The e-commerce websites have brought a great transformation in which India shops and trades. Over the years there has been an increasing growth in e-commerce websites that have bloomed businesses all over India. The e-commerce sales that were $3.9 Billion in 2009 went up to $12.6 Billion in 2013 and have been increased to $125 Billion as of April 2017. The e-commerce industry is growing at an astounding rate in India and is expected to account for 1.61% of the global GDP by 2018. The figure speaks for them about how the growth rate has improved over the years. The major e-commerce sites that rule the market of India are Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Paytm respectively. It has come to the knowledge that a large population still does not believe in shopping online. The main concern for the users is the originality of the product that gets compromised while shopping online. This is a pretty logical concern for the users seeing how some companies do fraud by offering low or poor quality products that in no way match the quality of the products they show on their website.
There are many pros and cons between the online shopping and traditional shopping way. Let’s have a look at them in brief.
Pros of Shopping Online:
- You can shop from anywhere.
- No need to wait in a queue.
- No need to go to different places to compare prices.
- You can buy things at a cheaper rate.
- You can send gifts at any time and anywhere.
- You can create your own design.
Cons of Shopping Online:
- You can’t see the product physically.
- You can’t try the product.
- You must wait for the product to arrive.
- You may receive the product late due to some delay in shipping or wrong address or some other reason.
- Sometimes you’ll have to pay more for shipping than the original product.
- You are at the risk of online fraud.
Pros of Traditional Shopping:
- You can try the clothes.
- You can check the material and design yourself.
- You can get the product immediately.
- You can trust in the originality of the product.
Cons of Traditional Shopping:
- You have to travel to various shops for comparing prices.
- You lose a lot of time.
- You are under a lot of pressure if you want to visit every shop.
- You must wait for a free dressing room to try these clothes.
- You have to meet a lot of strangers and go through the fuss.
We are quite aware that many of the people still have reservations about shopping online. Their reservations are caused fundamentally because of the fear that resides within them. This fear has made its way due to various reasons and this has shattered the trust of the customers on the e-commerce websites. Some companies like Limeroad, Shopclues, etc., have not proved worthy of people’s money and have also created a chaos and fear in people’s mind by not providing proper services. Here is a review of Limeroad and Shopclues that have been obtained from an online website www.mouthshut.com.
As seen above, the reviews of these websites are a bit disturbing. To summarize them we can see that it gives a hard time to the customers by not delivering the expected products. Here they try to attract the users by giving them products at a low price but the quality of products they offer is even lower. They have to make quite a few changes in their way of trading if they want to survive in such a competitive market. Some of the changes that they can make so that they can build a better prestige for their company are listed below.
- Product Video: The biggest challenge for a company is to win the trust of the customer. A customer’s trust lies in the service provided by the company. In order to build that trust, the e-commerce companies must start showing the videos of the products they are offering. This will allow the customers to get a proper view of the products they are buying. Moreover, they will be able to get a glimpse of the product they are buying and compare that image with the product they receive. Once they don’t find any difference between the product they see online and what they receive it will end their insecurities about a particular company and help build a trust between the company and the customer. This will indeed be a start of a healthy relationship.
- Product Image and Description: In addition to the video the companies must provide the proper images of the product they are offering. There is a huge difference between product specification and product description. Descriptions are when you become a virtual salesman and explain how the product should be styled, what you should avoid and how you can maintain its look.Many times it happens that customer’s complaint that the product they saw in images and the product they received is not the same. Hence, the companies should put actual images of the products they are selling and along with that, they should write a proper product description. The product description must contain the thorough description of the product covering all the dimensions of the product. This will allow the customers to learn the features of the products in detail. The below-given shot is from a website named Mark and Spencer. It provides in detail product description. It also provides a zooming option in which the product can be seen in a bigger size once you place your cursor on it.
- Hidden Charges: One might have experienced that a product is available at a particular price. While when you add it to your cart and proceed to check-out then some other charges are applied to it. These are known as hidden charges. Sometimes, it also happens that while ordering a product the shipping cost is more than the cost of the product itself. In such situation, no customer will be ready to buy that product. So, it must be overlooked that no such hidden charges are applied to products and that the shipping prices do not exceed the price of the product.
- Flexible Return or Refund Policies: While a customer has ordered a particular product it is not humanly possible that the product always meets the expectation of the customers. In such a situation proper return or exchange policies must be provided to a customer. Some companies don’t give proper time to a customer to review their products and then decide if they want to keep the product or return or exchange them. They must be provided with at least a month’s time during which they can return or exchange the products. The customer must also be made aware of the same by sending the necessary documents regarding the return or exchange policy with the product itself.
- Enduring Gift Coupons: The e-commerce companies must also provide the customers with exciting gifts and coupons. The customers should feel the benefits of buying products online. The gift coupons they offer should also stay valid for a long duration. It shouldn’t happen that the customers are forced to use these coupons at the same moment when they are made available to them. They should be satisfied with the fact that not only are they getting products at their doorstep but those products are original and are made available to them at a much cheaper rate than the market.
- Genuine Installation and Additional Services: When any electronic or mechanical product is delivered to a customer it is of prime importance that they receive proper installation and additional services. At times it so happens that the product is delivered but they don’t take responsibility for installing that product properly. For example, A person named Dr. Shivendra Padhiar from Jamnagar ordered a Television from a particular site but that site didn’t take the responsibility of installing his television. Due to this lack of service, he returned that television because no one took the responsibility of installing that television for several days. These types of incidents create a wrong impression of the company in the customer’s mind. So, these matters should be overlooked and it must be seen that all the customers are provided with proper installation and additional services.
- Appropriate Guarantee and Warranty Details: Along with the installation service provided by the e-commerce sites they must also provide the customer with a proper guarantee and warranty details to the customers. All the original bills of the products along with the guarantee or warranty cards should be rightfully placed along with the products. This would give the customer an assurance about the originality of the product and also give them a sense of satisfaction that the product they have received is worth their money.
- Swift Payment Procedure: We know that India is a developing country and everyone around us is slowly grasping towards technology. Online payment methods that are provided by the e-commerce websites aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Sometimes these online payment methods seem very cumbersome. In such cases when an unaware person gets acquainted with this type of technology they will quit buying that product because of his lack of knowledge about technology. In India, 75% of the e-retail is done by the cash-on-delivery method and so no matter what is the price of the product this option for payment should always be available. Other than this, these websites can provide with card payment facilities and if a person decides to pay online then the procedure for online payment shouldn’t be too long.
- Pertinent Remarketing: It might also happen that at times a person adds a product to his cart and then forgets to check-out. Then he or she doesn’t buy that product for some days. In such a situation the remarketing of the products must be done efficiently. The customer should be sent a reminder via mail or via SMS facility to remind a person that they still have this product available for them. Also, if a product is added to the wish list by a user because of unavailability then the person should be reminded of the product is then in stock.
These were some of the points that can help an e-commerce website improve their reputation in the market. If taken care they can easily be built trust with the customers and help them shop in a better way. Online shopping business depends on the effective e-commerce marketing to build a strong reputation for a brand as well as affects the sales of the company. The e-commerce sale is expected to reach $ 25,076 million by 2018. If the e-commerce companies work properly on the above-mentioned points, then it can greatly affect the sales of their company.
Kinjal Adeshara: This is Kinjal Adeshara, Managing Director at Sinclair Digitech, interested to share my informative and trending story on blog reading lovers. I like to write articles on eCommerce marketing, digital marketing, and trending technology topics. Connect with me on @sinclairtech