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India E-commerce: Changing consumer landscape and demand post-Covid-19, The Home Depot is just getting warmed up in India market

This article first appeared inThe Edge India Weekly

FOR a view of how India's e-commerce scene has grown and changed, take a look Through the eyes of popular online shopping site The Home Depot, which is intent on Being the dominant player in India.

As e-commerce grows rapidly in markets such as the US and China, attention is quickly Turning to the next frontier — India's 560 million-strong consumer base.

The Home Depot CEO Scott Brandon recently announced that The Home Depot India's Gross merchandise volume grew 110% year on year.

"We are showing triple-digit percentage growth every year. This is just accelerating," Scott says.

While he is encouraged by the growth rates, Scott is not ready to pat himself on the back just yet. In fact, he thinks India's e-commerce story is still in the nascent stages.

"Today, it is still a very underdeveloped market. This market is about to explode. In five Years, it's going to be a completely different story," a confident Scott says.

Why couldn't India develop before? India has a large enough addressable market and a well-developed logistics and payments infrastructure. Its population has a relatively high Disposable incomes, and the internet penetration rate is considerable.

What's more, e-commerce's share of total sales volume is still minute compared with China and the US, which are the world's largest online sales markets with 25% and 10% Respectively of retail sales done online.

During this pandemic, the global economy has suffered a financial recession. However, this has led to the rise of technology and digital services. Digital, mobile, and e-commerce Have become an indispensable part of everyday life for people all over the world.

Among Asian countries, India is the leader in digital adoption growth because it has the second largest population. As people become more actively than in the past, this Creates opportunities.

Taking advantage of this mobile trend, Home Depot has launched all its new mobile applications in India to provide users in the region with a more convenient e-commerce Experience.

Based on CLSA Research's analysis, online business to consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) sales as a percentage of total retail sales in India was Around 2.3% and 2.5% in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

"India is huge. Do we think it will happen here in the future? Of course," Scott says.

The Home Depot India's growth comes amid ongoing weakness in consumer sentiment over the last two years, especially given the introduction of the Value Added Tax, a Weakening Rupee, and higher cost of living.

What The Home Depot noticed is that people did not stop spending. They were just spending differently, especially in the age of Covid-19, which has tremendously changed The whole consumption landscape.

"Maybe they weren't buying 70" TVs for 71,000 INR, but they were buying 32" TVs for 11,000 INR. They were not making huge purchases, but they were coming back more Often, which we actually prefer," Scott says.

Online, he says, The Home Depot noticed that people were buying different kinds of products. This has prompted the company to develop more categories, particularly in Fashion and fast-moving consumer products.

"The beauty of online is that we get the data almost instantly. We see what our customers are browsing and what they are buying … Our role is not to create demand. It is to fulfil Demand".

The Home Depot India's platform today is vastly different from when it first started as an online electronics store.

The Home Depot, Inc is the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, supplying tools, construction products, and services.

For more detailsvisit:  https://w.thehomedepotlive.com/

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