Every day Indian ecommerce grows a little bigger. 2015 was the year everyone truly saw the potential of Indian ecommerce. ASSOCHAM said the ecommerce industry in the country will be roughly worth $38 billion dollars by 2016. This prediction is based on numbers from the past:

2009 – $3.8 billion

2014 – $17 billion

2015 – $23 billion

More variety, improved means of internet access and impressive discounts have drawn more and more people towards ecommerce. Running an online business opposed to an offline one can help a seller avoid obstructions and difficulties like:

– Limited shopping hours – This gives them the ability to cash in on late night and early morning shoppers.

– Monumental expenses – There is no need to set aside huge amounts of capital. First and foremost there isn’t much infrastructure to deal with. So your start up costs drastically reduce, so does maintenance.

– Restricted access – You do not have to live hundreds of miles away to business in a different state (or even country). Geographical limitations are void in ecommerce. Plus prime locations will have no effect on your sales.

– Work pressure – Working hours won’t be as grueling once you are up and running. So you can work at your own sweet pace.

Just these facts are enough to paint a pretty ecommerce picture. But ecommerce has an ugly side too! And every online seller needs to know about it. Make these ecommerce issues a list of things you need to watch out for when participating in online sales.

Online Selling Troubles

  1. Cash on delivery is slowing down business


Cash on delivery launched Indian ecommerce into its glorious position. Yet today it seems to be tearing online businesses apart. Collecting cash manually is riddled with potential problems like theft, added expenses, restricted cash flow and work delays. Courier services generally send payments to sellers only after two weeks. In addition to logistic services sellers also pay for the collection and remittance of the cash collected. Add reverse logistics to the mix and you are definitely in for trouble. On the other hand, removing COD from your payment options can rub consumers the wrong way, since they bare the risk of being duped.

Online payment is catching on in many cities but it won’t lead to complete cashless transactions anytime soon. People are still not convinced about the safety of online transaction or the reliability of online sellers. Would you wait for them to? What’s more important to you – saving money or making money (maybe)?

  1. Customer loyalty is tough to maintain

Customer loyalty is the essence of good business. When it comes to ecommerce people like to explore. Considering the Indian consumer, price is what makes them wander. Besides this, convenience and low priced deals are also what grab people’s attention. If an online store is willing to offer branded goods at a particular price, marketplace sellers may be capable of providing the same for an attractive discounted rate or another store may promise to do better by throwing in something for free. And with the added estimates of more sellers joining this industry, competition will be serious. Today, the customer researches the product thoroughly before buying, which could leak out a loyal customer.

Numbers from Aug 2015

Choice, variety and distinctiveness are imperative for one’s survival in the ecommerce jungle. Every online seller and marketplace is looking for ways to generate repeat sales. Customer loyalty programs can draw in more consumers and even make them stay put. But making these programs work costs money, causing customer acquisition expenses to skyrocket.

  1. Ecommerce is subject to change


The methods and strategies of conducting ecommerce are never constant. They are subject to change regularly. Competition is fierce and everyone is trying something new to seduce consumers. Sticking to old methods is the same as not having an online business at all. Reinventing your brand through better promotions, interesting product descriptions and engaging with online platforms is vital for your survival in Indian ecommerce. That’s not enough. Look at your products see where you can cut costs and still deliver superior quality. Identify cheaper logistics or quicker ways of delivering.

New technology is another reason for change. Legal requirements will also require you to adjust your business model and selling strategies. With continuous change being a requirement it becomes difficult to keep track of what is going on. Reviewing market tends is a daily task and innovation never ceases.

  1. Ecommerce regulation


The quick growth of Indian ecommerce may be good for its members to a certain degree. But its newness causes issues from the legal perspective. We are yet to fully understand the potential of online retail inIndia. This creates legal barricades which hold back online selling. E-retail has a murky side. Just last year the big names in ecommerce Snapdeal, Flipkart and Amazon were caught up in tax related woes in UP, Uttarakhand and Karnataka. The three online marketplaces stop delivering products exceed Rs.5000 in some states, as a result. FDI is another legal difficulty for ecommerce groups. It is important to know your role is in the online market and in what way you are legally bound. But with insufficient legal information you may be in for trouble.

  1. Cybercrime


Online sellers try very hard to be trustworthy. But to most online shoppers in the country all online retail entities are seen as a whole. So if one seller on a marketplace sells fake goods, the entire marketplace becomes a trap in the eyes of online buyers. Upon closer inspection you will notice cybercrime is not restricted to sellers. Buyers too engage in fraudulent activities. Which makes one wonder who is really safe online?

In case of any query or for more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce solutions experts, and we are always happy to help!

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