Should we target Flipkart?
Flipkart’s billion day sale has captured the attention of the nation. You could see TV channels dissecting and discussing the impact of such e-commerce retailers providing heavy discounts to physical retail owners and mom and pop stores.
Short term impact will be there but does that mean we bring in legislation like the French to curb this. Technological advancement means traditional methods goes obsolete. Also, it enables easier entry which increases competition forcing the stakeholders to be more efficient.
Flipkart’s success is not because the amount of money it is raising but, because it is able to utilise that money to develop efficient process.
Also, such e-commerce retailers pay tax to the government while 90% of mom and pop stores don’t. I have purchased a cheap phone without a bill to save couple of hundred rupees.
Few years back mom and pop store owners were protesting the entry of big retailers like Big Bazaar, Reliance digital, etc. for the fear of losing business and livelihood, However, the businesses that were agile and open to change survived. Now, their common enemies are the online retailers.
Right now ecommerce sites are serving a very small market sector which is a fraction of net savy Indians. Conventional retailers have got an advance warning. They should make themselves more efficient and reinvent. Sell an experience instead of a product. Do you remember going to such stores in early 2000’s and the way most shopkeepers would treat you? Lena hai tho lo attitude was overtly displayed. This reduced after big brand retailers entered the market. Get good deals from manufacturers because gone are the days where you sell the product on the price printed on the box. Better after sales service, etc. to.
The consumer will always choose what is best for him after considering various parameters. E-commerce retailers have larger inventory, time is saved shopping and for a better price.
It is like banks banning ATMs because cashiers are losing jobs but banks also can’t stop hiring and ask everyone to use online banking.