It has been quite some time, the so-called reputed online stores have made their presence felt on the Internet. There are sites with bad reputation as well. But then, a time came when reputed sites also started to give jerks to buyers and unhappy customer experiences kept piling up.

In a nation of 125 crore people, there will always be some happy and some unhappy customers. Sadly, we do not know the exact ratio of happy to unhappy ones. On-site reviews of products have become unreliable, as companies as well as sites are known to appoint paid-people to write reviews. Everyone labels their review as unbiased. The problem is transparency. The buyer/customer doesn't have acccess to any truth or facts or figures.
Online sales started to go up as the urban people with desktops, laptops, mobiles and tablets & credit cards and netbanking facilities saw alluring discounts on the products of their choice and began ordering from online sites.

We are a nation which looks for "% discounts" and "buy-one-get-one-free" concept. We are greedy and we expect others to be honest towards us. But in our news we know about several scams, cheating & chit funds. A part of it is happening online as well, unscrupulous sellers are exploiting people's greed for getting good discounts and 'free' items. We seldom think, if it is really possible, why aren't the retailers not offering the same?

The online shopping spree became so serious that the offline seller outlets began offering competitive rates with online stores. One day, the "big billion day sale" had to occur and it had to flop. Why not! Nobody can offer any product at 90% dicsount. Because the operating procedure was going all the wrong way with customers wanting and believing every & any trash offer.

And then, the courier companies, small & big, saw huge rise in shipment quantities as the online sales rose higher with so many sites operating. Covering every corner of India with fast 2-3 days shipment isn't easy. India isn't covered so efficiently yet. Please remember, shipment is an important part in online sales because unless the product reaches the buyer, everything fails. E-commerce is not limited to seeing products online, choosing them, paying by credit card or netbanking. Customer has to get the item which he payed for, and he cannot wait for 10-15 days to get his product. Or else, he can go buy at a physical store.

India has close to 10 million online shoppers and its growing at an estimated rate of 30%. This, from the corporate viewpoint. How the satisfaction rate or percentage? No statistics agency in India will give that figure. Because, as little as the consumer knows, the better for the corporates! And it is because the corporates know the volume of complaints the consumers have about their business.

One major point isn't clear to anybody on the customer side: buyer protection issue. So far, the websites offer cancelation, refund, exchange etc. But there are huge complaints on those fronts as well. Its quite risky sometimes, with high to very high value items on sale online. The manufacturers are only concerned about their sales figures, rarely alert about customer care!

In short, there are whole lot of issues to be sorted out and managed very well for e-commerce to run well in a nation of a billion plus.


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