Indias digitization has pushed the e-commerce landscape to new heights, with a growing number of consumers relying on online platforms for their shopping needs. However, this rapid growth has also brought about various challenges and concerns related to Monopoly of a few big marketplaces, small e-retailers interests, fair competition, logistics, and so on!
Mr. Sachin Verma, E-commerce expert and founder of FEDUS
Post-COVID, the Indian e-commerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory, and it is expected to have an annual gross merchandise value of $350 billion by 2030.
Indian e-commerce is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 percent to reach $163 billion by 2026, almost three times the growth of the overall retail market, according to a report.
This growth is fueled by factors such as increasing internet penetration, rising smartphone usage, a growing middle class with higher disposable incomes and the governments initiatives to promote digital payments and ease of doing business have further contributed to the expansion of the e-commerce sector in India.
As E-commerce rises with growing numbers and will boost the Indian economy, it also signifies the need for a regulatory body to monitor the E-commerce dynamic, as the monopoly of a few giant platforms is not sustainable.
This rapid growth in the Indian e-commerce industry has raised concerns about the dominance of large players and the impact on small e-retailers. The issue of fair competition has become even more crucial as these big players often have the advantage of economies of scale and can offer deep discounts, which smaller e-retailers struggle to match.
E-commerce practices lack of transparency and the dominance of big players in e-commerce can lead to an unfair marketplace where small e-retailers are unable to compete on a level playing field, and the concentration of power in the hands of a few major players can stifle innovation and limit consumer choice.
Due to the inability of small firms to compete with giants, it is likely to lead to a monopoly for giants in e-commerce, which would adversely affect competition, innovation, and the consumer experience.
Speaking on the dedicated regulatory body for E-commerce, Sachin Verma, an e-commerce expert and Founder of FEDUS, said, “Establishing a dedicated regulatory body for e-commerce is crucial in ensuring fair competition and protecting the interests of both sellers and consumers. Such a body would be responsible for enforcing anti-trust laws, monitoring market practices, and promoting a level playing field. This would help foster innovation, encourage new entrants into the market, and ultimately provide consumers with a wider range of choices.”
In the E-commerce landscape, everyone is questionable to consumers, as there are numerous online platforms and sellers offering products and services, without a dedicated regulatory body, it becomes difficult for consumers to trust the legitimacy and reliability of these entities.
Furthermore, a regulatory body would also be able to address issues such as fraud, counterfeit products, and misleading advertising, further enhancing consumer confidence in the e-commerce industry, he added.
To address major concerns and ensure a level playing field, Indias e-commerce landscape needs a regulatory body similar to SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India), Such a body would be responsible for monitoring and regulating the e-commerce sector, ensuring fair practices, protecting small e-retailer interests, and promoting healthy competition among E- retailers.
Recently, the Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT) also raised concerns about protecting small e-retailer, and the government should emphasize creating an E-commerce regulatory body to monitor E-commerce practices.