India’s e-commerce sector has grown significantly over the past few years and is expected to grow multifold in the coming years. The growth has been driven by increasing internet penetration, rising smartphone adoption, and the growing popularity of online shopping among consumers. The D2C and B2B segments have seen significant growth due to the increasing popularity of online marketplaces, making it easier for businesses to reach customers directly and for buyers to find a wider range of products at competitive prices. The projected growth of the D2C market to US$ 60 billion by FY27 and the overall e-commerce market to US$ 350 billion by 2030 highlights the tremendous potential of the sector in India (according to a recent report published by e-commerce enablement platform Shiprocket in collaboration with CII)
Further, India has seen a boom in smartphone penetration as well as tremendous growth in digital transactions. The number of internet connections in 2021 saw a tremendous growth to 830 million, driven by the ‘Digital India’ programme and the digital transactions in January 23 were close to (in terms of value) INR 12.98 Lk Cr (according to the latest TRAI data).
Given an understanding of the low adoption of mobile penetration in rural areas, assisted commerce was born and is now a full-fledged huge business opportunity for the commerce industry.
The assisted commerce industry is growing rapidly, driven by several factors, including the increasing popularity of mobile messaging apps, the rise of voice assistants, and the growing demand for personalized and seamless shopping experiences.
One of the key benefits of assisted commerce is that it allows businesses to provide 24/7 customer service, without the need for human customer support staff. This can help improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs for businesses.
Assisted commerce is also helping businesses to improve their customer engagement and loyalty by providing personalized recommendations and targeted marketing messages.
Imagine a situation where an individual may require support to make online purchases or conduct transactions- What started as kiosks in tier–3, 4, 5, and 6 towns and villages to help people navigate online government services and promote financial inclusion created a whole new business model.
The goal of assisted commerce is to enable individuals to participate in the digital economy and make purchases independently, by offering some level of assistance.
Assisted commerce can take many forms, depending on the individual’s needs and abilities. For example, helping individuals in rural areas to navigate online shopping platforms, bill payments, and train and bus ticket purchases. Alternatively, it may involve support staff or caregivers assisting individuals with shopping in physical stores or conducting financial transactions.
Assisted commerce is important because it can help promote independence and autonomy for individuals who may otherwise face barriers to participating in the new economy. By providing the necessary support and assistance, individuals with disabilities or the elderly can have greater control over their finances and make purchases that align with their needs and goals.
On this, Prepaid cards can be a very useful tool, as they offer a way for caregivers or support staff to manage and monitor the individual’s spending while still allowing them to make purchases independently. Many prepaid card programs offer features specifically designed for assisted commerce, such as cardholder and caregiver controls.
Some examples of the types of transactions that can happen via Assisted Commerce:
- Online shopping: Individuals who require assistance to navigate online shopping platforms may receive help from caregivers or support staff to browse products, compare prices, and make purchases.
- Bill payments: Individuals may require assistance with paying bills (utility/mobile/etc), such as by helping to navigate online payment platforms
- Banking transactions: Individuals may require assistance with banking transactions by making deposits or withdrawals at a bank branch or through online or mobile banking platforms.
- Direct money transfers can also be facilitated with the help of assisted commerce. This can involve using a variety of payment methods, such as bank transfers, wire transfers, or mobile payment apps.
We at CARD91 can play an important role in facilitating assisted commerce by providing innovative solutions that will be easier for businesses that may have limited access to banking services. If you’ve any use case, particularly on Assisted Commerce, you may write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Khushboo Bakhru, Senior Manager – Partnerships & Sales