Past-Present-Future of e-commerce in India.
E-commerce in India is at a very nascent stage compared to western world. However, if compared to last year, transactions have grown by over 1000% (or more) and my assumption is that the future is going to be even more exciting.
Railways & Airlines have played a major role in this. What is the next big thing that will take e-commerce to the next level?
I think the next wave is going to be commodity products. Something like Books. Things that you don't mind buying from any store, you would buy them online if the website gave you a discount. Other things that would fall under this category are computers (Dell), Stationary (OfficeTiger, Office 1 superstore) etc.
Fashion as mentioned by Heber might not work in India as we still want to touch and feel these products. In fact even when we go to a store, we spend hours deciding on the right fit and look. Its something innate to Indians. (am not sure about other cultures).
If I come across more, will update this.
I further updated the answer ...
Anyone wants to share their opinions .. ?
I dont know what would build the future. It's just that I put myself in customers shoes and figure out what would I want to buy online.
Talking about mobile phones, one reason why I dont think it would work is that we as Indians want to touch and feel a product a before we buy. With an online model am not sure if I can touch and feel a product.
Second we buy things from a trusted service provider rather than any random person. Websites are still not trusted parties for most Indians. I would pay a premium to buy something from a trusted shop and might leave the 5% discount that online sales get me.
Third a mobile phone is still 5000 bucks and this is above average amount for an average Indian. Spending this much means that stakes involved are high (might not be able to buy it some time soon in case it is faulty). Thus we go the extra step in making sure that decision is correct in the first place.
Hope this helps.