Retail Opportunities Aplenty in Every Indian Lane & Street Corner

India, a nation of 1.3 billion people is one of the largest retail markets in the world. A vast majority of this market falls in the unorganized and brick and mortar format. However the winds of globalization have ushered in the era of organized retail in India along with the entry of the game changer, e-commerce. The benefits that these two formats bring to the tale are aplenty; other than the convenience, quality assurance and time efficient, organized retail and e-commerce have also brought in new price economies that have driven the prices of products down, passing the benefit to the end consumer.

While the advantages are there for everyone to see, it is pertinent to note that the number of consumers making use of these formats is extremely low. While as many as 572 million Indians are currently connected to the Internet (the second-highest number of connected users globally), only about 100 million of them purchase products online today. This accounts for a measly 8 percent of Indians shopping online with an average spend of $286 per year which is significantly lower than other markets.

There certainly exists a huge untapped opportunity within the by-lanes and busy street corners all across Indian cities. Mom and pop shops and kirana stores hold immense potential to build on a reliable consumer base. This untapped opportunity has been identified by a host of startups that have been working towards transforming the way retail industry functions across the country. With an infusion of technology and insight, these young firms are ushering in a revolution in the retail segment. Right from digitizing payments, designing mobile & web applications, handling distribution, supply chains, digital marketing to providing consumer insight these startups are reshaping the way these businesses function.

Another phenomenon fuelling the growth of Indian retail, especially e-commerce is social commerce. Spearheaded by startups such as Meesho, Foxy, BulBul, DealShare, Mall91 and SimSim among others paving the way, social commerce is making shopping online a more social and trustworthy activity. Although currently in its nascent stages the industry holds the potential to reach $60 billion to $70 billion by 2030.

Another flourishing segment in the Indian retail juggernaut is D2C brands with over 600 such companies popping up from across different industries since 2016. Startups such as Lenskart, Licious, Furlenco, Zivame, BoAt, Healthkart, Mamaearth, MyGlamm, Sugar, IncNut, Country Delight have not only captured consumer attention but have also been at the receiving end of increased funding activity. According to reports these D2C brands have collectively raked in over $1.6 billion in funding so far.

The days ahead look bright and prosperous for the Indian retail industry and it is our very own young startups that are leading the way in terms of pushing the envelope of the Indian retail landscape.