Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well. Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions. This is an effective and efficient way of communicating within an organization and one of the most effective and useful ways of conducting business. E-commerce can be divided into:
E-tailing or “virtual storefronts” on websites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a “virtual mall” Buying or Selling on various websites and/or online marketplaces The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospective and established customers (for example, with newsletters) Business-to-business buying and selling
The security of business transactions
Introduction to the E-Commerce & Internet Business
The global Internet audience continues to grow rapidly, with the worldwide base of broadband Internet users (including fixed and wireless) in the 2 billion range as 2013 began. This vast base of Internet users encourages businesses to innovate in order to offer an ever-evolving array of online
services. Sectors that are growing very rapidly online include the sale of entertainment, event tickets, travel, apparel and consumer electronics. The most powerful trends on the Internet include access via wireless devices, migration of entertainment to the web and cloud-based software as a service.
Today, as a result of the recent recession, consumers are more focused than ever on finding the best prices. Consequently, e-commerce firms that offer high value at low prices are well positioned to prosper. The standout winner in e-commerce continues to be Amazon, where sales have soared thanks to aggressive discount pricing, free shipping for its “Prime” members and an ever-growing variety of merchandise categories. Amazon’s revenues rose by 27% in 2012 to $61.0 billion. Books, movies, music and other media now account for the minority of Amazon’s sales, while electronics and general merchandise bring in the largest share by far. Amazon’s sales outside of North America are booming as well. Clearly, there is growing adoption of online consumer purchases throughout the world’s major economies, and the soaring number of broadband users is paving the way.
Analysts at eMarketer reported American e-commerce sales in 2012 of an estimated $343 billion. This figure includes online retail sales, travel sales ($119 billion) and digital downloads, but not sales of tickets to events or online gambling. Global Internet retail sales exceeded $1 trillion for the first time in 2012, up 21.1% from 2011. For 2013, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to see 30% growth in online sales, reaching $433 billion. China alone is expected to be the second largest e-commerce market in the world with $181 billion (up 65% from 2012) behind the U.S., which should hit $384 billion in 2013. Plunkett Research estimates global travel sales online at $320 billion for 2012.
Online advertising in 2012 in the U.S. reached $37.3 billion, according to eMarketer, accounting for 24% of all advertising spending in America. Online advertising leader Google’s recent results are a good indicator of the strong growth in online advertising. The firm saw revenues soar 21.3% in fiscal 2012, to $46.0 billion (not including its acquisition of Motorola’s mobile division).
Growth in broadband subscriptions worldwide continues at a strong pace. The number of American homes and businesses with broadband access capabilities topped 90 million by the end of 2012, thanks in part to modest monthly fees at Internet service providers. This number does not include mobile broadband users, estimated at another 180 million.
A significant evolution is taking place in the world of business, as more and more telecommunications move to the Internet. VOIP continues to grow in popularity. Meanwhile, the concept of “unified communications” threatens to completely revolutionize business communications by combining all communications into one screen on the desktop, including phone, fax, e-mail, instant messaging, voice mail and teleconferencing. Voice communications will be digitized and archived, just as e-mail is today. A user’s communications tools will move seamlessly from the desktop to the mobile device.
Convergence: The Internet is about saving time (and therefore saving money), and the potential of the Internet has barely been tapped. New methods of taking advantage of efficiencies are becoming widely accepted, as access to high-speed broadband Internet connections becomes commonplace. Users of the Internet (both business and consumer) are multiplying around the globe, and many companies are earning terrific profits in the process of serving those users. The long-awaited phenomenon of “convergence” of entertainment, computing and communications arrived around 2004 when enough consumers had subscriptions to broadband to create a true mass market and new online service offerings proliferated. The smartphone (and tablet) revolution accelerated this trend. Now, the latest televisions come equipped with built-in Internet connections. This is going to create radical changes in the way TV viewers obtain their movies and TV programming over the near term. For example, subscribers to Netflix are able to stream downloaded movies directly to their Internet-connected TV sets.
Top selling product and services categories online include travel, clothing and accessories, books, music, videos, electronics and specialty foods. In
these markets, online shopping amounts to a significant share of sales. Meanwhile, many of the world’s largest storefront retailers operate some of the most-visited Internet sites. For example, online traffic is extremely strong at the sites of Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Home Depot, Lowes, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Cabela’s and Barnes & Noble.
A Brief History of the Online Sector: The e-commerce and Internet sector has evolved rapidly, going through several distinct stages since its beginnings in the 1970s: The Internet Is Born: First, there were the early days, when the Internet was seen by many as a realm for techies only, one that would produce few, if any, commercial enterprises. Initially designed in 1973, the Internet was a series of communication protocols written by Vinton Cerf as part of a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The first demonstration of a three-network Internet protocol-based connection occurred in November 1977. Eventually, a well-enabled Internet was rolled out in 1983, primarily as a failsafe method of defense communications and as a means for researchers at various universities to communicate.
The Web Is Created: Next, the World Wide Web and the coding language of HTML were conceived in 1989 and implemented between 1990 and 1993 by Tim Berners-Lee, enabling a never-ending hyperlinked cyberworld where sharing unlimited data became user-friendly thanks to the magic of linked pages.
The Boom Ensues: Starting in 1993 and 1994, entrepreneurs and financiers realized that hyperlinked, electronically posted data could be commercialized with vast, global potential. A dramatic revolution in retailing, publishing and entertainment was visualized, one in which consumers and business people alike would eagerly pay for the convenience of online shopping, trading and viewing of published data. An economic boom ensued, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the beginnings of earlier technological breakthroughs: electricity, the railroad, the telephone, the automobile and the passenger-carrying airliner.
Thousands of hopeful new businesses were launched. Capitalization for these
new Internet-enabled companies ranged from cash-strapped ventures launched in garages with Visa card credit lines, to companies like WebVan that received vast sums from professionally managed venture capital firms only to fail miserably. Roughly 6,000 new firms of significant size raised a cumulative total of more than $100 billion in venture capital in the boom period (1994-2000). About 450 of these companies sold their stock to the public via IPOs (initial public offerings). Stock markets soared and instant billionaires were made, although many of those stocks later plummeted. Venture funds that cashed out early reaped phenomenal gains, and financiers easily found additional investors for new venture capital pools. Companies with little or no sales and profits, led by the success of Netscape’s IPO, found eager buyers for their newly issued stocks. The NASDAQ index of stocks rose to 5,000 by early in the year 2000, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve warned of “exuberant optimism.” Some said this boom couldn’t last—others said it was the beginning of a “new economy” that would last forever.
