Social networks are contributing significantly to the growth of e-commerce business revenue, according to jointly conducted by Assocham and Deloitte.
The maturity of social media and its reach across masses and classes makes it a suitable platform for online sales. Social media pages provide information regarding new products in the market, user reviews and ratings of the product, recommendations, and information technology (IT) products.
Social media also helps e-tailers to build brand awareness by responding to customer queries. Seasonal sales and offers are displayed in social networks to reach maximum number of people. E-tailers have even started to motivate customers with reward points to provide feedback on the product on social networks, said DS Rawat Secretary General Assocham.
According to analysts, product reviews and ratings, as well as product recommendations, were the most popular social commerce features integrated into leading e-commerce sites as of August 2013 Increasingly social networks have direct links to e-commerce sites, which provide complete product description, availability status, pricing and delivery information, and access to product reviews and ratings, all of which help prospective buyers to make a purchase.
The social media provides a platform for e-tailers to engage with customers for: advertisement, building brand awareness, developing a community of trusted user, spreading Word-of-Mouth and customer feedback.
Payment gateways help the e-tailers to receive money instantly rather than waiting for the CoD payments, thus reducing chances of theft and fraud. The retailers are slowly moving towards payment gateways for improving security and dealing with other complexities which arise with financial transactions. The banks as well as the e-tailers are offering different offers like cashback and easy Monthly Installment (EMI) to encourage customers for card-based payments. Startups like Paytm and FreeCharge are providing mobile wallets while almost every commercial bank is providing the option to pay online via credit or debit card.
The popular EMI option which can be availed by credit card users with online payment are luring customer to pay online upfront for high-value items. The payment gateways use various security measures such One Time Password (OTP), CVV in case of debit/credit card, etc. Amongst the several payment gateways in India, some wellknown payment gateways that are widely used include CC Avenue & Tech Process.
The mobile payments have also started to pick up. There are multiple ways to enable mobile devices for transactions through Near Field Communication (NFC), Quick Response (QR) code, sound wave or Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technologies. Point of Sale (POS) device is enabled to process on-premises payments using these technologies. These processes are not only easy, convenient, and fast but also quite secure.
The availability of e-commerce applications on various mobility devices is helping to drive sales and revenue. E-tailers like Flipkart, Amazon and Jabong now get 50 percent of their revenues from consumers shopping on their mobile phones. Predictive analytics is helping the e-tailers to provide better solutions in real-time enabling compelling user experience even on mobile screens.