The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely hit the retail industry, forcing physical stores to shut down operations and causing total uncertainty for the future of in-store shopping. These unexpected shifts have resulted in many retailers desperately searching for alternative channels to serve customers. On the other hand, digital-first businesses and omnichannel retailers have pivoted easily. The small retailers prioritised physical stores and face-to-face engagement over omnichannel strategies that are now suffering. In a complex and vibrant economy like India, it becomes vital to adapt to changing trends rapidly. Here, we will discuss the inside-out of how offline retailers can pivot to online stores in India. Keep reading for a comprehensive insight covering:
- Why do Indian retailers need to go online?
- How to take your retail store online?
- How can Bikayi help Indian Retailers?
Why do Indian Retailers Need to go Online?
Ever since the pandemic struck, how businesses operated in India and the rest of the world has entirely changed. Similarly, the retail industry also wholly transformed, owing to a global health crisis that led to norms like quarantine and social distancing. Online spaces have taken over the commercial retail space, and the global health crisis radically changed the way customers shop for products. Even after offline stores reopened after several months, consumers continue to indulge in online shopping, weighing the pros and cons of online versus offline.
Here are some statistics related to the Indian retail and e-commerce sector you would be fascinated to know:-
- The Indian retail market is estimated to be USD 600 billion and one of the top-five retail markets in the world by economic value.
- Online shopping in India is estimated to grow to over 124 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. The Indian e-commerce market is one of the fastest-growing in the world.
Even though online retail is not a new concept, hundreds of retailers still do not use an online portal for their sales. There are advantages and key benefits that retailers could harness by using successful online retail stores.
When it comes to online retailing, some benefits are hard to ignore. Selling online has low barriers to entry, streamlined communication, improved customer service, and is simply more efficient. Here are some of the significant online retailing advantages and key benefits.
Lower Business Overhead and Operating Costs
Compared to setting up a brick-and-mortar store for retail, selling online is highly cost-effective. Even with a marketing budget for the first two years, it is often still less than opening up a physical store.
Better Sales Reach and Customer Accessibility
Retailing products online gives a business a much larger sales reach. At the same time, customers have a greater experience and accessibility to products and services.
Improved Communications Channels
When retailing online, communication is often improved across multiple channels. Through email, chat, online forms and the website, brands quickly publish information streamlined.
How to Take your Offline Store Online: Step By Step
Taking your business online need not be as difficult as people think. With omnichannel presence being the need of the hour, it’s quite important to adapt to the trending online demands. As you already have an offline store, we can skip selecting your products to sell, choosing the right target audience. Let’s start with the steps you need to follow to take your offline store online.
Finalise a platform to sell
Now that you have decided to go omnichannel with your business, the first step is choosing a platform for building your online store. You could start with a website, which most people do, or a mobile app as per your needs and requirements.
Whether you choose to go with a website or mobile app, or even both, you have to take care of the web/app development, designing, hosting etc.
Developing your online store from scratch could take a considerable amount of time, and it could cost you more than you would expect. If you choose to develop it yourself, you will need to hire developers for help, and it will take a lot of time. On the other hand, if you hire a development agency on a contract, it could make a dent to your pocket.
Consider the amount of financial risk involved
Even after the substantial investments in software development, there is no guarantee for the desired results.
So, what’s the way out? Is digitisation of your offline business too expensive?
Definitely not. The most convenient option is to choose an enabling e-commerce platform like Bikayi. An easy-to-navigate e-commerce store is ideal not only for you but also for your customers.
Bikayi makes setting up an online store immensely easy even if you don’t have any technical knowledge. Additionally, starting an online store takes just a few minutes with Bikayi. How? Let’s discuss this in brief.
How can Bikayi help Indian Retailers go Online?
As a retailer, if you want to take your store online after looking at the consumer shopping trends in the post-COVID-19 era, Bikayi could be just the right partner for your business. Here are the steps you can execute within a couple of minutes to set up your primary online store for free!
- Download the Bikayi app on your phone
- Signup for an account
- Create your online store – Add name, details, brand logo and more.
- Start adding the products you want to sell, create shareable product catalogues/collections which you can send to people through WhatsApp.
- Choose your add-ons if you require any – like customised themes, your own executive mobile app, Facebook marketing services, SEO services. You have a plethora of additional features to choose from.
- Enable online payments on your store – Bikayi allows you to choose from payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm and UP payments.
- Launch your online store, you also get a website for your business with your Bikayi store.
- Bikayi also provides you with an add-on option of an exclusive mobile app for your online store, which can be deployed in the Play Store!
- Market your products/services and grow your business.
Times are changing, so are the consumer demands. Get ready to go omnichannel and scale your retail business with Bikayi today!
COVID-19 has forcibly changed shopping habits and how retailers should do their business. Going omnichannel is the need of the hour for Indian retailers. Small businesses should not allow the e-commerce giants to take over one of the biggest retail markets of the world. They have a huge advantage over e-commerce MNCs and e-retail startups, that is, the trust of Indian buyers. E-commerce enablers like Bikayi are working actively towards pushing more retailers to go online and scale their business. If you own a retail business and feel overwhelmed by e-shopping websites/apps, Bikayi can be your one-stop solution.