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Discounts Are Not A Sustainable Idea For E-commerce: Industry Experts

Chaayos's Nitin Saluja suggested that discounts gave the right boom required for that the time e-commerce industry was booming, but things have to change now, that is not the roadmap for its sustenance.

Photo Credit : Tarun Gupta

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India entered the real estate market in 2010 when disposable income was on a rise, and GDP was showing a sign of a healthy growth. As per a study by Forrester Research, almost one-fifth of the total retail sales will take place online by 2021 in Asia Pacific, with 78 per cent of sales from small screens (mobile).

This was discussed at the CII India Retail conclave 2017 by experts who talked in detail about the strategies of success for e-commerce players and retailers in the online space after discounts.

Panelists for the session- “  What after discounts“  included Pragya Singh, VP Retail, E-commerce and Consumer Products Technoparks, Sameer Mathur , President Yepme, Salil Malik, Director Rosso Brunello, Ambar Deep Assistant Vice President Product Management Shopclues, Dilip Kapur, Founder Hidesign, Benu Sehgal Head Retail and Marketing Ambience private limited, Nitin Saluja, Founder, Chaayos, Tanaji Chakravorty, Retail & Urban Strategic Advisor, Anil Talreja Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP.

They brainstormed and talked in length about discounts having worked wonders as an entry strategy for many e-commerce players, which has failed to sustain them in the long run. They said that discounts in the e-commerce industry were definitely a kick-start to their businesses but will not help them to sustain in the game for long. Discounts, for now, work wonders only for seasonal players.

“Discounts are an evolved form of retail and brick and mortar goes hand in hand. Technology has to be used by Brick and Mortar to get connected with the consumers”, says Sehgal.

Nitin Saluja suggested that discounts gave the right boom required for that the time e-commerce industry was booming, but things have to change now, that is not the roadmap for its sustenance.

“The reason why discounts helped the industry at the inception was it gave them a sense of personalisation but it's old now, the customers are constantly looking for something new”, Ambar Deep, Market for e-commerce in India  is expected to reach $64 billion by 2021, growing at a five-year CAGR of 31.2 per cent.

Shopping from e-commerce has a lot of consumer benefits, almost 67 per cent of sales come from COD. Exchange and return policies, selling and buying second-hand goods available online also lure customers to shop online and act as the catalyst to boost the e- commerce industry. Experts believe these are the growth drivers for the e-commerce industry.

“Consumers today have thousands of options so it’s easy for them to make a choice and switch whenever they want. So old methods won’t work now every company have to have a USP to sustain in the business for long”, Deep concluded.


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