Amit Chaturvedi is the Co-Founder of Paytail, India’s fastest-growing BNPL Fintech startup that aims to revolutionize offline commerce by enabling instant paperless and no-cost EMIs to consumers. In his leadership role at the company, Amit oversees Business Development & Operations. He is responsible for managing all business operations and increasing company revenue by identifying and converting new business opportunities. Spearheading the team at Paytail, Amit supervises the creation and implementation of long-term and short-term business strategies.
Retailers today are scrambling to maintain profit levels and recapitalize in the wake of the pandemic. They are bound to cling to e-commerce platforms and mobile apps as the pandemic resulted in consumer behavior and expectations shifts.
A survey by PwC reported an inclination towards online shopping as lockdowns first confined people, and then many continued to work from home. Other trends in this shift included shoppers wanting to find the best price, choosing healthy options, and being eco-friendly while shopping. This is where the online to offline model comes in – a model that can help them survive and thrive.
The Indian online grocery market was valued at $2.9 billion in 2020. According to McKinsey, 20 to 30% of businesses moved online during the pandemic. The online grocery penetration stood at 9 to 12% by the end of 2020. However, there are many challenges that grocery e-commerce platforms face. While the last-mile delivery can be expensive and time-consuming, many Indian households prefer to buy fresh produce from local kiranas.
The online to offline model overcomes these challenges by integrating kiranas in the supply chain. For example, Amazon has partnered with local kiranas in India to offer two-hour grocery delivery. Customers can order groceries online and choose the nearest store for pick-up or home delivery. This way, they get their fresh groceries faster and at a lower cost.
According to a report by eMarketer, the number of people who globally used mobile payments in 2020 grew by 22.2% year over year. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend as people want to avoid handling cash. This presents an opportunity for retailers to adopt contactless payments using QR codes.
In a survey by the National Retail Federation, around 94% of retailers said that contactless payments accounted for more than half of their in-store transactions. Another study by PYMNTS also reported a study by Visa, which found an increase of 150% in contactless payments like digital wallets, cards, etc., between March 2019 and 2020. This meant enhanced operational efficiency, improved customer service, no additional cost, and wider marketing opportunities for retailers.
Social media shopping
In 2020, social e-commerce made up 3.4% of total e-commerce sales, and this trend is only expected to rise. This is because social media platforms have become an important part of our lives, and people are already spending a lot of time on them.
Retailers can take advantage of this by creating shoppable posts on social media. For example, Instagram allows businesses to tag products in their posts and stories. When users click on the tagged product, they are taken to a page where they can learn more about the product and purchase it. This makes it easy for customers to buy products without leaving the app.
The bottom line
Moving forward, choosing between an online or offline model would not be the answer – instead, a compelling omnichannel strategy is required. The online to offline model can help businesses survive and thrive as it overcomes some of the key challenges faced by retailers today. It provides a way for them to tap into new opportunities.