Flipkart is the most trusted brand; Amazon offers best experience: study


According to a study by RedSeer Consulting, a customer is more prone to find best prices on Amazon than on the other five horizontal marketplaces.

Home-grown unicorn Flipkart and US-based mammoth Amazon continue to be the e-commerce market leaders in India according to a latest study. With their fierce competition taking new level in selection, categories, logistics, etc., every day, both players have made a mark among the 300 million online shoppers n the country.

As per ‘E-tailing Leadership Index (ELI)’ study by research firm RedSeer Consulting, Flipkart is the most trusted brand in e-commerce for Indian consumers, while its rival Amazon India offers better customer experience.

In metro cities, Flipkart and Amazon are at a tie as ‘most trusted brands’, while Flipkart is the sole winner in tier-1, tier-2 cities, and beyond, in the same category. In offering the best value proposition too, Flipkart and Amazon tie in the metro cities while Amazon is the clear winner in tier-1, tier-2 cities, and beyond.

Winning the Indian market

Amazon’s clear victory over Flipkart, however, is in customer experience — across geographies — from product discovery to post-delivery experience. With ‘best value’ tag, the study says, Amazon provides maximum value for money and wider “meaningful” assortment. This means that a customer is more prone to find the best prices and discounts available among the e-tailers on Amazon, along with best quality for products.

The RedSeer study explains customer experience thus:

  • Exploring and ordering products (for web and app): how easy and intuitive they find product exploration on the app and websites of the etailers
  • Delivery predictability and experience: how quick and precise is the overall delivery and reverse pick-up in case of returns
  • Consumer experience post-delivery: speed and ease of return and refund; quality of customer support
  • Overall net promoter score (NPS): overall satisfaction of customers with end-to-end experience based on NPS methodology

As per their criteria, Amazon gives the best end-to-end buying experience for online shoppers in the country.

For an establishment which calls itself the ‘most customer-obsessed company in the world,’ Amazon has outdone itself in India – the only market where it follows a marketplace model as opposed to being a retailer. The 23-year-old company launched its operations in India in 2012, and has already gained 100 million app downloads — an achievement which it shared with the 10-year-old Flipkart.

The game changers

The study focuses on only horizontal marketplaces — Flipkart, Amazon India, Ebay, Snapdeal, ShopClues, and Paytm. It is the result of a survey of 7,500 customers across 30 cities (metro, tier 1 and tier 2) in July-September 2017 period, who have purchased something from these websites in the last three months.

Online marketplace Snapdeal – despite keeping a low profile over the last few months after its talks for a merger with Flipkart fell apart – maintains its third position right after the biggies, across all three categories.

Notably, Gurgaon-based online marketplace ShopClues – which focuses on tier 2, 3 and 4 cities and has more than 5 lakh sellers on its platform – comes fifth in the list of six players in terms of brand recall, value proposition, and customer experience.

Peer-to-peer commerce marketplace Ebay, which was acquired by Flipkart earlier this year, has ended up with the poorest results – with the last position in all three criteria.

RedSeer’s statement says that the surveyed sample population data was weighted to represent the actual e-tailing universe. “Statistical technique of TOPSIS (Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) has been used to arrive at the indexing from the responses and hard numbers,” it adds.