Five minutes on Facebook and I was enrolled for 3 courses. That was fast even by my standards.
Being tech savvy is often taken for granted in the present times. Despite being extremely comfortable with using tech of all kinds, the sound of anything ‘online’ would scare the wits out of me. With a law enforcement, cybercrimes expert husband, this fear was very legitimate.
Then came the pandemic and all hell broke loose!
Lockdown and complete closures of markets, businesses and e-commerce led to a different kind of desperation. Something we had never experienced. The fear of the unknown deadly virus compounded the worry further. Once markets opened and a semblance of normalcy started to return, people like me had already developed a strong aversion to visiting markets physically. All for valid and genuine reasons. My own suffering with the disease in its ugliest form reinforced this aversion. But life had to go on. Gingerly at first and with known and tested vendors, I took my first baby steps into the big bad world of everything ‘online shopping’.
I gained confidence slowly and kept my thinking and the urge both simple and in-control, respectively. And it has worked well. Touchwood.
The Best part of the legitimate addiction:
- Vast choice of products all out there in the vast e-commerce market. For all to explore, see and decide.
- The wonderful and sometimes baffling world of AI (Artificial Intelligence) which allows ‘your’ kind of products and companies which do them, pop up on those social media sites which you frequent. The search is done by them – they locate you, literally.
- The companies offering the products are now unlimited. Gone are the days of the regular, established companies only being the ones you had to choose from.
- Search engines throwing up choices which are mind-boggling. From table linen to chocolates to hand made goodies to even cakes for celebrating your pets’ birthdays, the new kids’ nee companies on the block offer your choices which spoil you. We have become the New Online Spoilt Brats!
- The competition and the burgeoning demand have led to betterment in service attitudes and skills. Anything which falls short by even the minutest percentage of satisfaction is liable for rejection to huge detrimental effects.
- Powerful tools of social media, a huge at-home audience with time on hand, a younger generation of audience with the world at their fingertips, awareness of magnanimous proportions and the nature of information and misinformation and false-information spreading like wildfire within seconds leads to more proactive responsiveness from the new kids on the block: MSMEs.
- With the science of business analytics becoming a full-fledged science from a mere new fad degree and IT advances every second to new levels of pre-emptive troubleshooting and call centers and help lines acquiring a new meaning altogether leads to step-by-step information and tracking of one’s order from the minute your fingertips type: ‘proceed to payment’ to receiving the order in your hands.
- Established brands roping in the new start-ups, supporting women entrepreneurs, cooperatives, going-back-to-our-roots star-ups, revival of traditional handicrafts by the new generation of industrialists leads to the size of the cake increasing multiple times, thus leading to the slice of profits and market shares increasing numerous times in multiplier effect.
The Reasons for the continuing of the legitimate addiction:
- The Pandemic and its scare for one.
- The huge convenience of exercising choices and comparing in the safety and comfort of our swiveling chairs.
- Innumerable new, out-of-the-box designers and vendors who do not have the luxury of retail outlet, offering products which are fresh in terms of design and even prices.
- The satisfaction of promoting and supporting whatever cause you may believe in and enjoying their products with elan.
- One random search of an idea or thought allowing for countless options miraculously popping up on other search engines. The market comes looking for you.
- Discounts, discounts, and more offers making savings real.
- Convenience of shopping for multiple products with manufacturers making identical products.
Win-Win for MSMEs all the way:
- These new scenarios of e-commerce have benefited all those small-scale manufacturers and home maker-preneurs who now have a gigantic market just sitting there to be tapped. No better time for all stakeholders on either side of the spectrum.
- Huge investments become a thing of the past as your websites are your commercial establishments
- The need to physically stock all options and the whole range of products is rendered redundant.
- With technology and AI advancements it is amazingly easier to maintain a data base of visitors, their searches, and their preferences to be able to reach out to them via the platforms they visit often.
- In scenarios where physical viewing of products is not possible, a great service, top-notch quality and proactive follow-ups on the deliveries once items have been paid for or even on CODs, makes for a loyal customer database and word spreads from word-of-mouth.
- The new magic mantra for MSMEs in the post pandemic scenario is simple and logical: Market Sensibility, Make Experience enjoyable.
Never been a spoilt brat but like this tag: Online Spoilt Brats as it sits comfortably on my shoulders now!! And don’t mind the addiction either. Benefits many, harms none!
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