The Bust: In mid-2000, the Internet industry entered a bleak and dreary phase after the NASDAQ collapsed in March, bringing the entire sector to its knees. By October 10, 2002, the NASDAQ was down to 1,108 from a high of 5,132 in March 2000. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs. Stock portfolio values plummeted. Thousands of firms closed their doors, filed bankruptcy, downsized or were scooped up at bargain prices by competitors. Sellers of hardware, software, consulting and telecommunications services suffered mightily. Entrepreneurs found it nearly impossible to raise funds to launch or sustain their businesses. The dream of a “new economy” became a nightmare for some—profits still matter; business cycles still happen. The Reality Phase: By early 2003, this sector’s dark clouds were abating, and a “reality phase” was taking shape. Well-conceived, Internet-based businesses were proving their value. Consumers had become devoted fans of buying over the Internet. Businesses of all types were finding that the Internet creates true operating efficiencies and drives profitability. For example, while most of the airline industry suffered terribly in recent years, value-based discount airlines Southwest and JetBlue enjoyed superior financial
performance, in no small part because of their use of e-commerce to efficiently book reservations and sell tickets online. “Efficiency” is the most important factor in the e-commerce and Internet sector’s newfound success. Consumers find the Internet to be a terrific way to efficiently expend their shopping and banking efforts. Travelers find the Internet to be an efficient way to book hotels rooms, flights and rental cars. Consumers of all types use eBay to look for bargains, autotrader.com to look for cars at great prices and iTunes to download music. Corporate procurement managers find the Internet to be the most efficient way to purchase needed goods and inventory. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide find e-mail, instant messaging and VOIP telephony to be the most efficient ways to communicate. Low Costs Fuel the Steady Global Growth Phase: Today, access to fast Internet, both wired and wireless, is available at bargain prices in a growing footprint across the globe. Even in relatively undeveloped nations, both consumers and businesses have grown to rely on the Internet for everyday needs. The “second billion” set of users worldwide has been reached, and the third billion is clearly in sight over the mid term, as cheaper devices continue to proliferate. Mobile computing is accelerating at blazing speed thanks to moderately-priced smartphone plans offering fast Internet access. Meanwhile, the cost of developing and maintaining web sites has plummeted, opening the door to millions of self-funded entrepreneurs, and making it easier for venture capital firms to fund startups using low amounts of cash. Trends such as open software and cloud computing, along with modular software development tools, have made it easier, faster and cheaper to start sophisticated web sites.
History in WORLD
Online Shopping History (1990-2012)
Origin of Online Shopping• In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser.• It opened for commercial use in 1991.• In 1994 other advances took place, such as online banking and the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut. Online Shopping over 1991• It was the year 1991 when the NSF (National Science Foundation) cleared the way for the commercial use of NET. This was considered to be a major boost for the ecommerce industry and its future growth.• Statistics state that the traffic
on the backbone network of NSF jumped to over 1 trillion bytes per month in the year 1991 itself after it was opened for commercial use Online Shopping over 1992• A book called “Future Shop: How new technologies will change the way we shop and what we buy” was published in the year 1992.• The book was considered revolutionary considering the fact that it talked about what will happen in the future of ecommerce and how the Internet will take shape. Online Shopping over 1994“Mother of all Years” for ecommerce as Net scape launched encryption certificate which became the trustworthy means of transmitting data over the Internet &The year 1994 also marked the launch of Yahoo! though the domain was registered later in the year1995. This truly gave the Internet and ecommerce a completely new direction. © Copyright 2011 – 2012 www.DealsDirect.com.au Online Shopping over 1995• It was the year 1995 when NSF started charging a fee for registering domain names.• At that time the Internet had 12,000domain names registered and the number jumped to over 2 Million in the next 3 years.• $100 for 2 Years was the price for a Domain in the year 1995. Online Shopping over 1995• PayPal came into existence in the year 1998. The current PayPal system that we see is actually the merger of X.COM, a financial service company of the late 2000s, and Cofinity which happened to be a payment and cartographic company.• It was the year 1998 only when Google entered the world of ecommerce and Yahoo! launched Yahoo! Stores online. Online Shopping After 2000• As they say, what followed after Google is history. Be it the dot com bubble or the Web2.0, the Internet has experienced exponential growth (with its own pitfalls) that has shaped the lives of many.• As we know it, the Internet continues to grow with major and minor ecommerce companies launching their own set of stores.• Today, we can literally buy anything via the Internet. That is the wonderland of ecommerce• This presentation was based on the study conducted by www.1stwebdesigner.com. The complete findings and the details can be found here.
Over the last ten years the history of online shopping has been shaped. While online shopping is commonplace now, it hasn’t been around forever. The World Wide Web became popular around 1989 and 1990 and has since seen an e-commerce explosion. Online Banking
The second important step in the history of online shopping, beyond the invention of the Internet itself, was online banking. It was created and developing in 1994, making online transactions possible.
The Unlikely Frontrunner
Though surprising, Pizza Hut was the first online retailer. They were the first pizza chain to offer online ordering or home delivery during a 1994 test phase in Santa Cruz, California. All locations got the option in 2007.
In 1995, Amazon launched as an online bookstore. Once the company realized other goods were also at high demand, they expanded to offer a bigger selection of merchandise.
The First eBay Auction
The online auction site, eBay, also began in 1995 and quickly grew in popularity. To this day, Amazon and eBay are the biggest online retailers.
Today, most brick-and-mortar stores have an online counterpart. With faster connections and better technology, the online shopping sector has been able to grow and gain popularity. Many people favor shopping online over going to the store for convenience and price comparison opportunities
History in INDIA
For the past few years, the Indian retail sector has been witnessing tremendous growth, and contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. Though the country’ retail sector is highly unorganized, organized retailing is growing at a rapid pace to grab a considerable market share. According to our new research report, with the growth in organized retailing, the online retail segment is emerging as a new platform in the market. It is estimated that the online retail market will grow at a compound annual rate of around 39% during FY 2013 to FY 2016. The report, “Indian Online Retail Market Analysis”, finds that online retail has been growing in the country at an unprecedented rate. With the rising internet penetration and broadband
availability, and growing culture of Smartphones and tablets, people have started buying products online. As per our study, the major reasons driving the online buying is cash-on-delivery facility, and discounts & offers provided by the online retailers. The busy lifestyle in metros is also propelling people to buy products online. On studying the latest trends and drivers, we observed how the growing sales of kids’ products and grocery are expected to boost the online retail market in India. As per our research, online retail account for less than 1% of the total retail market in India, and thus, presents a huge growth potential for international retailers. Domestic players are also expanding their reach to the online customers. For understanding the market in a better way, we also conducted a survey on consumer behavior towards online shopping. It revealed that metros or tier-I cities have more awareness about online retailing as compared to tier-II & III cities. It was also found that electronic products are most popular among online buyers. The survey also analyzed buying habits, major reasons for online shopping, purchase preferences, and spending patterns under different price bands. The government is supporting the growth of organized retailing, and has allowed 100% FDI for single brand retail outlets, and 51% for multi-brand retail outlets. Our report provides an insight into the government policies and regulations (cyber laws), and various industry roadblocks which will help clients understand the market structure. In order to study the competitive landscape, we have also done a SWOT analysis of major players in the Indian online retail market, including flipkart.com, snapdeal.com, and homeshop18.com. We are hopeful that this comprehensive research work will prove decisive for the clients.
