Ecommerce store shoppers

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Ahmedabad: E-commerce represents bulldozing competition for physical stores. But how big is the impact in the context of Gujarat? A doctoral study by the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) attempted to answer the question and also linked the findings to India’s competition and consumer protection laws.
Ankit Shah, Chartered Accountant and Corporate Secretary, recently obtained his PhD for his thesis “Impact of E-Commerce on Offline Commerce: A Study in Light of India’s Competition and Consumer Protection Regime”. He completed it under the guidance of Dr. Vishal Pandya, Associate Professor at GNLU. The study looked at 60 offline stores in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, as well as consumers of all ages who shop frequently online.
“About 55% of stores in the clothing section and 40% in electronics reported a reduction in the number of employees over five years,” Shah said. “During the same period, 75% and 35% of clothing and electronics stores respectively reported a reduction in customer footfall.” The numbers indicate the fallout from the rise of e-commerce. “Other sectors have been relatively less affected,” he said.
Some of the strategies adopted by stores to stay competitive included changing product line, advertising, diversification, product warranty, customer service, pricing, packaging, product quality and brand name. Mark.
“In terms of customers, about 71% of respondents said they make at least one purchase every three months,” Shah said. “From 2018, we see a marked shift in respondents who said they bought online, primarily clothing and electronics.”
What determines their preference for online shopping? Around 80% of respondents said it was the wider choice and ease of finding that motivated them to shop online, followed by 71% who opted for prices and discounts, and 62% who ease of comparison was important.
The study’s suggestions for the regulator include basic technology support to small and medium enterprises for competition with e-tailers, awareness raising initiatives on consumer protection legislation and review of the legal regime. covering abusive online practices.