A Brief Analysis of E-Commerce and Its Role in the Modern Economy

How we go about buying things has changed significantly in the past decade, due to the innovations of digital technology in retail. One of the most significant changes in technology for businesses has been the transition from purely in-store purchases to multiple easy-to-access avenues (or channels) among retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, financial companies & banks, and most importantly, consumers.

Sujai Shriram
Sujai Shriram

The speed of shopping has increased so substantially that consumers are driving a need for the reconfiguration of supply chain management to handle the demand of orders! E-Commerce, or now commonly referred to as digital commerce, has not only changed the way we shop, it has significantly changed the drivers of our economy. Twenty years ago, no one would have imagined shopping could be completed without setting foot in a store!

As much as technology has brought us convenience, access, security, and joy to the way we shop; it is not without its own set of challenges. One major issue continues to be how well each retailer understands their customers, their ability to predict or learn what their customers are looking for, and to close the sale. Additionally, servicing customers before, during, and after each sale has become a significant differentiator for retailers to gain customer satisfaction; and in turn, loyalty, in this era where the customer is spoilt for choice and increasingly hard to please. Sujai Shriram, a Digital Marketing consultant & Project Manager for Crossview, Inc., helps retailers and brand marketers strategize and execute the implementation of omni-channel solutions for their brands.

Creating Meaning – An entrepreneurial mantra

Sujai Shriram
Sujai Shriram

Every entrepreneur has a vision. The motive, however, varies in each case. Entrepreneurs are driven by their passion to solve a problem, create a product, or simply, make money. But if we look at start-ups and entrepreneurs who succeeded, one common trait is that each one created something that was meaningful to someone. The successful one’s always created value by offering something that either solved a problem, made something more convenient or accessible; or simply put, created meaning. For example, Uber made it really easy for people to get a cab while at the same time, enabling anyone interested to provide the service. They created meaning for both customers and suppliers. And as the wisdom goes, money followed meaning.

Sujai Shriram is a digital marketing expert, who approaches his work from the eyes of an entrepreneur. An aspiring entrepreneur himself, Sujai Shriram continues to seek out more efficient and effective ways to build, develop and implement high-quality eCommerce solutions for every client. As someone who looks to one day establish and operate his own firm, Sujai Shriram hopes to both leverage and apply his considerable skillset, knowledge, and subject matter expertise towards the development of something truly transformative, innovative, and even extraordinary.

TATA Consultancy Services – Serving Customers and the Community

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a global leader in IT, digital, and business services. TCS not only transforms the technology landscape to solve complex business problems, but they also play an active role in transforming the communities and people that surround them. An integral part of the TCS culture is caring, sharing and, community betterment. TATA Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), an arm of TCS focuses on small as well as large scale projects in community improvement and betterment. TCS CSR members share a culture of volunteering to build schools, teach conversational English in rural areas, clean national forests, and bring their technical expertise to help physically and mentally challenged children.

Sujai Shriram
Sujai Shriram

While working at TCS, Sujai Shriram was an active CSR member. He pursued his passion to improve the standard of education in tribal villages near Mumbai. Sujai and his team started as a small group of 4 volunteers, and grew the volunteer pool to over 150 people to adopt an elementary school and improve its infrastructure. Sujai Shriram is passionate about bettering rural educational services in India. The school started by the CSR team Sujai Shriram was involved with in 2004 continues to function well and independently.

Is Omni-Channel Commerce a Fad?

Shopping online is here to stay, whether you like it or not. A decade ago, shopping online meant you would sit on your computer at home, browse a few pages of the catalog of your favorite retailer and buy if something if something piqued your interest. Then came search, for those select few who know exactly what they are looking for to buy. Today, the online shopping behavior has evolved considerably, including the choice of purchasing venues (sellers), price, mediums (channels), payment options and the whole shopping experience overall.

Sujai Shriram
Sujai Shriram

From a shopper’s experience, it is great to have multiple avenues to shop, compare service and price before finally making a purchase. But the race to get the next great shopping deal has put retailers to adapt (or die) to an evolving retail marketing landscape. Retailers are scrambling to offer new commerce solutions to its customers, trying to hamper down the massive problems that rise in the aftermath of purchasing. Enter omni-channel commerce.

What is omni-channel commerce? Consider this – you are walking in your favorite mall and chance upon a pretty little black dress in a new store. You enter the store, look at the dress and while you’re at it, a few other ones too. You really like the store. You come back home, go to their website, read reviews about a few dresses that you liked and even registered to the site and added an item to the cart. Oh shoot, you’re late for that ball game.

You drop off and drive to the game where the line is long. So fire up your iPhone and go to the site, pick back up on your shopping and buy that beautiful black dress. But you need it tomorrow. You call the customer service, who didn’t ask a million questions but refreshingly, picked up your phone number and greeted you by your first name. Not just that, as soon as you mentioned your request to change the delivery to ship-to-home to in-store-pick up, they instantly told you the order # and after confirming, changed the delivery. There was a small upcharge, but since you were such a nice customer, they even gift wrapped it for free! Now, that’s omni-channel commerce.

And behind every smooth customer experience, lies a team of thinkers, strategists, technologists and elves that work tirelessly, jumping through a various hoops, fighting the odds and bending technology to do amazing things every day. Just to make shopping delightful, easy, safe and most importantly, work for you when you most need it.

This pursuit of offering better service to their customers has been a goal for every retailer, big, medium or small. Sujai Shriram is an E-commerce and Digital Marketing expert for the company Crossview Inc., that works with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies to achieve this milestone of omni-channel presence within a customer’s shopping experience.