E-com buying to see uptick from small cities

E-commerce buying is seeing an uptick from tier 2 and 3 cities. A new breed of ‘techpowered’ entrepreneurs are emerging from these cities, according to fintech company Instamojo’s e-commerce outlook 2021 report.

The report says entrepreneurs understand the power of online presence and digital operations. There has been 3x growth in unique businesses creating online stores. Businesses will come prepared with lean and flexible models that operate in an online-offline mix. The focus will be on selling directly to the consumer in 2021. Patna, Guwahati, and Imphal have topped the charts.

“Small businesses in India today are evolving according to consumer and industry requirements. They are hungry for growth and much more resilient than we could’ve imagined,” says Akash Gehani, chief operating officer and cofounder, Instamojo, adding, “Merchants have come to understand the diverse nature of consumers and that innovation is the key differentiator.”

He says Instamojo on-boarded over 200,000 small businesses from tier 2 and 3 cities during the lockdown period. More than 70 per cent of these entrepreneurs had no prior online presence.

He says small business owners are making necessary changes to their brands, to the way they operate, and also the way they deal with their customers online in order to survive in the growing e-commerce space.

Unified payments interface will dominate the payments space. On Instamojo, there was 135 per cent year-on-year grow– th. Also, more affluent buyers will purchase from local businesses. The report says upskilling has become a priority for business in 2021.

Digitisation will make small business owners invest in digital skilling programmes. Across 2020, mojoVersity, Instamojo’s e-learning platform for entrepreneurs, saw 9x growth in enrolments and 11x growth in the number of merchants getting digitally certified. Raniganj, Ratnagiri, and Kondotty — all tier 3 cities — were among the top 10 cities in terms of traffic on mojoVersity.

Businesses are expected to become funding ready with government initiatives and positive investor outlook. As more entrepreneurs emerge from smaller towns and cities in India, accelerators and incubators are also expanding their services into markets to help nurture upcoming businesses. Industry reports indicate that 40 per cent of investors will come from tier 2 and 3 cities.-Epaper Business Standard

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