The Internet has proven to be a force to be reckoned with: from changing the way we connect with people, express our innermost feelings with millions around the world and keep track of the latest news to transforming the way we do business. The advent of digital technologies such as IoT, M2M, Artificial Intelligence and 5G networks have made the world smaller, faster and more diverse. Celebrating these amazing developments and heralding in a future of greater connectivity and opportunity is the India Mobile Congress 2018.
As the premier ICT and TMT event of South Asia, IMC 2018 is going to be a platform for debates, discussions, conferences, media sessions, speeches by industry experts and political leaders, exhibitions, contests, product launches and so much more. The focus of the 2018 India Mobile Congress will be on cutting-edge technologies and their impact on everyday life.
What Is E-tail?
The term ‘e-tail’ is rooted in the word ‘retail’ and is short for ‘electronic retail’. It’s basically retailing, done online. E-tail refers to the process of selling goods (and in some cases, services) on the Internet. The terminology has become popular in the mainstream recently, with the Internet diversifying into the tiniest niches so that there’s a specialty for everything and everyone. However, the concept ranges back to the mid-1990s and Internet history tells us the term has been in use from as far back as 1995.
E-tail burst onto the mainstream consciousness in the year 1997, with Dell Computer announcing that its website had recorded orders worth several million dollars. Amazon.com arrived and revolutionized the way we do business. A major driving force behind the IMC 2018 events is the goal of bringing businesses and brands closer to their various stakeholders and audiences. Learning how e-tailing evolved and how it will shape businesses for years to come can help companies make more informed choices about their business models.
Differences Between E-tail And E-commerce
Discussions about e-tail are incomplete without a mention of e-commerce. As you will learn at the 2018 IMC, the two are interrelated. E-tailing, in fact, is an aspect of e-commerce. E-commerce refers to any transactional activity carried out in the online realm. E-tail is a niche that deals specifically with retail. So while e-commerce can include an exchange of goods, services and payments between all categories of commercial actors, e-tail is strictly B2C in nature, where businesses sell directly to consumers.
E-commerce includes transactions that can be:
• B2B: Business-to-Business
• B2C: Business-to-Consumer
• C2C: Consumer-to-Consumer
• C2B: Consumer-to-Business
Advantages of E-tail
If you’re a brand or a business owner, you might ask yourself: do I need e-tail to make my company grow? The answer, in a nutshell, is ‘yes’.
In today’s world, just about everything people once did offline they now do online. Including shopping. The advantages of online activity are self-explanatory: you can complete tasks and goals without having to invest time, effort, travel and in-person commitment. People feel so much safer being able to leisurely browse an endless array of products without feeling the pressure to purchase; this comfort inevitably boosts sales because the happier the people are in a particular space (even a digital one), the more likely they are to shop there.
When you decide to go the e-tail route, you make yourself accessible to more audiences and potential clients and customers than you ever could with a brick-and-mortar store. From a local demographic, you’re now targeting a global market. The math speaks for itself: the more people visiting your e-store = the more sales you’re going to enjoy.
An e-tail model is much cheaper to run than a traditional business, and the low initial investments make it a more viable option for startups. Instead of spending on costly rentals and conventional office spaces with high overheads, you can work out of a single room with a computer and an Internet connection. Not only does this allow you to save money, you can also redirect your funds towards more pressing aspects of your business, such as the distribution system, networking, customer service etc.
If you decide to explore the option of mapping consumer patterns and buying behavior, you gain an additional insight into consumers’ choices and their spending habits. This allows you to fine-tune your marketing efforts to consumers’ tastes, making them more effective and giving you a chance to cultivate new customers and turn existing buyers into loyal clients and repeat customers.
Marketing and advertising costs in the online space are significantly lower than those in the traditional markets. With the right strategy, you can create and distribute marketing campaigns for next to nothing. The potential of social media is limitless and as we’ll see at the India Mobile Congress 2018, digital technologies are only growing more powerful and popular by the season. Not only do you spend less on advertising, marketing and PR, you’re also guaranteed greater returns thanks to the customer-specific marketing strategies you are now privy to.