Indian shopping is finally moving online, and the trend is here to stay. So proves a report on the online shopping trends revealed by Google India on 28 January, by combining consumer interest observed on Google search and online research conducted by TNS. The study also shows that the existent users are satisfied with their online experience, with 90 per cent online shoppers claiming that they plan to buy more products online. As per the study, there was a 128 per cent growth in consumer interest in 2012. Rajan Anandan, VP & Managing Director of Google India, said: “With approximately 8 million Indians shopping online in 2012, online shopping industry in India is
growing rapidly and will continue to see exponential growth. The report was compiled by combining data from Google Trends and online research conducted by TNS Australia with a sample size of 800 respondents on behalf of Google India in November 2012. The apparel and accessories category has risen to the top by becoming second largest product category in terms of consumer interest in the country with 30 per cent of total market interest, after electronics which holds 34 per cent of the market. The report showed that in terms of product categories, this is the one to watch out for, since it is expected to overtake electronics in 2013. In terms of the top product categories ever purchased online, apparels and accessories was the top category with 84 per cent, followed by electronics at 71 per cent. The frequency of purchase was higher for categories like apparels and accessories at 34 per cent and beauty and personal care at 33 per cent, making it more profitable because of repeat purchase. Other categories that Indians searched for online in 2012 were Books, Beauty & Personal Care, Home and furnishing, Baby products and Healthcare. Home & furnishing and healthcare saw their growth double, and were the fastest growing categories in terms of query volume on Google search.
Says Anandan, “We expect the growth to come from outside of top 8 metros as was evident in our recently concluded “Great Online Shopping Festival” which saw over 51 % of traffic from non-metros.” Non-metros seem to be fuelling the growth of online, with states like UP, West Bengal, Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand showing considerable online activity. As mentioned by Anandan, the tremendous growth of online shopping in small towns and cities is not counter intuitive, since these areas do not always have access to regularly updated stock as compared to metros. The online portal provides these unavailable products to their doorsteps, often at discounted prices. The report found a correlation between online ticketing and online shopping, with online ticket buyers being more comfortable with the online portal for transactions, thereby having a tendency to shop online. Besides having a higher average amount spent on their first product purchased of INR 2347, as compared to INR 1626 for other internet shoppers, online ticket buyers are more comfortable with the use of debit and credit cards, as opposed to cash on delivery.
TechNavio’s analysts forecast the E-tailing market in India to grow at a CAGR of 70.94 percent over the period 2011-2015. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing penetration of technology in India. The E-tailing market in India has also been witnessing the extensive adoption in non-metro cities. However, the price wars among vendors could pose a challenge to the growth of this market. •TechNavio’s report, the E-tailing Market in India 2011-2015, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers India; it also covers the E-tailing market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. •The key vendors dominating this market space are Flipkart.com, Futurebazaar.com, Myntra.com, and Yebhi.com. •The other vendors mentioned in the report are Snapdeal.com, Ebay.in, Homeshop18.com, Naaptol.com, Infibeam.com, Tradus.com, Shopping.Indiatimes.com, IndiaPlaza.com, Shopperstop.com, Fashionandyou.com, Jabong.com, Crazeal.com, 99Labels.com, Shop.seventymm.com, BeStylish.com, Inkfruit.com, Firstcry.com, Timtara.com, Babyoye.com, Dealsandyou.com, Mydala.com, Khojguru.com, Getadiscount.com, Koovs.com, Fnp.com, 20North.com, Pepperfry.com, Fashionara.com, Ladyblush.com, Shopnineteen.com, Shop.inonit.com, Herstyle.in, Zovi.com, Teesort.com, Urbantouch.com, Lenskart.com, Watchkart.com, Bagskart.com, Yepme.com, Chhabra.com, Utsavfashion.in, Bedbathmore.com, Yes2fashion.com, Jewelskart.com, Araamshop.com, Healthkart.com, Naturalmantra.com, Bookadda.com, Crossword.in, Uread.com, Sports365.in, Mysportcart.com, Landmarkonthenet.com, Metroshoes.net, Libertyshoesonline.com, Bata.in, Fashos.com, Jewelsnext.com, Juvalia.in, and Bigbasket.com. Many players were trying to revamp the structure of online shopping in India, including the global leader eBay. But things conceptualized in 2010, after increased competition in the market forcing better services and offers from online retailers. Extensive use of advertisements and presence on social media websites also helped these online shopping websites to gain brand recognition. Today, the services have improved so much that online marketers offer products at huge discounts, with delivery in 48 hours, along with a no question asked return policy. All these factors along with increasing
penetration of internet, improved rate of literacy, introduction of safe & secure technology, etc. have been able to drive the online retail market in India.
