World has changed a lot. From old barter system to plastic money. By the use of technology, things have become so much easier and simple that they are at the click of a button. Just imagine today you think of something you want, search it, pay instant and get it at your doorstep. Also, you can explore more items, get discounts and satisfy your budget. Take a look into this world of electronic commerce, e-commerce or online shopping blooming in India.
E-commerce started as a by-product of Internet. These are the sites where you can view things virtually and pay using your net banking, cards etc and add your address to deliver. This has been enhanced with wider reach of internet on smart phones. eBay & Amazon, both US companies were the first pioneers of e-commerce in the world. Slowly, it spread to the most nations in the world. Growth of e-commerce directly depends on the growth of the internet.
Welcome to India
India has a very low internet penetration of about 20 percent but still has a large increasing number of e-commerce users, considering its huge population. When e-commerce came to India, very few used internet banking or cards, so Cash on Delivery was no less than 95 percent of all transactions. Today 75 percent people still pay by Cash on Delivery, though use of cards is now increasing.
Top Players in India
Undoubtedly there are three top e-commerce sites in India – Flipkart, Amazon & Snapdeal. These are just the platforms or marketplace where sellers can post their goods and buyers can explore and buy easily. These sites act as middlemen and charge some commission from the sellers.
The Online Shopper
There are advantages of being a online shopper. Coming to the point, the broad categories you see on e-commerce sites are Electronics, Clothing, Books & Everything Else. Electronics is a very broad category. Here you will read how you can get the best of the products in least time.
Why only Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal ?
- Proper Customer Support – They provide proper customer support on call, e-mail, Twitter.
- Wide Delivery Areas – They have a proper network to provide delivery to most parts of the country
- Exclusive Deals – Nowadays many brands launch their goods exclusively on these sites.
- Refund Policy – Unlike many other e-commerce sites, they have proper refund policy to collect your good and exchange/refund.
- App Controls – Their app provide more control to instantly purchase goods.
Why Chose App over Site?
- Mobile : Most of people are more connected via smartphone than sites. On a smartphone, app provide more functionality than the mobile site.
- No Need to Login Again : You can save your login credentials once and you don’t need to login again. Saves your time
- Saved Address/Payment Gateway: If you use Internet Banking or Debit Card or Credit Card, you can save your preferred option and you don’t need to enter the same details again (except the bank’s secret PIN/password). Your address is also saved in your login.
- User Behavior: You don’t buy something from the first search. The app recognizes your search patterns and choices and shows you recommended goods of your choice.
- Instant Tracking: Once you place a order, you can track anytime instant in you app.
Buying the Goods
Never fall for greed. Necessity is more important. Remember if you go to any shopping mall without a list of required items, you end up wasting a lot of time and money and buying things you never wanted. Be specific of what you want. Search for your required good in all the three sites.
Verify the Good
Two things you must see while exploring goods online – Specifications & User Reviews. Specifications are the technical details of the good – material, weight, etc for whatever type of good is. User Reviews are the reviews of those who used them.
There are two types of reviews – General Reviews, means anyone can comment without buying and Certified Buyer – who has actually purchased the goods from the particular site. So always read the ratings and certified Buyer’s reviews well before paying. There are always some people who write negative on every product, ignore them and go by the majority reviews.
Payment & Delivery
When you enter your PIN Code, it shows the time of delivery and the delivery charge if any. There is variable delivery charge for different regions. Some areas, there is no delivery due to lack of proper transportation in those areas (majority rural). Cash on Delivery option often is not available for very low price or very high priced goods. After your final payment, you receive a SMS & E-mail and your shopping is complete.
For any reason, if your placed good is not up to the mark, you can always go to the App. In the orders section, you chose your good and chose to return, exchange or refund. Within few days, the delivery boy picks up the good from your place.
Price Comparison Sites
With the increase of e-commerce trend, there are many sites, which make your work easier to search for goods and see prices on all sites at once. These sites also list all the offers, discounts, and deals of the e-commerce sites. Especially at the time of festivals, these sites help you a lot. CouponDunia & MySmartPrice are very useful price comparison & coupon/offers sites.
Being a Seller
So if you are a new seller, you have to spend a lot more money in marketing and promotions of your goods but by registering yourself as a seller, you save a lot of money. Commission is only charged when a purchase is made otherwise displaying your items on these sites is free. All the three sites have proper customer support – online & offline on being a seller.
Why mobile phones and other things are so cheap online?
Anything that is manufactured, need to reach the customers (or end users). This is not a easy or direct process. It goes through whole sellers, distributors, big retail store and finally small retail store. All these people have their share on the profit to be earned. But technology has made it very much possible by cutting all the links.
Xiaomi has become world’s third largest smartphone brand in a very short period of time. They directly sell through e-commerce at a very reasonable price and still earn a good profit. Today, most of the high end mobile phones are exclusively launched on e-commerce sites and stocks are over in less than a minute.
Understand the Errors
No one is perfect, or the e-commerce sites. In spite of proper systems and logistics, some errors come and issues are there. But most people become suspicious or spread negative notions on online shopping. Yes, there are many fake sites on internet and there are many unworthy goods too. But you have been given a brain to choose the right.
There can be some errors from the back-end but companies try to fix them soon as they crept. One should be patient and talk to the customer support. Now, the customer queries are given top priority over anything else. After all, customer is the king.
Writing your User Reviews
After you use your purchased good for quite some time, it’s good to help others and share your user review and rate the product so that other buyers are benefited.
And you are a Happy Online Shopper. Keep Shopping !!