The eCommerce sector has gained rapid growth over the years and the concept has witnessed widespread acceptance worldwide. With the most basic benefit of providing convenience, this concept is almost inevitable in today’s date. Buying & Selling was never this quick!
Being time efficient and easy, eCommerce has laid strong emphasis on the younger generation or the millennial youth. Considering how rapidly all industries have adopted it as part of their portfolio, it is safe to say that it is a give and take relationship that is shared. Industries across, at the time of introduction of this concept, promoted the benefits and educated the customers on its safety, to be able to gain customer confidence and tap this big upcoming opportunity to expand the business.
The eCommerce purchasing has been very flexible today, as the purchase is not limited through visiting websites. Rather, one can easily place orders through social media handles like Instagram and Facebook these days. With the advancement of technology and work efficiency, the eCommerce sector has experienced a massive growth and is going to flourish in future as well.
The broad eCommerce industry will have a continued growth driven by greater penetration in the Tier II and Tier III cities. There will be larger focus and profitability, making eCommerce models more sustainable. Due to close competitors in the Ecommerce sector, every online portal is trying to come up with innovative and appealing marketing strategies to attract customers by rendering great basket value sales and discounts.
Also, GST bill has been positive for all the sectors, especially the luxury and lifestyle sector has been benefited. This would further give efficiency in manufacturing and production cost which would lead to substantial benefits accruing to end consumers. At the same time, it has also brought boon to the eCommerce segment as this would help us in creating single unified market across India further allowing free movement and supply of goods across the country.
However, to manage smooth efficiency while operation, is indeed a complex task. Ranging from manufacturing, logistics, inventory, order fulfillment to customer support there are varied channels involved in this process. Payment frauds and order abuse are some of the major drawbacks of this sector. Although in India these risks are almost negligible pursuant to the strict RBI regulations around electronic payments and multiple stage authentications.
Also, consumer friendly policies offered by various brands, like 30-days return policy, allow customers to use the products and make easy returns by stating they are not satisfied with the fit or comfort of the product. Chargebacks is yet another claim being used by the customers to use in the place of refunds but usually chargebacks are designed to secure consumers from scams.
Theft is a problem with third party logistics as well as COD customers that threaten consumers at time of delivery. States like UP, Bihar and Punjab have reported to be most prone to thefts than other states. Most TPLs prefer not to deliver goods in areas that have higher risks of theft abuse. There are several industrial and slum regions in metro cities as well which have been delisted from the marketplace for COD orders. Many instances of theft and fraud abuse have been reported in case of COD orders where at times deliver boys are robbed which have resulted in additional expenses in safeguarding the order shipments & man power.
It has been witnessed that the returns made through COD orders average around much higher than that of made through online payments. By observing such bad experiences e-tailers have been aware of fraudulent buyers and the regions prone to such theft. Marketplaces are working effectively to make their risk management and customer support team stronger and efficient.
As the volume of shipments increase, the fraud will proportionately increase in my opinion. Looking five years ahead certainly the eCommerce sector will attain enormous growth; there would be proactive uses of technology and up-gradation in payment gateways but these drawbacks like order abuse and thefts would simultaneously continue to grow unless major steps are taken to find a permanent solution.
The article has been authored by Ishaan Sachdeva, Director, Alberto Torresi.