Speaking at the ASSOCHAM Conference on e-commerce today, Harish Bijoor of Harish Bijoor Consults shared some interesting points on the e-commerce market and behavior. Some notes from his talk:

– We’re moving from the scratch card generation to the iGen, which is going to retail online. The sense they have – when you can be impatient, why be patient. this generation is going to buy things impulsively on the net.

– The anonymity of e-retail: 90 percent of lingerie in India is being sold by men, which is unusual. So when you want to buy fancy lingerie, you’ll go the net. Most of this is non intrusive, and the user remains anonymous. (ED: We beg to differ, since e-commerce ventures like Amazon tend to collect massive amounts of data about consumers – they know what you buy, what you browse, what you like, what your friends like, and as we found of recently, even how much of a book you read. It’s anything but anonymous, though the customer might get the feeling of anonymity)

– The only guy who makes the money on COD courier is the courier guy, and the thrill of a return, because he gets paid for return as well.

– Online, the marketing moves from active selling to passive selling, whereas the consumer moves from passive buying to active buying.

– e-Commerce reinvents pure competition, especially with customer-to-customer models. Everyone is a seller,a buyer, and is equidistant form each other. Even in B2C, if the customer has to buy a parker pen, he looks up six different sites for which is the cheapest.

– Some numbers (albeit without a source): ecommerce is $9.2 million in India, and if today’s Internet base in India is between 61-73 million, only around 19 million are on broadband. Broadband is very important for ecommerce.

– Recession spurs helps and spurs on e-commerce. People are buying liquor in the UK on the Internet, cases of beer, because it is cheaper than buying a pint in a pub, and even buying it in a supermarket.
– Any category that offers complete online fulfillment wins first: example ticketing, and that is why IRCTC and travel sites work. If you can print your ticket, download music, it works.
– Anything that does not require the efficiency of buying a mango succeeds best.If you can see 360 degrees of the product, the touch, the smell, it can work. There are pads which allow you feel the sense, the smell of it, will work. The moment you’re able to redo the physical standards.