Flipkart's acquisition brings along mixed fortunes for Indian e-commerce space
Consolidation in e-commerce might bode well for giants but now things get divided into a series of pros and cons for the consumers when the options start to thin out. With Flipkart taking over eBay and the impending Snapdeal merger being a matter of just putting ink on paper, this might be a good time to introspect what lies in the 'e'-store for us.
Big discounts will be the first thing to go
Let's break the bad news first. Chances are that the flash sales will become fewer and massive discounts would slowly subside. The reason being, that earlier e-commerce platforms gave huge discounts in a bid to consolidate their stance, but since there are now only two major funded players left in a billion dollar market, there would be no such sudden spree for market acquisition.
Online options will become limited
Get ready for some restrictions of choices; as e-commerce platforms veer towards exclusive partnerships, it would be difficult for one to find similar options across platforms. Offline tech products are severely limited when compared with the versatility online retailers have to offer, but when the online choices also get restricted, therein lies the rub.
Indie sellers will land up in trouble
Offbeat sellers will find it difficult to get a proper visibility among the millions of listings that are being churned out every day. Moreover, e-commerce platforms in most cases being sellers themselves may choose to limit the visibility of similar merchandises by other sellers in certain segments. Unless, one knows where to look for their indie brand, they might fumble a bit.
A rich and satisfying customer service
One of the favourable outcomes would be the rich customer experience, a by-product of the e-commerce platforms' drive to develop a loyal customer base. Deliveries are going to be much quicker and opting for a faster service via subscription model will also see a rise with same-day deliveries becoming a standard option rather than just being a novelty feature offered by the e-commerce firms.
Specialized sites will make their presence felt
There will be a rise of boutique sites and platforms, and they would focus on a single segment like gadgets, phones or clothing aimed at consumers who prefer a more selective curation rather than a mixed bag. International brands will become more accessible, as e-commerce firms would try to encapsulate consumers from every economical stratum and also to woo the young working population.
Market mechanism should not get stagnant
The e-commerce market is still in a state of flux and by the time it reaches a certain point, for the sake of market mechanism, more e-commerce platforms are expected to come up. Dominance in any form is not a good sign; after all, it was the restriction of choices that drove buyers from neighbourhood stores to the virtual way of shopping.