Monday, March 15, 2010

Online World

ITsAP organized a product showcase for local businesses with a focus on technology. The event went very well where about 100 companies had a stall. It is a commendable work by the team that organized this all. Congrats to all of them!

There were close to 180 nominations for the event. All the businesses had to be originated in Hyderabad. The number though seems small is actually quite big for the city. 180 Online businesses - all started and run in Hyderabad. This brought up the question - How much is Hyderabad into the online world?

Not that long ago, may be about 4-5 years ago, a friend asked - How do you buy any product without taking a look at it ? That was the opinion of many at that time. Now that we have at least 180 businesses and IT Product showcases being held in the city, it does seem like there is a change in the trend. But has the city gone completely online ? Or should there be a offline presence as well ? What would consumers buy online ?

If we take the product showcase as a sampler, almost every product in consumers category had an offline presence as well. There's BigFlix, TravelSpice and your own EveningHour. All of them have an online presence but a strong offline base as well. It does indicate that there is still a demand for offline stores even though there is market for online businesses.

The next question is - what would consumers buy online ? Would they buy books online? How about clothes? Paintings ? Book flight tickets ? Needless to say, buying travel tickets online is in place. It seems like consumers are likely to buy books online. But personal experience has taught that there is a considerable percentage of people who have second thoughts about even buying books online. Certainly seems like buying clothes, furniture and such has a long journey.

To summarize, even though people have not yet embraced the concept of buying online, they are on the way! This is the time to start any online business because there is potential in it.

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