Ecommerce transforming the business landscape for SMEs?

In a world of ongoing technological upheaval and a flexible customer attitude, SMEs have two choices: move forward or remain stagnant. E-commerce is one place where this has emerged. Vinay K Mayer, Director - Market Research & Consulting at Asia Research Partners LLP, discusses the considerations that businesses should make before going online.

Leveraging the power of e-commerce

Ecommerce may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for a way to grow your business, but it can be the key to your success if you play your cards right. It’s no longer the domain of large commercial companies, as it has opened avenues to small and medium enterprises as well. 

Small businesses play an important role in a country’s economy. It accounts for more than 90 percent of India’s exports and brings in approximately US$ 1.58 billion to the country, with that number predicted to increase by US$ 2.4 billion in 2022.

The Government of India is continuously promoting policies to create a fair e-commerce environment for SME owners. Since 2014, they have implemented several initiatives, including Digital India, Skill India, and Startup India. These are all part of a series called, “Make in India” that promotes business development and economic growth.

Even the e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Amazon, ShopClues, and Paytm are getting involved in efforts such as Samarth, and Atmanirbhar to support small businesses. These online stores offer many more services to small businesses than just a place to sell their wares such as providing financial assistance and easy borrowing options for business owners who want to get ahead of the curve. 

Building a New Generation of SME Owners

There is an estimated $80 billion potential market for e-commerce in India by 2021, and it will benefit businesses of all shapes. Small and medium enterprises are beginning to realize that the digital world allows them to enter the highly competitive e-commerce space at a price point that is affordable while maintaining their integrity as they use online channels to reach new customers! Other technological advantages include complete transparency, detailed tracking of orders, and the ability to make recurring purchases, which are not available during offline purchases. 

Reach Wider Audience

One key reason for this disparity is that SMEs are often under the misconception that conventional marketing efforts, such as those seen on television or radio advertising, require hefty investments in order to be effective. This course of action is essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul. In reality, developing a strong distribution network with a dependable supply chain will more than drastically improve your sales revenues and increase your sales revenue margins significantly while simultaneously reducing the use of capital resources that would have otherwise been put towards conventional marketing methods.

In the second part, businesses can also determine how to cater to their diverse clientele, who may be from a variety of common or even unusual geographic locales.

Distribution Network with Low Costs

Ecommerce has been flourishing under the leadership of numerous delivery companies offering a variety of features for businesses to manage their deliveries conveniently. Govt. push towards digital transactions, coupled with enhanced availability of payment options like wallets only furthers the growth potential for SMEs. An example is when we started delivering oxygen concentrators during COVID, we contacted Amazon for their courier services, but their pricing was higher, so we looked for an alternative. With a more affordable courier company, we could reach a larger audience and the process was simplified. With options like these, small businesses are more confident to establish their base in the arena, because the pricing isn’t an issue with the variety of options available.

To summarize, e-commerce marketplaces have the potential to propel MSMEs’ growth and development. A collaborative effort between the government, the private sector, industry groups, etc., is the most efficient way to support MSMEs grow sustainably while minimizing efforts with the least investment & innovation required on their part.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. will not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.