According to ‘India Online Retail Market Forecast & Opportunities 2016’, India will witness changing shopping trends in the next few years. India is set to become the third largest nation of internet users in the next two years itself. The online retail market in India is expected to grow immensely, given the rising middle class in India, with growing disposable income in hands and lesser availability of time to spend the same. ‘India Online Retail Market Forecast & Opportunities 2016’ discusses the following aspects related to online retail market in India:
– Global Online Retail Market Size & Forecast
– India Online Retail Market Size & Forecast
– Online Retail Market: Segment Wise Forecast
– Distribution Structure & Sales Channel
– Market Trends & Developments
– Competitive Landscape
Market size and growth
India’s e-commerce market was worth about $2.5 billion in 2009, it went up to $6.3 billion in 2011 and to $14 billion in 2012. About 75% of this is travel related (airline tickets, railway tickets, hotel bookings, online mobile recharge etc.). Online Retailing comprises about 12.5% ($300 Million as of 2009). India has close to 10 million online shoppers and is growing at an estimated 30% CAGR vis-à-vis a global growth rate of 8–10%. Electronics and Apparel are the biggest categories in terms of sales. Key drivers in Indian e-commerce are:
Increasing broadband Internet (growing at 20% MoM) and 3G penetration. Rising standards of living and a burgeoning, upwardly mobile middle class with high disposable incomes Availability of much wider product range (including long tail and Direct Imports) compared to what is available at brick and mortar retailers Busy lifestyles, urban traffic congestion and
lack of time for offline shopping Lower prices compared to brick and mortar retail driven by disintermediation and reduced inventory and real estate costs Increased usage of online classified sites, with more consumer buying and selling second-hand goods Evolution of the online marketplace model with sites like eBay, Infibeam, and Tradus. The evolution of ecommerce has come a full circle with marketplace models taking center stage again. India’s retail market is estimated at $470 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to $675 Bn by 2016 and $850 Bn by 2020, – estimated CAGR of 7%. According to Forrester, the e-commerce market in India is set to grow the fastest within the Asia-Pacific Region at a CAGR of over 57% between 2012–16. As per “India Goes Digital”, a report by Avendus Capital, a leading Indian Investment Bank specializing in digital media and technology sector, the Indian e-commerce market is estimated at Rs 28,500 Crore ($6.3 billion) for the year 2011. Online travel constitutes a sizable portion (87%) of this market today. Online travel market in India is expected to grow at a rate of 22% over the next 4 years and reach Rs 54,800 Crore ($12.2 billion) in size by 2015. Indian e-tailing industry is estimated at Rs 3,600 crore (US$800 mn) in 2011 and estimated to grow to Rs 53,000 Crore ($11.8 billion) in 2015. Overall e-commerce market is expected to reach Rs 1,07,800 crores (US$ 24 billion) by the year 2015 with both online travel and e-tailing contributing equally. Another big segment in e-commerce is mobile/DTH recharge with nearly 1 million transactions daily by operator websites like Airtel.in, Vodafone.in and third party sites like paytm.com,rechargeitnow.com
According to the latest research by Forrester, a leading global research and advisory firm, the e-commerce market in India is set to grow the fastest within the Asia-Pacific Region at a CAGR of over 57% between 2012-16. The report, titled “Asia Pacific Online Retail Forecast, 2011 To 2016,” has been issued by Forrester Research Inc. Analyst Zia Daniell Wigder, with Steven Noble, Vikram Sehgal and Lily Varon. The recently released report looks at growth in key e-commerce markets in the Asia-Pacific region, besides identifying key trends in each of the markets and projected market size by country over the next five years. Forrester had written its first online retail forecast for the Asia Pacific region in October 2010. As per the
company, since then, e-commerce in every market in the region has charged ahead, with growth continued unabated. As per Wigder, “India will grow quickly off a small base.India’s eCommerce market, by far the smallest of those covered in the forecast, is poised to grow by more than five-fold by 2016 as the number of online buyers and per capita online spending increase rapidly. This market is gaining more attention as global brands look to markets that are in the early stages of eCommerce adoption but offer significant long-term potential.” As per the report, while compound annual growth rates in the mature e-commerce markets of Japan, South Korea, and Australia will run 11% to 12% over the next five years, in the rapidly growing markets of China and India, these growth rates will be 25% and 57%, respectively. The report also highlights the rapid growth of the e-commerce market in neighbouring China, where a CAGR of over 20% will take the market to over $350 billion. According to Wigder, “When the U.S. online retail market was roughly the same size as China’s is today, it was growing at a fraction of the pace.” Forrester Research’s projections for Asia-Pacific e-commerce sales by country (in billions, in U.S. dollars), in 2012 and 2016.
The forecast notes e-commerce’s rapid growth in India, where sales are forecast to grow 57% annually through 2016. Wigder says e-commerce sales in India will surpass $1 billion for the first time this year and reach $8.8 billion by 2016. India’s e-commerce industry is set to grow on the back of rising demand from consumers and increasing penetration of technology. The report gives credence to the fact that E-Commerce in India is here to stay. Forrester is a global research and advisory firm headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusets, and has over 1200 employees across 27 cities. The company has over 450 research professionals and serves over 2,600 clients with revenues in excess of $220 million. The company was founded in 1983 by George F.Colony who now serves as its CEO and Chairman of the Board.
Major Challenges faced by Ecommerce Industry in India
The eCommerce industry in India is growing at a remarkable pace due to high penetration of internet and sophisticated electronic devices. However, the recent growth rate of eCommerce in India is far lagging behind than other developed countries. There are many big problems and challenged on the way
of an online merchant. Factors like safety and security of online money transaction being the biggest problem along with others, have curb the smooth expansion of the online industry in the country. Although, major portion of e-business sectors have affected by the below mentioned challenges but still there are few online giants like Makemytrip.com, flipkart.com, Snapdeal.com who have overcome the challenges and represents the perfect growth trends of eCommerce in India.
Poor Knowledge and Awareness: When it comes to ratio of internet consumers, scenario is not so admirable one. Majority of Indian rural population are unaware of internet and it uses. Surprisingly, most of internet savvies or urban population are also suffering from poor knowledge on online business and its functionalities. Very few are aware of the online corruption and fraud and thus darkness still exists. A reliable survey reveals that 50% of Indian online users are unaware of the solution of online security. Online Transaction: Most of Indian customers do not possess plastic money, credit card, debit card and net banking system, which is one of the prime reasons to curtail the growth of ecommerce. Nevertheless, in recent years, some of the nationalized banks have started to issue debit cards to all its account holders. This is undoubtedly a positive sign for Indian online entrepreneurs. Cash On Delivery:Cash on Delivery (COD) has evolved out of less penetration of credit card in India. Most of Indian E-commerce companies are offering COD as one of mode of payment for the buyers. 30%-50% of buyers are also taking advantage of this mode of payment while making purchase of any product and service over internet. COD has been introduced to counter the payment security issues of online transaction, but this mode has been proving to be loss and expensive to the companies. It is seen that majority of the customers denied to make the payment at the time of delivery of the product. Hence, companies tend to lose the sale along with product transit fees. In order to curb the problem of COD, online companies should take some judicial steps; otherwise basic logic behind the ecommerce business will be at risk. Online Security : In case of start up and small business, Business owners are ignoring the importance of authentic software due to budget constraints. They are even failing to take the initial steps to secure and protect their online business through installation of
authentic protection services like antivirus and firewall protection, which indeed a crucial step for successful online business players.In India, maximum number of business entrepreneurs used unauthorized software in their server, which usually does not come with upgraded online security. Such pirated software leaves room for virus, malwares and Trojan attacks and it is highly risky task to make online transactions in the systems, which may disclose or leak sensitive details of credit cards and online banking of the users. These kinds of droopiness should be banned in Indian ecommerce sectors. Affiliation to SSL certificate should be imposed as a mandatory action for every owner. Logistics and Shipment Services: In India, logistics and courier services required lots of improvement. While, perfect and strong logistics service is one of the key reasons behind the success of any online company, India is lagging far behind in this sector as most of the town and small villages are still not covered under serviceable area of many of the courier and logistic companies. Ecommerce is hampered in a big way owing to the limited services offered by the courier service companies. Tax Structure: Tax rate system of Indian market is another factor for lesser growth rate of eCommerce in India in comparison to other developed countries like USA and UK. In those countries, tax rate is uniform for all sectors whereas tax structure of India varies from sector to sector. This factor creates accounting problems for the Indian online business companies. Fear factor: Fear of making online payment is a universal psychological factor of Indian customers. With the spread of knowledge on online transactions and its reliability, some percentages of customers have overlooked this fear and they are fearlessly engaging themselves in online shopping. But still, majority of customers are not aware of online transactions and its security. They often reluctant to disclose their credit card and bank details and preferred to stay away from online world of shopping. ‘Touch and Feel’ factors: Indian customers are more comfortable in buying products physically. They tend to choose the product by touching the product directly. Thereby, Indian buyers are more inclined to do ticketing and booking online in Travel sectors, books and electronics. Companies dealing with products like apparel, handicrafts, jewelry have to face challenges to sell their products as the buyers want to see and touch before they buy these stuffs.
