Impact of E-commerce in Camera Industry
With easy payment options and convenient home delivery service offered by leading B2C portals, most consumer electronics are selling like hot cakes in the eCommerce Stores in India. However, with latest innovations like ‘Augmented reality’, being added to camera features, shipping cameras through online stores does not make much sense. Camera Manufacturers want their prospective customers to walk into their physical stores and get that hands-on experience of taking their first click. However eCommerce Stores in India are disrupting this strategy, as most customers prefer to go online and buy a product without breaking a sweat. Furthermore, eCommerce Stores in India provide a product pricing that is too competitive for the traditional brick-and-mortar business models. As a result, the retailers in the camera industry are not able to manage a profit margin of over 5%.
During its early days, people saw eCommerce as a tool to educate the market. Some organizations even offered to provide eCommerce Training. However, no one could predict how the ‘flash’ sales would revolutionalize online sales, with ‘Flipkart’ selling affiliated hardware products every few seconds. The question is why can’t camera industry adopt eCommerce? While some companies position their traditional stores as the only exclusive space where customers can receive a first-hand experience, other companies prefer to use a combination strategy of using traditional stores as well to Sell Online in India to make the most out of both channels.
True; camera accessories can be sold using eCommerce. But some camera manufacturers are adamant about selling their cameras through their own stores or dealers. They still believe in selling through the dealers can take care of the on-ground branding activity as well. One of the recent development in the camera industry was the introduction of the smartphones with cameras that made Indian customer realize the importance of capturing moments through the lens. Further portals like ‘Facebook’ made sure that clicking ‘selfies’ made its way to the Oxford dictionary. Logically, this should have helped the camera industry grow, but Cyber lockers such as ‘Flickr’ provides statistics, where most of the uploaded photographs were from ‘Point and Shoot’ cameras and not from portable digital cameras.
Companies like Apple and Amazon have added to the woes of the camera industry by introducing their camera phones with distinctive features such as ‘geotagging’, ‘face recognition’, and ‘photo stream’ while harnessing power of their own digital ecosystems.
By now camera companies have reckoned that the power of eCommerce is slowly unsettling their kingdom. Some companies try to escape from hard facts by stating that eCommerce is only crunching numbers for now; speculating that the market cannot grow beyond a point without a parallel physical presence. Nevertheless, few digital camera makers are utilizing e-commerce space for some outdated cameras to sell online in India.
In order to compensate the reduction in market shares Camera makers are discounting their flagship hardware and are now focusing more on improved customer services. In a desperate attempt to reach out to more consumers, they are also enhancing their physical presence. They are further targeting women with colorful, high quality cameras and introducing promotional activities, hiring celebrity brand ambassadors, providing extended warranties, discounts and set of free accessories. Read another ‘related’ article on the blog to know more about Tips to set up an eCommerce Store in India.
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