The Etail Asia conference held at the Marina Bay Sands recently saw an interesting onstage debate between Pushpendra Sharma, founder and CEO of SpacesGenie, and Ankiti Bose, co-founder and CEO of Zilingo.
The debate motion: “Even in the digital age, online players need an offline presence to drive revenue and growth.”
Personally, I am with Pushpendra in the proposition camp and here is why.
E-commerce is maturing
is maturing as a whole, even though some problems still persist like costly and lengthy last mile fulfillment and a huge unbanked population with no access to online payments. But these issues are also being addressed. Having an online presence is now almost imperative and easier than ever before.
Impact of a maturing ecosystem
With regard to the impact of a maturing e-commerce
ecosystem and the debate motion, I see an “inversion” of sorts happening. Owners of physical stores used to think that online revenue only commanded a small percentage of their total revenue, hence there is no need to focus on it. It seems to me that online stores have that same mentality today.
An offline presence is an opportunity
Beyond just an experience like what Pushpendra said, I see the offline space as an opportunity. The user experience does not just happen online; it exists from the point of discovery right through to receiving the product. Going offline allows brands to extend a great brand experience and it is a chance to stand out from the growing competition. With that said, getting online is no longer the challenge. New order winners are now required, and offline presents an opportunity for a brand to create an advantage.
The article was published on Tech In Asia. You can read the full article here