The 7 challenges faced by Indian e-commerce websites and how usability resolves it:
1. Poor Web Design
A good web design is essential to guide the visitors around the website. The visitors want to grasp as much information in minimum time. Have a few points to focus, keep them informative but concise. 2. Difficult Product Discovery
People may come looking for a particular product or an article that they read or heard about. Product discovery should be made simple by providing a quick search option on the website. 3. Display of Out of Stock Merchandise in the Product List
Hide a product/size/colour when the stock runs out or display the current quantity of items in stock on the product page. This will reduce any surprises for the customer when they reach the view cart page. 4. Fear factor
Majority of the Indian customers are reluctant to disclose their card details online. Showing security icons and credibility indicators like McAfee Secure and TrustE badges will assure them that all the online transactions with the website will be safe and reliable. 5. Complicated Checkout Process
The checkout process should be simple and linear. Use simple form design and add descriptions to the form field labels. Use illustrations to enhance the descriptions (for example, an image of CVV number on a credit card). 6. Compulsory Registration
Customers dislike registering for another account. Make registration optional after the checkout process. For registration keep the customer email address as the username and ask them to input a password for the account creation. 7. Logistics and Courier Services
In India, the logistics and courier services are very poor. The online website companies should work to build up their own logistics team or tie up with the local courier services to provide improved reachability and on time delivery. ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES
There are many different benefits of E-commerce and E-business. Some of the benefits of E-commerce include purchases can be made 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, making it available to every place in the world, at any time. Other benefits of E-commerce include a larger marketplace, more secure then using cheques, can increase you sales potential, leads to increased productivity. Benefits of E-business include improved speed of response, cost savings, reduced in inventory, better transfer of best practices, and improved customer service. These are all benefits and advantages of E-commerce and E-Business.
· With the use of e-commerce you can promote your product globally. · Reduces Time and money spent
· Gives a competitive advantages
· Removes Location and availability restrictions
· Heightens customer service
Elderly and disabled people do not have to leave their home.
· Security – there are still some people who don’t think it is safe to buy on-line therefore as their isn’t a high-street shop will loss their custom. · You may not receive what you believe you have purchased. · Things such as viruses could mean losing the site or affecting your customers computers while on your website. If you book a holiday, the ‘company’ also knows when you are out.
BENEFITS OF E-COMMERCE
• Ecommerce allows people to carry out businesses without the barriers of time or distance. One can log on to the Internet at any point of time, be it day or night and purchase or sell anything one desires at a
single click of the mouse. • The direct cost-of-sale for an order taken from a web site is lower than through traditional means (retail, paper based), as there is no human interaction during the on-line electronic purchase order process. Also, electronic selling virtually eliminates processing errors, as well as being faster and more convenient for the visitor. • Ecommerce is ideal for niche products. Customers for such products are usually few. But in the vast market place i.e. the Internet, even niche products could generate viable volumes. • Another important benefit of Ecommerce is that it is the cheapest means of doing business. • The day-to-day pressures of the marketplace have played their part in reducing the opportunities for companies to invest in improving their competitive position. A mature market, increased competitions have all reduced the amount of money available to invest. If the selling price cannot be increased and the manufactured cost cannot be decreased then the difference can be in the way the business is carried out. Ecommerce has provided the solution by decimating the costs, which are incurred. • From the buyer’s perspective also ecommerce offers a lot of tangible advantages. 1. Reduction in buyer’s sorting out time.
2. Better buyer decisions
3. Less time is spent in resolving invoice and order discrepancies. 4. Increased opportunities for buying alternative products.
• The strategic benefit of making a business ‘ecommerce enabled’, is that it helps reduce the delivery time, labour cost and the cost incurred in the following areas:-
1. Document preparation
2. Error detection and correction
4. Mail preparation
5. Telephone calling
6. Credit card machines
7. Data entry
9. Supervision expenses
• Operational benefits of e commerce include reducing both the time and personnel required to complete business processes, and reducing strain on other resources. It’s because of all these advantages that one can harness the power of ecommerce and convert a business to e-business by using powerful turnkey ecommerce solutions made available by e-business solution providers.
About some online shopping site
Review of Yebhi.com
Yebhi is one of the most popular shopping sites renowned for good deals on Footwear and Clothing. Yebhi and Myntra have become a household name in India owing to the convenience offered to customers by providing Cash-on-delivery service, and impeccable after-sales service and a transparent Returns policy. Ease of Shopping on Yebhi.com:
Shopping on Yebhi is a breeze. I’d go so far as to call it the haven of shoppers in terms of ease of use. The site has recently undergone a makeover for the better, and though the new site is rather graphic heavy, it does load rather quickly. Searching for items is very accurate though it does not offer any Advanced Search facility. However if you’re a casual shopper, you may find it better to find what Yebhi has to offer by browsing through the sidebar and may find a nice surprise. Yebhi offers a very good categorization of items and you can swiftly find your dream product. Payments on Yebhi.com
Yebhi is one of the best in terms of offering a variety of payment options. In fact you’re in for a huge surprise when you discover that Yebhi offers Cash on Delivery for everything! You can order anything (no minimum value required), and Yebhi will deliver it free to your doorstep. You can then pay the courier guy. The characteristic feature of Yebhi is that they offer COD even on already discounted items and items on which a coupon has been applied. If you wish to pay in advance, Yebhi also offers a variety of payment options, and support all major credit and debit cards. The payment process is worry-free, and failed transactions auto-refund to the same mode of payment. Yebhi offers free shipping on all items even on COD. So it’s a
great shopping experience. Yebhi also claims to offer a “phone shopping” option.
