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Role of e-commerce in boosting the growth of MSMEs

There is no doubt that the emergence of e-commerce or electronic commerce has transformed the modus operandi of businesses across sectors. Small businesses specifically, have found a new avenue to market their products & services, and widen their reach to cover customers from all parts of the country, as well as across the borders.

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic saw a major shift towards e-commerce and digitisation. Given that India has a strong smartphone and internet penetration (the internet penetration rate stands at 47.0 per cent), e-commerce has turned out to be a real game-changer in the Indian industry. E-commerce uses digital devices and internet networks to trade goods and services and to make payments. Thus, it has really pulled down the physical barriers that existed between buyers and sellersbecause of locational restrictions. By having a digital presence through websites, businesses are able to reach out to a much wider audience. Vice-verse, the choices and options for the customers have also grown manifold.

How is e-commerce benefiting Indian MSMEs
MSMEs or micro small medium enterprises have been the backbone of the Indian economy as they create employment and contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP. The advent of internet and e-commerce platforms has truly widened the scope of clientele for these enterprises. What once was a weakness for small enterprises has now become their biggest strength. With e-commerce, MSMEs are not required to have their setups in different locations in order to expand. They can reach out to the entire world on a single platform i.e. the internet, and connect with interested buyers for their products and services. This has resulted in greater growth, cost effectiveness, increased revenue and healthier competition.

E-commerce has been a major contributor to the growth of MSMEs in India. It helps even the smallest of players to promote their brand at a much lower marketing budget as the market reach is far more as compared in the traditional setup.

The growth of e-commerce sector in India has been exponential and its adoption in small cities is noteworthy. This trend has encouraged the emergence of a large number of entrepreneurs in tier II and III cities, which is very encouraging and also resonates with the Prime Minister’s Startup India initiative. People are coming up with innovative ideas to do business from the comfort of their homes, thanks to internet connectivity and the availability of numerous online trading platforms.

It would not be wrong to say that e-commerce has empowered the MSMEs in a way that they are experiencing greater economic stability, growth and security, be it through business-to-business, business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platforms.

Digital innovations such as data analytics have further enabled MSMEs to track their return on investment (ROI). Businesses can access and analyse significant customer data including details of time spent on every page, orders placed and purchases made over a period of time. This helps them in making appropriate amendments, if any required, in their marketing plan/ product listings, etc. They can hence, bring about improvements in the overall customer experience.

To conclude, the combination of e-commerce and digitisation has made advertising and marketing affordable, brought down overall costs for businesses, made the buying-selling process faster, shortened the response time to market demands, and most importantly, broadened the reach of business enterprises. All these factors are having a strong influence on the growth of small and medium enterprises. Times Now News

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