The Anatomy of an Online Sale

Who doesn’t love a good online sale? We’re all guilty of making useless irrational purchases every single time a major online retailer announces a promotional sale. I am probably one of the worst when it comes to online sales. The thing’s hit me so bad lately, I’ve decided to pen down my experience as well as my observations around each major sale. It’ll be alright if we’re not friends after you read this.

Each major online sale include four major components.
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Amazon Launches Marketplace In India

amazon india

After months of speculations, intense fear in the Indian e-commerce space and possible conspiracy theories – Amazon has finally launched its marketplace in India. Amazon cannot directly sell as of now but it’s a start. And I’d say a good one. It’s obvious the company has spent a lot of time before jumping towards the launch, especially from all the work that went into Junglee.

Junglee probably connected Amazon to a ridiculous number of sellers – both online and offline. No wonder you can find multiple sellers for almost every product listed on Amazon. While that’s an obvious thing for any marketplace, it shows how sellers are confident Amazon will bring them profits.
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Buying On Flipkart? Wait A Second…

flipkart

The days are finally here. Flipkart has finally started showing multiple vendors for products on its site. This brings Flipkart from being a simple online retailer to a huge marketplace with a massive customer base. The company has been ironing out a few legal kinks recently, as I’ve been told, and this is also a part of the company’s “expansion” strategy.

For the consumer it means that you’ll be able to choose from multiple vendors for a single product. Now this is where it gets tricky. Each vendor can offer their own price for any particular product. Also, every vendor has their own feedback (registered by customers) just like the ones you see on eBay, replacement policy (very different from the usual Flipkart policy), shipping times and terms of service.

So the next time you buy a product on Flipkart and wonder why it sucked or didn’t ever arrive on time – blame it on these vendors. Flipkart has set very high standards for online retailers and these vendors are going to screw things up. No matter how hard Flipkart pulls their ears with service contracts and guidelines, things are about to turn sour.

You have been warned.

How Zovi Lost A Loyal Customer

zovi

I love to shop online! It has come to a stage where I’d rather sit on my lazy ass and order things online instead of walking into an actual store. Buying offline is so 1995 for me now. I’ve spent a good five figure amount on online shopping this year alone. As much as I love to shop online, I hate it when an experience turns sour.

Zovi was a discovery I used to cherish. I hopped on to their site via a Facebook ad and became a loyal customer. I loved their simple yet elegant designs and the amazing online shopping experience. Everything was so awesome…until their logistics department and a horrible customer care executive ruined it all.

My case was simple – I bought a product, wasn’t satisfied with it and wanted to exchange it under their 30 day return policy. All seemed fine until a guy from their logistics department refused to carry a normal reverse pick-up from my place. I called up customer care and they promised a pick up the very next day. Still all is well.

Problem happens the next day. No one came to pick up the package while my folks at home waited all day long. The next day one of their customer support executives told me their pick up guy got confused/misled, apparently by me. That’s hilarious because no one from Zovi or their logistics partner arrived at my place and neither did I speak to any of those. On top of everything – their customer care executive accused me of asking for something more than what I deserved. I only asked for what you promised me in the first place. Not vanilla lies.

What followed was a horrible response from both the customer service executive and their logistics department. They couldn’t even settle a good excuse amongst themselves. When you take a customer for a ride, you need to make sure you lie properly at least.

The end result – Zovi lost a loyal customer. And did they just lose one? Well if I can count correctly – they lost me, my friends, my family, most of my Twitter followers and Facebook friends whom I’d highly recommend not to buy from Zovi. So there you have it, in a connected world e-commerce isn’t what it used to be. Zovi has multiple alternatives and if they continue taking their customers for granted, nothing good is going to come out of it.

Grow up, you morons!

Amazon MyHabit Starts International Shipping

myhabit international shippingAmazon’s private fashion sales site MyHabit has just announced that it will now offer international shipping to over 50 countries, which includes India. MyHabit will ship it’s products to customers in certain countries for a flat rate of $15. This amount excludes taxes, custom duties and other fees. Not all items would be available for international shipping.

Amazon will collect import fees deposit, the same way it collects import duty charges for products purchased on Amazon.com. The amount left uncharged is then refunded back to the consumer. MyHabit will ship all international shipments on priority basis which includes a shipping time of around 3-5 days.
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Flipkart starts selling movies, music and games

flipkart

Popular online book seller Flipkart has decided to expand. Flipkart has now started selling movies, music and games online on their website. From what I have seen so far Flipkart is selling both Hindi and English movies (DVDs), Bollywood and international music CDs apart from games. They have games based on all major gaming console platforms today. Very cool indeed!
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The Great Indian E-Commerce Review

Even though e-commerce took a lot of time to get used to but the Indian web users have finally swallowed the feeling that it’s quite useful to shop online. I remember the good old days when people were scared at the thought of punching credit card numbers online on a web page. And then there were those chicks who wanted to touch their fabric before making purchases online. Making purchases online has it’s own ups and downs. I’d rather say it has more ups and downs. You just need to be smart enough not to let anyone phish out your sensitive information.

I’ve been an active online shopper for a long time now. Being lazy may be one of the reasons I vote for online shopping but the convenience is pure heaven. Here’s a review of major Indian online e-commerce websites.

1. E-Bay India a.k.a Bazee.com 

I had been an active Bazee user when E-Bay acquired them. E-Bay opened a whole new window of opportunities for the next door chunnu-munnu  to start selling online with minimal investments. Buying on E-bay has become a pleasant experience. There are seller ratings, feedback etc. which always tell you which seller to buy from and which one to stay away from. I’ve bought from E-bay several times and I have always had a positive experience. Simple gadgets, gift items and utilities sell the most at E-Bay. The user interface is neat and the customer care usually respond quickly.

2. IndiaPlaza

Ever since Fabmall merged into IndiaPlaza I have been using them for buying my goodies online. IndiaPlaza is one of the few Indian online stores that remain independent i.e no ugly merchants in the middle so you get-what-you-see on the product description page online. You directly buy from them and thus quality is maintained. IndiaPlaza boasts to be the largest online shopping mall in India. The shipping is a bit slowish. The packaging is great. The customer care is alive and normally responds in 12 hours by e-mail. I use Indiaplaza to buy books and sometimes gadgets. They accept all major credit cards and netbanking payment facility.

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