Flipkart in July had launched 20 pickup stores across the country.
E-commerce has been all buzz in India with various surveys pointing that this emerging sector is poised for a rapid growth in the future. Organized retail in India is expected to grow to $182 billion in 2020 from the current $46 billion, forecasts consulting firm Technopak. But e-tailing is forecast to expand at a faster clip, to $32 billion by 2020 from $2.3 billion now.
Despite the much higher growth anticipated in e-tailing, India's biggest e-commerce players are setting up physical stores. The reason: shoppers like to utilise all the options available and shops across all formats, says a survey.
A survey by Mumbai-based marketing analytics firm Hansa Cequity and Retailers Association of India, says that 3 out of every 4 shoppers have shopped in recent weeks across formats, online as well as physical stores.
This shopper behaviour is seen lagging a bit in the tier 2 and 3 cities, which are the next multi-billion markets for the retail segment.
And now to tap the potential of these small towns, retailers are taking measures to extend the omni-channel experience, the survey says.
India's biggest e-commerce player Flipkart in July had announced the launch of 20 stores across the country, where customers can collect their shipments at their own convenient time. Flipkart aims to provide more services through these stores in the future. The e-tailer plans to increase the number of stores to 100 by March 2016.
E-commerce giant Amazon has also launched similar stores in several Indian cities. Paytm had also announced in February that it plans to set up 30,000-50,000 retail outlets, where its customers can load cash on their digital wallets.
On the other hand, physical stores are ramping up their online presence. Big Indian conglomerates like Reliance Retail and the Aditya Birla Group are starting new online channels by integrating their physical stores to take advantage of changing customer behaviour.
The Hansa Cequity survey covered 1,368 respondents from 86 Indian cities and towns.