Top 3 Technology Trends of Indian Ecommerce - 2012
We list down three technology trends which in their own ways will shape the ecommerce industry. They might not look seem to be huge changes on the face of it but many things will be shaped by these changes. Tech changes are always trendsetters and therefore we need to keep an eye of them.
Some of the technology changes makes the life of the end users painless whereas some of these technology makes the life of the managers of the website painless, giving them enough time and energy to focus on other areas. These areas garnering increased attention in turn might benefit the end users.
Trend 1 : Cloud Story (Organization and Consumption)
For many us buying our tickets, shoes, dresses or for that matter anything or everything across the net, we are not bothered with this cloud coming up in discussions or stray comments. We don't look at the sky while we shop, we simply look at our computer screen while we shop. What is this fuss around cloud ? How does it matter to me (End User) ?
To answer these questions in as few words as possible, the direct impact on you is zero. However there are many indirect benefits that you derive out of the things that is being implemented in background by favourite online store.
We will tell you the story in as simple words as possible and how it is impacting the Indian ecommerce growth story.
"Cloud computing is an notion of delegating the management of computing and storage.
- Here cloud represents internet itself.
- Computing broadly means any kind of mathematical or logical processing/interpretation of data into required information.
- Storage essentially means storing as well retrieving mechanism of your information or data.
Some key points of cloud computing.
- Cloud computing is not a set of technologies or methodology defined by a rule. It is an idea. Anything that is used to realise this idea becomes a part of that cloud story.
- Cloud Computing does not imply any particular system architecture.
- Cloud Computing is not a standard defined by any standards organisation.
- Although cloud computing is a new idea, as well it heavily derives its ideology from previously existing practices.
We will discuss the most popular delivery mechanism of cloud computing to throw some light on the practical utility of cloud computing.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Paraphrasing from Wikipedia:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the delivery of computer infrastructure as a service. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space or network equipment, clients instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. The service is typically billed on a utility computing basis and amount of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the level of activity. It is an evolution of web hosting and virtual private server offerings.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The PaaS model makes all of the facilities required to support the complete life cycle of building and delivering web applications and services entirely available from the Internet with no software downloads or installation for developers, IT managers or end-users.
PaaS offerings include workflow facilities for application design, application development, testing, deployment and hosting as well as application services such as team collaboration, web service integration and marshalling, database integration, security, scalability, storage, persistence, state management, application versioning, application instrumentation and developer community facilitation. These services are provisioned as an integrated solution over the web.
Software as a Service (Saas)
Software as a Service is a model of software deployment where an application is hosted as a service provided to customers across the Internet. By eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer's own computer, SaaS alleviates the customer's burden of software maintenance, ongoing operation, and support.
Now that we have briefly got the idea of Cloud story we will delve into the impact of this thing on Indian Ecommerce industry. One of the primary impact of cloud computing and its deliver models on industry across the globe has been reaching out wider audiences with their services. Now imagine an Indian Ecommerce store can use the state of the art technology used globally by their peers. Considering that now infrastructure as well as platform are now available for rent new ecommerce stores can use lots of technological innovations in their offerings without investments in Research and Development. This is true for many start ups which can now use analytics tools, reduce cost of hosting services, provide higher security to their end users etc.
More and more start up would start get involved in the cloud story improving on many areas while adding new dimensions to their businesses. Since the fundamental of cloud computing is delegation, scalability is now a huge factor for the usage of certain services. Imagine a company scaling up or down it web server or hosting accounts within a few minutes (Since the management has been delegated), the company managing the services is an expert in that area and therefore passes on its expertise in the management of the services for a certain fees. Similarly accounting and bookkeeping, customer services, complaint resolutions will get a fillip by using the either the expert services or other companies or yourself working as an initiator of the cloud story and proving the same.
At the end of the day, better services for ecommerce buyers in multiple layers would be visible.
Trend 2 : Mobility
Increased usage of mobiles phones and smart phones to access information from the web is not a story that is new, but its impact has still not been felt properly. With the computational power of new smart increasing exponentially, the usage of laptops and desktops will surely see a reduction if not extinction. Now any one who is not prepared to manage and handle huge surge of traffic from mobile users with expectations of better service through mobile devices will suffer pretty badly.
Its not far when expectations of users regarding faster loading time (In hand held devices), secure communications, better navigation will lead to a transition of the way people buying their products from their mobile phones in huge numbers. Applications for accessing information in hand held devices and smart phones (iPhone, iPad and andriod powered phones) are plentiful (reading newspapers, playing games etc) now the focus would shift to selling products on mobile phones.
The website architecture might play a role in the conversion rate of mobile transactions and additional web development efforts needs to be given to this area by almost all the website for sustenance and growth.
What might be a game changer is payment of products brought from Ecommerce websites with the talk time in your mobile phones !!
Trend 3 : Local to Hyper Local.
Is there a geo-need attached to your requirement Does geography play a role in your product or services you seek If your answer is yes, then many websites are on their way to ease your pain in that area.
When we talk about ecommerce, we simply think of getting something at a reasonable cost with reduced time and effort wastage. Now there can be different dimension to this, since ecommerce caters to both products and services. Now getting a doctors appointment by paying online the booking amount is a enabler for a activity but it is the complete solution provider. In this case you saved your time to book an appointment but you need to finally venture out and get the thing done. This can be for restaurant table bookings and many others.
As the examples are obvious, in certain cases you would like the website (service provider) to consider your geo-needs. [Delivery of your products at your doorsteps also has a geo-need your address But we will not consider that for now.]
Certain domains of Ecommerce will used Geo information for improvement in their offerings. They need to scale up or they might to add on but story of Local going into Hyper Local is coming big way. If Snapdeal was giving out deals in a city, it will start giving deals on a street. [Well that was a little farsighted, but it will have to give on a locality]
Increased usage of map and map based technology will not only help the users but will also help in better conversion for the website owners. There can be websites whose job is simple curation of data to make it hyper local.
Satisfying peoples change of expectations will be a tough but positive ask for ecommerce websites. Ecommerce portals catering to Food and Beverages and hospitality are going to see the impact of Local/Hyper Local.
People used to search, now they seek.