E-comm cos to continue investing heavily on new technologies in the new normal

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New Delhi: E-commerce companies will continue to invest heavily in new technologies in the wake of the pandemic to provide their consumers better customer experience, said panelists during the recently concluded RetailTech Summit organised by ETRetail.com.

The panel discussion on “How E-commerce Adapted to the New Normal, saw participation from top retail executives like Raghu Krishnananda, chief technology office at Myntra-Jabong, KT Prasad, MD & RVP of Indian & SAARC at Zendesk, Devika Razdan, Director-Product Engineering at Grofers, and Siddhartha Reddy, Product-Lead at udaan.

According to Krishnananda, it is imperative to continue to invest in technology, even if the situation normalises.

“If you look at the penetration of e-commerce as total spend of retail in India, it is very small percent. So, there is actually a lot of room for growth which brings along a lot of new challenges, which will need investments in technology,” said the Myntra executive.

Another interesting trend that we are seeing is that a lot of customers are now coming from tier II and III cities. So the needs for these customers will be different, explained Krishnananda. “We need to come up with innovative solutions to address those needs. It is a continuous process. So we are investing heavily on technology and we see that growing in the future,” he further said.

Prasad of Zendesk feels that this pandemic has made it easier for the companies to invest in new technologies. Technology providers don’t need to explain a lot to the companies now as it is clearly evident now that the investment in technology is of utmost importance, he said.

“There is a lot of shift happened to moving towards e-commerce for the offline retailers. We have evolved our offerings and solutions keeping in the mind the requirements of the customers and where they are in their e-commerce journey. We have packaged all the solutions to enable easy adoption by the companies. We have simplified the processes also.”

According to Prasad, the other important change they have seen is companies are asking for new technologies as soon as possible. “None of the companies we are talking to has time. So speed and agility becomes a very important criteria,” Prasad added.

Once this whole pandemic ends the trend would be now of convenience, according to Razdan of Grofers. The game you play is how you are going to be the most convenient option for the customer and at the same time your service levels are really high, she said.

“The pandemic has made us to accelerate the adoption of technology in our systems.We doubled down on our qualitative and quantitative research during the pandemic. Investment in data and research is going to move the technology ahead,” Razdan said.

Reddy of udaan echoes Razdan’s view on investing in technology during the pandemic.

“We didn’t start investing heavily in our systems when the pandemic started. We have always been investing heavily on the technologies. That is what allowed us to ramp up and be able to make technology serve us better during the pandemic. With technology there is always scope to do better and it is never enough. Whatever we have done so far is the baseline in the new normal. We have to keep building on top of that. I would say we are in very early stages of building this and there is a lot more to do on the technology front,” he said