Shipping time and reliability of order completion on Yebhi.com: Yebhi like Myntra is renowned for its lightning quick shipment delivery. They ship on the same day of placement of order, and the items reach the destination usually within 3 days. Blue Dart is the shipping partner, and in association with them Yebhi offers free COD. They also claim to offer a “Try and Buy” in metros, however I’ve never had experience with this. I have never faced an issue of not receiving an item ordered on Tradus. Ease of Availing Returns on Yebhi.com:
Yebhi has a transparent returns policy, and claim to offer returns on a “No questions asked basis” for unused items. Yebhi offers a 100 day “No questions” asked returns on all unused products. In this regard, Yebhi offers a unique deal to customers, and seems to be the key to the huge popularity Yebhi has enjoyed in recent months. Yebhi has a transparent returns policy. After sales support and Enquiry at Yebhi.com
After sales support and returns on Yebhi is a breeze. The customer care techs are extremely supportive. Promotions and Coupons at Yebhi.com
Yebhi used to be renowned for their amazing discount offers via coupons. However in recent years, Yebhi has cut down on coupon offers and has restricted coupons to certain categories of goods. Additional Features/Comments
Yebhi is one of the best shopping portals in India.
Review of Myntra.com
Myntra, like Yebhi is one of the most popular shopping sites in India. It has carved a niche among these sites for Clothing, and offers a huge variety of Clothing. It also offers footwear and accessories. Ease of Shopping:
Shopping on Myntra is a no-brainer. The site is well designed, and offers a simple search for items. The results and item browser is very simple to use,
with quick previews of listings, along with accurate close-up photos of the actual item. Fabric details are presented very well, and I’d go as far as to say that Myntra offers a truly comfortable shopping experience similiar to actual shopping in a real shop. Results can be sorted according to price, and is very easy to compare and contrast. Payments
As with Yebhi, Myntra too offers a huge variety of payment options. In fact you may be in for a huge surprise when you discover that Myntra like Yebhi offers Cash on Delivery for everything! You can order anything (no minimum value required), and Myntra too will deliver it free to your doorstep. You can then pay the courier guy. If you wish to pay in advance, Myntra also offers a variety of payment options, and support all major credit and debit cards. The payment process is worry-free, and failed transactions auto-refund to the same mode of payment. Yebhi offers free shipping on all items even on COD. So it’s a great shopping experience. Shipping time and reliability of order completion:
Myntra is famous for its lightning quick shipment delivery. In fact, Myntra ships items within a few hours of order placement! You may be shocked to receive courier tracking number for your items within a couple of hours of placing the orders! They ship on the same day of placement of order, and the items reach the destination usually within 2-3 days. Myntra has a transparent 24 hour shipping policy. Ease of Availing Returns:
Myntra has a transparent returns policy, and claim to offer returns on a “No questions asked basis” for unused items. Myntra offers a 30 day returns on all unused products except innerwear, cosmetics, socks, deodorants, perfumes and free items. In this regard, Myntra like Yebhi offers a great deal to customers, and seems to be the key to the huge popularity Myntra too has enjoyed in recent months. After sales support and Enquiry
After sales support and returns on Myntra is a breeze. The customer care techs are extremely supportive. Myntra does not have a Toll free number for support. But they advertise their telephone number, email and address prominently, in addition to having a Web contact form. Promotions and Coupons
Recent shift in policy has made Myntra stop offering promotions for discounted items. Since most items on Myntra appear to be discounted, shopping on Myntra does not provide the satisfaction that it used to in terms of happiness in getting a steal deal. Additional Features/Comments
Myntra is one of the best shopping portals in India.
Review of Ebay.in
Originally, the only e-shopping known to the majority of people, Ebay.in is most famous for the sheer variety of goods available on the portal. From the latest gadgets to clothes to currencies and stamps for the *philes, Ebay has everything. Ebay in itself doesnt stock anything, it relies on deriving profits from listings and sales by thousands of sellers from Kashmir to Chennai. Ease of Shopping:
The site is well designed. You can search keywords, put in price restrictions, sort by price (even inclusive of shipping cost), use Boolean (Or and And) searches using the Advanced Search option. Payments:
Ebay.in offers a variety os payment options, and support all major credit and debit cards, and Netbanking options of major banks. They claim to offer Cash on Delivery too, but you’d be hard pressed to find sellers who offer COD for their products. The payment process is worry-free, and failed transactions auto-refund to the same mode of payment. Shipping time and reliability of order completion:
Ebay.in has fixed shipping deadlines. As of this review, the shipping deadlines on Ebay are as follows: •Entering shipping details: Within 1-5 days of buyer’s payment confirmation •Delivering item to buyer: Within 1-7 days of entering shipping details in My PaisaPay Dashboard Most good (high volume) sellers deliver on time and most adhere to shipping deadlines. Because of being a pool of different sellers, the courier companies vary from seller to seller. In many cases you can phone up sellers (you get their contact details immediately after payment) and request shipping through a particular courier service. Ease of Availing Returns:
Ebay.in ‘claims’ to offer their trademark “Paisapay” option for your payment process. In truth, it is not really an option. All transactions are “Paisa pay”. What they describe is trouble free returns of your product of you’re not fully satisfied of your purchase with regard to Item Description. In simple words, they claim to return your money or offer a replacement product if the item you receive is “significantly different” from what the seller listed, or if the goods you recieve are defective. Does it work? More often than not, Paisapay is a load of crap. Ebay has stopped giving money entailed in shipping the defective goods back to the seller. Many sellers resist allegations of defective goods. Ebay’s handling of Paisapay claims is via “Claims adjusters” who are just Call centre employees who are intermediaries between sellers and buyers, and try to settle the claims. The Claims adjusters mostly rule in favor of the sellers, and are difficult to contact. Even if a favorable resolution is passed, it takes around a month to get your money back, since claims take more than three weeks to process, and most of this time is spent by Ebay in waiting it out. On more than one occasion, I have had occasion to file Consumer complaints against Ebay. After sales support and Enquiry
Ebay provides a Toll free number for contact along with Web contact forms. The web contact forms are never replied to. Calling them up is a chore, mostly due to odd and paranoid security checks that they’ve implemented to verify your identity. Through the Toll free number, you can contact them for enquiries and complaints. Promotions and Coupons
Ebay irregularly provides shopping coupons for shoppers, mostly for people who have never shopped on Ebay before. The coupon quantities are of low amount of money like Rs 200 off on Rs 205, but at times you can get good deals with these coupons. However a notable feature is that Ebay does not offer most coupons to frequent buyers, which is a rather incredulous and frankly stupid move on their part. Additional Features/Comments
Ebay has a feedback and review system whereby consumers and sellers can leave feedback after sales, letting others know of the service from a particular
seller. It has its merits, whereby you can confirm that sales and after sales of a particular seller are good, before placing the order. It also functions to some extent in keeping fraudulent sellers at bay.
