ambit. It was decided that countries would not charge custom duty on such products. 
  • However, there has been a decline in demand for online films, printed matter, video games, software and music, leading to a customs income loss of $10 billion globally, 95% of which is borne by developing countries.
  • While the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) got postponed due to the pandemic- many are debating if such custom duty ban should continue or due to growth in eCommerce; should custom duty be imposed.

Pickrr Registers Record Growth Numbers; Launches New Fulfilment centres

  • Pickrr, which allows thousands of shipments possible in just a few clicks through its AI powered dashboard, has witnessed three times higher growth in festive season. It will have 16 fulfillment centres by the end of 2021 across the country. 
  • Gaurav Mangla, CEO of Pickkr in an interview with Your Story said that during Covid19 pandemic, Pickkr has helped many emerging D2C brands through innovative delivery solutions. 
  • When asked about the future plan, Picker informed that it aims to cover 80-90% next day delivery which will eventually penetrate the Tier II and Tier III market.

Opinion: Role of eCommerce in Sustaining Indian Economy

  • eCommerce has helped many MSMEs such as Entrepreneurs, artisans, weavers and those in agriculture and allied sectors to rebuild their businesses. 
  • eCommerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Nykaa have helped these businesses to explore new markets at the global level. 
  • The Central government has decided to rethink eCommerce rules after it received feedback from its different departments on how eCommerce has served as an enabler for businesses as well as consumers.

How e-commerce Firms are Gearing up to Tackle the Omicron Threat

  • As the new Omicron variant cases are rising in India, the eCommerce sector is gearing up for the new challenges by strengthening its supply-chain and logistics network.
  • Right from top giants to small companies, the eCommerce sector has started taking measures such as  full vaccination of its delivery workforce, expansion of logistics services etc. ‘ 
  • Flipkart informed the media that they are focusing on a well sanitised supply chain, contact less deliveries and other health safety measures under the guidelines of WHO and Indian government.

Myntra Launches Meena Bazar to Boost Indian Wear Category

  • Just ahead of Christmas and Year End sale, Myntra has announced the launch of Meena Bazaar, a renowned Indian ethnic wear brand known for its sarees, lehengas, kurtis, shararas, and ghararas. reCheck this word
  • With this launch Myntra aims to target women in the age category of 22-28, who are its Gen-Z shoppers. Meera Bazar has a variety of ethnic wear infused with modern aesthetics. 
  • Myntra said that it continues to be the destination of choice for leading brands to extend their offering to fashion-forward customers across the country. 

How Smartphone Brands can Fight Online Infringement

  • Smartphone brands are facing brand infringement on digital platforms through fake gratification, fake presence and fake representation as per a new report. 
  • According to Faisal Kawoosa, founder, Techarc, as brands increase their D2C engagements digitally, they need to proactively monitor the digital presence for infringement cases.
  • Brands need to create a common synergy between marketing, ecommerce, IT and digital teams to tackle their infringement , he further added.

Pickrr Targeting 80-90% Next-Day Deliveries; Unveils 10 Fulfilment Centers

  • Logistics start-up Pickrr is aiming towards 80-90% next day deliveries percentage, with almost 1 million order fulfilments in January 2022.
  • Currently they deliver around 3 million shipments every month and are targeting to increase this further. In light of this they have set up 10 fulfilment centres all across the county.

Myntra Lock Horns with Competitors this Festive Season

  • As per Bobble AI’s report eCommerce in India has witnessed a growth of 77% between 2020 and 2021
  • Fashion giant Myntra, has since faced tough competition from competitive counterparts, Meesho, Ajio, and TataCliq. Almost 46% of all transactions belonged to Myntra during the 2020 festive period, Ajio bagged around 69% of all transactions in 2021.
  • It was also seen that a number of Myntra’s active users were also using alternative marketplaces. This indicated that users are exploring multiple alternatives.

Rebranding Alert! - Grofers is now Blinkit

  • Online grocery delivery platform Grofers on December 13, announced that it is rebranding itself to Blinkit.
  • This is to reflect the pivoting of their business to quick commerce.
  • Blinkit is backed by Zomato and SoftBank, which started quick commerce service i.e. delivery within 10 minutes, a few months ago.

