Friday, January 13, 2012: 01:35:43 PM

Retail Guest Column

E-commerce as an evolved form of marketing - Peyush Bansal, Lenskart

In spite of being an emerging marketing trend in India, e-commerce is gaining popularity fast in the international and domestic market

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Online marketing has been there for some time now. E-commerce has just emerged in India. Other than that, the concept of digital marketing plays a very major role in the growth of any Internet based business. It is also an important thing in the non-internet based industry.

Internationally, e-commerce business has been huge and although India has a larger population, the growth has only started. Some of the verticals like the jobs and travel verticals had already been there. Other retail verticals have also started to come online. It is a very positive thing. The response for the market is good enough for one to say that the business will grow. It also shows that it is not going to be a bubble this time. There are buyers and people are willing to spend their money, and they are getting their value for money. So I do not think that the trend is going to stop suddenly.
The monetary part in online marketing came in late. Entrepreneurs would generally open a website, gain users and then monetise it. But those models were slightly complicated because either they would have to make it really big or they can earn money through advertising. That scenario has changed. People are now spending money from their wallet, which is a good indication. The monetisation is far quicker than opposed to the e-commerce model. The domestic market is definitely expanding. What the situation was even 2 years back has changed completely and there has been tremendous growth. Overall, looking at the number of companies investing in the e-commerce market and the number of companies that are doing Rs 300-400 crore of business every odd day has gone up. It can be said that they can deliver 3000-4000 orders everyday on the Internet. It is quite a healthy number. Some of them have already crossed the Rs 5000 crore mark. The figures prove that the trend is here to say. In 2-3 years time, we will see even more growth.
Procurement in e-commerce
As far as storing stocks are concerned, there is a need to have a strong supply chain. Over-dependence on customers can be risky. These are very common problems. Having a healthy stock is very important. People usually do not stock products but Lenskart as a company believes in stocking products and selling them. Thus procurement is very important. The company believes in keeping it simple. However, those who want to complicate it should have strong logistic support. There is enough room for people to play around the model. People have also been trying innovative ways to ensure procurement. People are thinking of ways wherein they do not have to stock products but we are keeping it simple and stocking products. 
FDI in retail
FDI has now become more of a political debate. It should be very healthy for the retail sector and sooner or later it will come. People who are not aware what it could bring for them will be fooled by politicians. It is just a matter of time. Let it come.
Peyush Bansal, CEO and founder of Lenskraft

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