Review of Homeshop18.com
Homeshop18.com is one of the well known shopping sites in India. They have made a name for themselves in having close associations with various importers of goods in India, and offering gadgets at amazing discounts to customers in India. In many occasions, these prices rival prices offered across the world. Ease of Shopping:
The site is well designed. Though it lacks an Advanced Search option, Homeshop18 offers a “Shop in ” category wise search. Items are easy to find. However Homeshop18 suffers from a befuddling issue of deleting entries of withdrawn or “out-of-stock” items.
Homeshop18 offers a variety os payment options, and support all major credit and debit cards. Netbanking options of major banks is also an option. They claim to offer Cash on Delivery too, but rather like in the case of Ebay, most sellers dont offer COD for their products. The payment process is worry-free, and failed transactions auto-refund to the same mode of payment. Shipping time and reliability of order completion:
Shipping time on Homeshop18 varies. In case of gadgets sourced internationally, shipping time occasionally may take upto a month. Resolving shipping delays is a major issue, and customer care often fails to provide adequate information about the shipping details, and there numerous cases of Homeshop18 customer care techs providing invalid tracking information for shipments in a bid to falsely provide reassurance to anxious customers. However unlike in case of Pepperfry.com which is infamous for failing to complete orders, Homeshop18 is known for always delivering the goods even if it takes a long time to do so. I have never faced an issue of not receiving an item ordered on Homeshop18 . Ease of Availing Returns:
Homeshop18 has a transparent returns policy, and claim to offer returns if informed within 48 hours. Further details are available on their site. Since I have never had a reason to ask for a refund/returns I am not sure of the actual difficulties involved. After sales support and Enquiry
Customer Care on Homeshop18 is one of the worst, rivalled only by sites like Pepperfry.com. In many cases if contacted for clarifications regarding items listed on their site, Homeshop18 customer care techs are often clueless, and read from the site. As if you’re illiterate yourself and cant do it on your own. Promotions and Coupons
Homeshop18 has recently enjoyed a lot of popularity for offering amazing deals on gadgets through their “Super deal” offer. Periodically, Homeshop18 provides a collection of gadgets at an insanely low price in limited numbers for the first N respondents. After the numbers have been sold, the deal expires. A rather shrewd way to get customers to revisit their site frequently. It is not unusual for items to appear on Homeshop18 superdeals at a ‘not-so-low’ price. They occasionally offer coupons too. Additional Features/Comments
Homeshop18 suffers from poor customer care and long shipping time. However a promise of delivering and insanely low prices on some items makes it one of the favorite shopping sites for gadget lovers all over India.
Review of Flipkart.com
Flipkart.com is one of the well known shopping sites in India. They have carved a niche for themselves as popular online sellers of Books and offer a huge collection of popular books and even some uncommon books too. They also offer a variety of gadgets and other items, however the prices of these are nothing to write home about. Ease of Shopping:
The site is well designed. Though it lacks an Advanced Search option, they have a good categorization of items which are easy to find. Books can be searched by Title and Author. Payments:
Flipkart offers a variety os payment options, and support all major credit
and debit cards. Netbanking options of major banks is also an option. They claim to offer Cash on Delivery too. The payment process is worry-free, and failed transactions auto-refund to the same mode of payment. Shipping time and reliability of order completion:
Shipping time on Flipkart is good, and most items ship within a week. Orders are honored and completed in time. Customer care is exceptionally good, and professional. Most complaints are resolved in a time bound manner. I have never faced an issue of not receiving an item ordered on Flipkart. Ease of Availing Returns:
Homeshop18 has a transparent returns policy, and claim to offer a 30 day returns. Furthermore orders can be cancelled before being shipped, and a full refund is offered in such cases. Since I have never had a reason to ask for a refund/returns I am not sure of the actual difficulties involved. After sales support and Enquiry
Customer Care on Flipkart is one of the best. Customer care techs are professional and supportive. Problems are resolved without a furore. Promotions and Coupons
Flipkart does not believe in offering shopping coupons. Books often have good discounts in comparison with rival sites. However the same cannot be said of other categories of items like gadgets. In this respect, Flipkart seems to have lost their edge over the years. In fact, 3 years ago I had bought my first Android phone, the HTC Desire from Flipkart.com at a great price. Now I wouldnt even bother to look at the price of gadgets on Flpkart as the prices are not competitve. Additional Features/Comments
A treasure trove of books. Gadget and other items do not have competitive pricing. Excellent customer care and good shipping times. Review of Pepperfry.com
Pepperfry is a recent entrant into the world of e-shopping. Founded by a retired Ebay Country manager, Pepperfry.com cuts across categories like Gadgets, Home applicances, Health care appliances, Clothing and Sports goods. Pepperfry offers limited number of items in each category though, and
is no way comparable to heavy weight shopping portals of the likes like Yebhi and Myntra, or even Ebay. However, Pepperfry has created a niche for itself by regularly offering discount coupons among the items it sells, albeit selling items at a much higher price than competitor sites. Pepperfry’s shipping time is the worst among most online shopping sites, and all items are shipped after 7 working days, which in effect may extend to about a month after full payment is made. Ease of Shopping:
Search is limited to a Simple search, though in most cases you dont need the Search as the Product Category menu at the top suffices in taking you to the items you wish to buy. Item description on Pepperfry suffers from limitations in adequate description of item in terms of features, and in many cases you’re required to do an additional Google search for getting more information. This is a bad approach, as in many cases, customers become aware that the same item available elsewhere is overpriced on Pepperfry.com. Payments:
Pepperfry offers a variety of payment options, and support all major credit and debit cards. However, Netbanking options of some major banks are notable by their absence. They claim to offer Cash on Delivery, however COD is not offered for items bought after availing of a coupon. Free shipping is offered. The payment process is rather irksome as in more often than not, the payment gateway communication with the site is terminated, and your money disappears into a black hole at least temporarily. In many cases they dont have an adequate response to your query about failed payments and it takes more than is customary to refund back to your bank account. If payment was being tried with a coupon, failed transactions lead to cancellation of coupons, and coupon can be activated only after calling up Customer Care and waiting an hour after they cancel the order manually. If you’ve been placing this order near coupon expiry deadline, you may be unable to order thereafter. Shipping time and reliability of order completion:
Among the sites compared, Pepperfry offers the worst in terms of Time to ship following Order completion. The Shipping Time advertised on Pepperfry in most cases is “Within 7 ‘working days’ “. In contrast to all other sites,
