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Indian SMEs believe growth in e-commerce will continue post-Covid: FedEx Survey

SMEs are enhancing their e-commerce capabilities and rethinking their online shopping strategies.

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NEW DELHI: FedEx Express has shared the findings of a recent small and medium enterprise (SME)-focused survey in India to identify trends in e-commerce and digital adoption among SMEs during the Covid2019 pandemic.

The survey reveals a sense of optimism among SMEs in India, largely driven by the growth in e-commerce sales, with 30 per cent of small businesses and 40 per cent of medium businesses seeing a rise in online sales since lockdown began.

The pandemic and its resulting restrictions have led to a shift in consumer behavior towards e-commerce, with 35 per cent of small businesses and 54 per cent of medium businesses surveyed believing that e-commerce sales will improve their financial growth following Covid2019.

The festive season was a highlight for the sector, with SMEs enhancing their e-commerce capabilities and rethinking their online shopping strategies in anticipation of significant sales. 34 per cent of surveyed SMEs expect strong peak season demand. This matches the findings published by Redseer, which stated that peak season sales in India are expected to almost double this year, reaching $7 billion in gross merchandise value compared to $3.8 billion in the same period last year. 

With the expected continued rise in e-commerce sales, 80 per cent of medium and 58 per cent of small businesses in the survey also believe that increased buying behavior on e-commerce platforms will continue following the pandemic. 

SMEs are also embracing digital solutions, with 76 per cent of small businesses and 60 per cent of medium businesses stating that they are seeing a rise in digital payments received since the start of the pandemic. Digital wallets are also seeing greater adoption, with higher rates among small businesses (28 per cent) than medium businesses (7 per cent).

The value of fast and secure shipping is also a consideration for both shoppers and the businesses selling online. The survey highlighted that 41 per cent of SMEs believe that their customers would pay more for faster delivery, making the choice of the right logistics service provider with the ability to support business growth driven by time-sensitive shipments a priority for businesses.

FedEx Express India VP - operations Mohamad Sayegh said, “Throughout Covid2019, we have seen that consumers are increasingly shopping from home, and with continued travel limitations and efforts to control the spread of the virus likely to prevent people from visiting family and friends this festive season, more gifts are likely to be shipped this year, rather than delivered in person.”

“With the expected continued surge in e-commerce sales, FedEx has been working with businesses to encourage their customers to shop and ship early. We are confident our global and domestic networks will support the demands of each business and their customers,” he added.

The FedEx-commissioned survey was conducted by the independent research firm Dun & Bradstreet India.

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