The e-Commerce market in India has enjoyed phenomenal growth of almost 50% in the last five years. Although the trend of e-Commerce has been making rounds in India for 15 years, the appropriate ecosystem has now started to fall in place. The considerable rise in the number of internet users, growing acceptability of online payments, the more number of internet-enabled devices and favorable circumstances are the key factors driving the growth story of e-Commerce in the country. The number of users making online transactions has been on a rapid growth trajectory, and it is expected to grow from 11 million in 2011 to 38 million in 2015.
Flipkart is a leading e-Commerce company which has established itself now as the fastest growing mid-sized company. Backed by a funding of $31 million, the company is set to grow from five warehouses and 35 delivery centers to 35 warehouses and more than 60 delivery centers across the country.
But, with wide expansion in various sectors, greater range of challenges also come across. By large, major challenges that the company faces are :- 1. Customer Satisfaction.
2. Market Expansion.
3. Best Economic Use of Funds.
Keeping in mind the above challenges, few steps that can be taken by the company to improve upon its brand value in future according to me are :- Making Customer Satisfaction #1 priority In a market where even a single customer plays an important role, it becomes very important to make sure that the customer is treated in the best possible way. But, in practicality, this is very difficult and we have experienced it ourselves.
How many times has it happened that you didn’t get your order on time? I guess many!! So, here are 4 key factors that can heavily influence customer satisfaction which need to be taken care of if flipkart wants to keep ahead of its competitors. 1. Accuracy (Right Product): In accordance with Wyatt Earp’s belief that “fast is fine, but accuracy is everything”, we can understand the pivotal role that receiving the right product plays in determining customer satisfaction.
In a recent survey, approximately one out of every three respondents (29%) said that they would abandon shopping altogether with a retailer if they received one incorrect delivery. This equates not only to one lost customer for life, but combined with the impact of social media and word of mouth, this could seriously impact brand image and performance. Therefore, it is immeasurably important to run multiple accuracy checks, run by multiple employees to reduce the risk of errors.
2. On Time Delivery: According to a survey from Comscore, 42% of shoppers have ABANDONED an online shopping cart because of the delivery date. Communication of the expected delivery date of the order is critical to setting the correct expectation of the consumer. Conversely, 41% of shoppers RECOMMENDED a retailer when they received their product when expected which can lead to increased loyalty and new customers. Speed is crucial to ecommerce operations. The ability to turnaround orders within the same or next day is highly recommended.
3. Order Tracking: has in recent years become a necessity for online retailers with 75% of customers believing it is a service that every retailer should offer.
These primarily include email notifications containing a unique tracking number as well as having the ability to check directly on the retailer’s website for the tracking information whether it is pending, en route or arrived 4. Discounts and Coupons: Many consumers these days come to online shopping sites only because of vast number of discounts and coupons and this can highly influence customer loyalty. According to Comscore, 95% of respondents have recommended a retailer due to the availability of discounts and coupons. Retailers should clearly state their terms and conditions for discounts and coupons on their website so it’s clear to the consumer before they checkout.
CHANGING TRENDS IN INTERNET USE
The mobile internet user base is growing, aided by the introduction of 3G data plans and declining smartphone prices. Several smartphone models are available at less than Rs. 8000 in the Indian market. Mobile internet users are expected to account for more than 60% of the user base in India, considering that their number is forecast to reach 200 million by 2015.
Telecom operators are incentivizing mobile internet usage by reducing tariffs and providing unlimited usage facilities. They are offering unlimited internet browsing plans at a lowly price of Rs. 200 per month to their GSM customers. Within six months of the launch of 3G, the number of connections reached 10 million, closely matching the number of broadband subscribers.
UNDERDEVELOPED USER EXPERIENCE
The growth of mobile internet is encouraging. However, experience on e-Commerce websites also needs to be improved, since most of these sites are not optimized for use on mobile devices. Furthermore, not all e-Commerce sites have developed mobile apps. Given that an increasing number of people would access internet on their mobile devices, e-Commerce players need to step up and develop mobile websites and apps for major mobile platforms.
MAKING YOUR PRESENCE FELT ON 3rd PARTY WEBSITES
It is one of the major solutions for your e-Commerce business as you should list your complete range of products on 3rd party sites in order to get more attention and visitors. However, 3rd party shopping sites are highly popular on the web and visited by lots of visitors. Today, there are lots of shoppers, who are visiting these websites in order to compare the products, so it is highly important for you to make your products visible.
You always try to make your products as visible as possible so that people come to know about your products and services. When it comes to talk about some popular 3rd party shopping sites, Google shopping, eBay and Buy.com are some most popular sites to increase incremental revenue.
ENHANCING PAGE LOAD SPEED
Then it comes to enhance page load speed, you should consider pictures and
images that you have on your page. However, it is a common problem with e-Commerce websites as the websites have lots of images of products, so this problem is quite difficult to face, but retailers can easily resize their product images and use different formats like .pang that surely help. All the e-Commerce websites try to enhance page load speed so that their customers easily visit their website and load each and every page without nay hassle. Giving what the Indian customers really want and understanding their mindset.
‘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. 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 Transaction: Most of Indian customers do not possess 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.
Third-party online payment solution
China’s leading third-party online payment solution allows individuals and businesses to execute payments online in a secure manner. Its escrow service has made consumers confident about conducting online transactions without being concerned about product delivery and quality. This is because payment
is only released to sellers when consumers confirm the delivery of orders.
Expansion of market instead of taking market share from the competitors. One more area where flipkart can expand its market is into the Online Travel Market. Some encouraging points of online travel market are :- Indian travel industry among the fastest growing in the world Growth in India’s travel and tourism industry is the second fastest worldwide. According to a Deutsche Bank report, the industry would grow at a CAGR of 10% to reach US$111 billion by 2020. The growth of the services sector (thereby leading to rising household income, an expanding middle class and more inbound and outbound tourism) is responsible for this rapid growth. Decade of air travel
The civil aviation sector in India has witnessed favorable developments in the last decade. India is the ninth-largest civil aviation market in the world and is poised to feature among the top five global markets over the next decade. Airline passenger traffic rose rapidly from 59.3 million in 2005 to 162.3 million in 2012.
Indians now travelling more…
Inbound and outbound travel for both business and leisure has increased. Spending on domestic and international travel by Indian travelers is forecast to touch US$1.4 billion and US$426 million, respectively, by 2013. This has prompted domestic full service carriers and LCCs to expand their networks by offering connectivity to near-shore destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai and Nepal, thus aiding in the growth of online travel.
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