what this means is that in most cases, Pepperfry.com waits for around 15 days or more to ship an item. If you become impatient after a week of item placement and call up Pepperfry’s customer care, they have the nerve to remind you rather ingratiatingly that they had many holidays in the time interval, and that your item will be shipped within the deadlines. Having placed numerous orders on Pepperfry over the year, I’ve never found a single occasion where they’ve actually dispatched the goods within a week. Pepperfry is also unique in failing to obey their own shipping deadlines, and failing to honour contract agreements. In many cases, they’ve faced numerous criticisms from customers where they’ve cancelled the orders because they’ve felt that they’ve underpriced items. Pepperfry is one of the unreliable shopping portals out there. If you need a quick delivery of an item, say to gift someone on time, stay away from Pepperfry. You may receive the item after a month or not at all. Pepperfry also does not allow order cancellation. In case you require order cancellation, they will announce that they do not offer refund of your money, and will only provide you a coupon for future purchases. To add fuel to the fire, they have the nerve to tell you that this coupon expires in a week! In short, the Shipping and Returns on Pepperfry is the worst among E-commerce sites. Ease of Availing Returns:
As mentioned above, Pepperfry does not allow order cancellation. In case you require order cancellation, they will announce that they do not offer refund of your money, and will only provide you a coupon for future purchases. To add fuel to the fire, they have the nerve to tell you that this coupon expires in a week! In short, the Shipping and Returns on Pepperfry is the worst among E-commerce sites. Shopping forums are rife with criticisms that Pepperfry does not even offer returns or refunds on items delivered in a damaged state. Even in cases where the mistake is on their part, Pepperfry customer care techs will try to sell off coupons for the hard earned money you’ve spent on their site. After sales support and Enquiry
Pepperfry offers a Toll free number and Live Chat for enquiry and support. Ease of connecting to their support hotline is good. After sales handling of refund requests suffers from a bad Returns policy. Promotions and Coupons
Pepperfry is one of the sites who actively promote marketing of their site through Periodic advertisements of coupons and deals. However beware of buying items on Pepperfry without a proper research of competitor sites, as Pepperfry.com is very well known for over-pricing items over and above all competitor sites. Items selling for around a thousand rupees are often sold for around many hundreds of rupees more than the competition. They probably do this to adjust the offers on coupons. They do regularly provide a variety of coupon discounts via email. If you’re a shrewd customer, you can often cut a good deal. Additional Features/Comments
Poor after-sales support, unreliability of honoring agreements and extremely poor shipping time makes Pepperfry one of the worst E-commerce portals. However a shrewd shopper can avail of some discounts if he’s careful enough. Review of Tradus.com
Though a relatively new and probably a bit unfamiliar to most except seasoned shoppers, Tradus has rapidly made inroads into the world of Indian e-shopping, and has made quite a name for itself among gadget shoppers Ease of Shopping at Tradus.com:
The site is well designed. Tradus lacks an Advanced Search option, unlike Ebay. However you can easily find the items you’re looking for using simple keyword search. Tradus like most well designed sites features a “Sort-by-Price” and you can easily compare same items between sellers Payments at Tradus.com:
Tradus offers a variety os payment options, and support all major credit and debit cards. However, Netbanking options of some major banks are notable by their absence. They claim to offer Cash on Delivery too, but rather like in the case of Ebay, most sellers dont offer COD for their products. The payment process is worry-free, and failed transactions auto-refund to the same mode of payment. Combining shipping for various items, you can easily save on shipping costs for multiple items. Shipping time and reliability of order completion at Tradus.com: Tradus has made a name for itself with its
quick dispatch and delivery time. Most sellers offer renowned couriers like Blue Dart, First Flight or Quantium. I have never faced an issue of not receiving an item ordered on Tradus. Ease of Availing Returns at Tradus.com:
Tradus has a transparent returns policy, and claim to offer returns on a “No questions asked basis” for unopened items. However it seems that the Returns policy is an eyewash and not adhered to in most instances. For returning items, one has to call their Customer support phone number, which is non-toll free. Then follows a long wait time as most customer care execs are “always busy attending to other customers”. Finally, they ask you the reason for returning the product and if the reason is acceptable to them, they email you a Return Invoice for returning the item. They dont have a Courier pickup service for Returned Items, and one has to go through the hassle of packing the items and sending it to them via a courier service. They promise to provide refund of shipping charges, however they failed to deliver on that when I returned the product. My courier charges were non refunded even a month after shipping it back to them. The actual price paid for the goods were returned to the Bank account within a week however. After sales support and Enquiry at Tradus.com
Tradus does not provide a Toll free number for contact. They do have a web form for enquiry and customer complaints, however the answers take time in coming. When I had reason to contact them, they did not respond to even half a dozen mails sent over a period of two weeks. This is in stark contrast to Customer Care a few months ago, and hence I have to say that Tradus is slowly becoming one of the unreliable shopping sites out there. I have had to downgrade the rating I gave to Tradus since this review was first published. It’s still better than certain cheating sites out there like Timtara.com. Lack of a Toll free number is a glaring deficiency. Customer care officials are aloof and non-professional. My recent legal notice to the company was answered by a curt one-line response by some lower rung employee. Overall, Tradus.com has now become thoroughly irresponsible and unprofessional. Promotions and Coupons
Tradus is one of the sites who actively promote marketing of their site
through Periodic advertisements of “deals”, and also has associations with cellphone and DTH recharging sites for offering “Flat Off” coupons for products on their sites. This is a very good approach to consumer satisfaction. In fact, if you decide to buy from Tradus, you may find it worthwhile to search for coupons from Tradus. Additional Features/Comments
When I first wrote this review, Tradus was recommended as a reliable e-shopping portal. However in light of recent dealings with Customer Care, I should say that Tradus is slipping, and is now one of those Commercial portals who consider Business over Customer Satisfaction. I would recommend that buyers be 100% certain of their purchases before using Tradus.com, since their returns policy is a big failure.
How eBay works
“A” decides to Sell on eBay
“A” registers on eBay and accepts terms of the site
A listing is a description of the item
you are selling as well as your terms
and conditions (e.g. how you will
accept payment and ship the product).
You can choose to list your item on
eBay for a duration of 1,3,5,7 or 10 days.
“A” Lists his item on eBay
Buyer accepts sellers
terms and pays for the item
Buyer finds & buys item
Seller delivers the item to
buyer and both give feedback
On successful transaction seller
pays commission to eBay