While many of us were assuming otherwise, the Covid 19 situation had already accelerated the growth of eCommerce. The way of doing eCommerce after the pandemic lockdown across the globe has taken a very different shape indeed. All across the globe, eCommerce started increasing dramatically as people became wary of stepping out of their houses.
The growth of eCommerce in India had a significant increase as well. With local businesses seizing the opportunity of online business, people could now order essential commodities even when the services of the eCommerce giants like Amazon, Flipkart, etc were shut off.
As per a report by Unicommerce, eCommerce customer demand across all significant item classes rose between February and June 2020. This comparison done by unicommerce revealed that the sector had grown by 117%.
The majority of the consumer demand continued to come from the top 5 cities of India with Delhi, Maharashtra, and Karnataka making up for 65% of the consumer demand. E-commerce in Maharashtra saw a major growth during the Lockdown as the state never ceased to stop the eCommerce services. E-commerce in Maharashtra allowed all sorts of activities including delivery of goods and essential commodities such as pharmaceuticals, food, electronic appliances in the state.
With the big cities in lead, the smaller cities took the eCommerce market by surprise. The growing trend of shoppers from Tier I and Tier II cities had significantly helped the sector grow. Even the North Eastern States of India whose contribution to the overall eCommerce sales were the least is now showcasing double-digit growth in the eCommerce market.
Many eCommerce players such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, First cry, Myntra, Nykaa, Bluestone, etc who serve this region have noticed a substantial increase in their revenue generated from the Northeast.
Ashish Chitravanshi, Snapdeal's vice president, operations even went so far as to state that the northeastern region of India has the potential to be at par with Delhi and Mumbai, in terms of business potential.
Seahath, the famous canned seafood company generates a turnover of 4-5 crores from the eCommerce of the Northeastern region. Seahath Canning Company was set up in 1988 to primarily cater to the increased demand for canned seafood in North East India. They are now planning to expand in the northeastern territory with a new brand along with their current ones - Oceans Secret and Ocean Crown.
E-Commerce in Assam boomed when the delivery of goods from outside the states were held off during the Lockdown. Local grocery shops and malls saw the opportunity and launched their online portal to combat this issue. As a result, eCommerce in Assam flourished.
Many local grocery home delivery eCommerce platforms have come up in Assam. Tezpur based TezpurOnline and Guwahati based Gromaal are two prime examples of local online supermarkets that are boosting the eCommerce in Assam.
Guwahati's very own electronic retail store, Datamation had launched their own eCommerce website last year in the light of the Covid 19 pandemic, delivering across Assam and the entire region of Northeast India.
With the viability of Assamese eCommerce, numerous entrepreneurs from Assam have favored the eCommerce route to sell and promote local products ranging from paintings, books, jewelry, gamosa, bamboo products, etc.
Guwahati-based, Brahmaputra Fables is a prime example that offers a digital platform to artisans, Weaver's, organic farmers, designers, and entrepreneurs of Northeast India to connect with their consumers directly.
Several online platforms are being gradually launched to facilitate the sale of products from local entrepreneurs to boost the scenario of eCommerce in Meghalaya.
The state government has launched the website, 'Meghamart' under the theme of 'Made in Meghalaya' and 'Made in Northeast' to provide access to global markets and much-needed exposure for small and medium enterprises who can't afford a brick and mortar shop.
'The best of North East at your doorstep', the tagline of Meghamart, the online platform allows consumers to contact sellers directly and negotiate prices, quantities, and shipping.
Covid 19 pandemic has increased the demand for healthier and safer food options. And the trend is already setting up. The northeastern state Sikkim became the first-ever state in the entire world to become a fully organic one.
With a pool of opportunities for organic farmers and enterprises, to strengthen the eCommerce in Sikkim, 'Jaivikkheti', an organic eCommerce platform will assist farmers to adopt organic farming and encourage consumers to choose a healthier lifestyle.
With significant growth in internet users, eCommerce in Manipur is rising. Many local traders have started to sell organic spices, herbs, black rice, products of handicraft, etc on online platforms.
Famous Manipur Chak-hao (black rice) also known as the 'forbidden rice', is gradually catching traction worldwide due to its many health benefits. Traders from Manipur have started selling Chak hao online on Amazon. Ecommerce in Manipur is gradually joining the mainstream of eCommerce and is getting benefited from global trade and commerce.
Giskaa, one of North east's leading eCommerce startups also promotes Manipuri traders who sell Chak hao, handloom products, horticulture products, and other various food items of Northeast on their platform.
Ecommerce in Mizoram is at an all-time high with more and more people opting for online shopping. "The North-Eastern states- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura generate about 8 percent of traffic and business for Myntra and the company expects further growth”, as stated by Ashutosh Lawania, co-founder of Myntra.
North East India is gradually becoming one of the fastest flourishing markets for online retailers. Guwahati, Assam, and Aizawl, Mizoram are the two key markets for Myntra. Not just myntra, even niche-specific e-commerce sites like Nykaa and IndustryBuying, etc. are rising at a very faster pace.
ECommerce for the northeastern region is bound to increase as many major eCommerce giants have expanded their business in the region over the past few years. Amazon India has been expanding its delivery network to every state of the North East. Amazon now has its warehouses in Pamohi area of Guwahati to cater to the Prime Sellers in the region.
That's not all, along with the development of eCommerce sites, the Northeastern region has also seen growth in eCommerce set-up service providers as well. NEDM Agency, one of the oldest eCommerce set-up service agencies in the northeast, tops the array of such service providers serving Assam and the nearby states.
According to a report by Deloitte India and the Retail Association of India, the market of eCommerce in India will touch $84 billion in 2021 from $24 billion in 2017. The current scenario of eCommerce in India has changed the way business is done here. The growth for this sector has much increased with the entrance of 4G internet and smartphones into the scenario.
Moreover, with the Covid 19 pandemic exhibiting the different scopes of eCommerce in the market of 2020, eCommerce in India is bound to get tremendous growth in 2021. We can see the results of it right now. The region which had been contributing the least to the overall growth of eCommerce in India is now a substantial market on its own.
According to IBEF's Indian E-commerce industry Analysis, The Indian E-commerce industry is expected to surpass the US to become the second-largest eCommerce market in the world by 2034. This will be a huge advancement for the eCommerce Industry of India.