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Opinion

Where are the eCommerce sites Getting It Wrong?

Team YS
18th May 2012
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Consumer is king – this is a slogan often repeated by many businesses, but few truly live it. To better understand how eCommerce companies today are faring, we connected and surveyed 300 consumers over the last 2 months. Over 60% of them were not satisfied with their online shopping experience.

What is driving this? Some of the key pain areas for the Indian online shopper are

Inaccurate promotions and bad deals: We all love a bargain and capitalizing on this, many eCommerce sites have resorted to showing every product offer as a deal. Many deals are just stock clearances. Some websites also resort to showing the incorrect MRP, to show a higher discount percentage.

Getting spammed: Aggressive email marketing is being carried out with millions being spammed. The emailers are unsolicited bulk emails with no opt-in or customization.

Poor record of on-time delivery: Ecommerce companies are struggling to fulfill the order within the committed time. Over 40% of consumers had experienced delayed delivery atleast once. Last mile logistics continue to be a challenge that is hard to overcome in India, but without timely delivery and product quality assurance, ecommerce companies will only compete on price with offline retailers.

Product not matching expectations: Bought a shirt or dress. Got it delivered on time. Yay, time to rejoice! Well not really, many a times, the product doesn’t match expectations. Either it’s an issue with the size, or with texture, color, etc. Ecommerce sites would do well to put in as much detail as possible in the description, so that they consumer can take an educated purchase decision.

Despite these issues, consumers are spending more of their monthly budget online. Cost differential is the main driver followed by the convenience of shopping from the comfort of her home/office. Access to large variety of products is the third driver.

At Koolkart, we are translating these learnings to bring brands, retailers and fashion designers onto one platform, enabling consumers to discover great products and quality merchants in categories of his/her interest.

In terms of winning the heart of the consumer, Devdutt Pattanaik sums it well: Darshan karo (meet the consumer), Pooja karo (worship the consumer) Phir prasad milega (then you will get the fruit). Time to do the pooja :)

The views and insights belong to Suneil Chawla and Anupam Agarwal, founders at Koolkart. You can read their story here and also their dissection of social discovery.

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