COD Percentage in eCommerce Still High in India - Study

  • Cash transactions are still high among the hinterlands of Indian markets.
  • Nearly two-thirds of eCommerce payments were made via COD in 2020. With the expansion of eCommerce in 2021 to newer untapped rural customers, almost 90% of these new users pay through COD.
  • Rajiv Kaul, executive vice-chairman, CMS Infosystem says “Indians prefer to buy online, but when it comes to payments they prefer to pay in cash”.

Banks, E-tailers Scramble to Comply with RBI’s Card Data Storage Norms

  • Banks and merchants are rushing to implement the Reserve Bank of India mandate on ‘storage of card data’ norms.
  • Compliance is difficult because this requires multiple levels of readiness for entities. The industry has been seeking an extension of the deadline, however this seems unlikely.
  • RBI has mandated that the changeover would be effective by January 1, 2022. According to the terms of the RBI no merchants can store a customer’s card details on its system.

Shopsy Launches E-grocery in 700 Cities

  • Flipkart’s social commerce platform, Shopsy announced that they have expanded to include e-groceries on their platform.
  • This service can be accessed by consumers across 700 cities. This covers almost 5800 pincodes.
  • The aim behind this initiative is to make groceries affordable for consumers and likewise to sellers.

Which Were India’s Hottest eCommerce Marketplaces in 2021?

  • Research shows that there was a 77% growth in the eCommerce sector in 2021. Among which marketplaces related to beauty showed the biggest growth. 
  • So which were the hottest marketplaces? Interestingly, India-made, Walmart owned, – Flipkart dominated the market, followed by Amazon. However, relatively later entrants such  AJIO, Nykaa, Purplle, Tata CLiQ, Myntra, etc, have grown to be major with an exponential increase in their were eCommerce user base this year.
  • In terms of app downloads, Flipkart was again the top player. The second was Amazon and this was closely followed by AJIO.

Small e-Sellers May Get GST Compliance Relief

  • Small enterprises may be exempted from paying mandatory goods and service tax (GST) when selling online. The threshold for this is the annual revenue of up to Rs. 40 lakhs.
  • Currently, GST is applicable to all online merchants irrespective of the annual turnover. In case this is formalized, the ease of doing business by small merchants would be increased.

States Demand GST Hike on Textiles to be Put on Hold

  • Ahead of the GST council meeting, several states have spoken out against the hike in textile GST. States like Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu have declared non-participation in the hike which will come into force from  January 1st, 2022.
  • The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) announced a hike in GST for garments, textiles, and footwear from 5% GST to 12% GST in the coming year. This will impact manufacturers, merchants & consumers negatively.

Opinion: Will 2022 be a year of disruption in social selling?

  • There is multi-folded growth in social commerce primarily in the fashion, skincare, and apparel categories. The pandemic was the key reason for the surge in the eCommerce industry in India.
  • Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Trell, and Chingari dominate 65 percent of the social commerce market in India. As per some estimates, there are around 157 million social commerce shoppers, which almost sum up almost 53 percent of the total shoppers in India.
  • Myntra has recently launched its social commerce platform M-Live. Similarly, the short video platform Moj has joined hands with Flipkart to enable ‘live e-commerce’ on its platform. This will further change how the market functions, as users do not want to shift back and forth across multiple platforms and video visuals are a big plus to shoppers.

eCommerce Hiring Showed Record Rise this Year. To surge by 32% in 2022

  • Despite the pandemic, the sectors that grew the most were healthcare, pharma, tech start-ups, eCommerce, social commerce, online groceries, essentials, etc. 
  • eCommerce sector saw a growth of 8 % in 2020 followed by 30% in 2021. Now it posies a further grow $111 billion by 2024 and $200 billion by 2026.

Social eCommerce Platform Coutloot Boosts Income of Over 6 Lakh Sellers

  • Coutloot, a social eCommerce platform helped over 6 lakh small shops and sellers to expand their business to online platforms. This has helped boost their income by almost seven times.
  • Countloot’s business idea is derived from the Chinese platform Taobao. Allegedly, average sellers earn Rs. 16000 every month from the platform.
  • The app is built keeping in mind, non-tech-savvy users.

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