The latest TV commercial from Flipkart is funny and entertaining and the use of kids is brillant. But more important are the taboos they are trying to break in the minds of our risk averse and cost sensitive Indian public. Inadvertantly they are probably doing all the ecommerce players in the country a big favour since over coming the online buying hesitation can mean business for other portals as well.
So what are these barriers Flipkart is trying to ‘Flip’?
- Products purchased online can be faulty and unreliable – online equals low quality
- You cannot judge a product by its photo – you need to touch and see it.
- Online delivery is unreliable and subject to delays and mixups.
- Online shopping is only for the young and tech savvy – older people should stay away.
How can other e-commerce players help get this message across?
Flipkart walks the talk with superb service and delivery. They also ensure quality and reliability of the products they are selling along with a first class returns policy. Its as simple as that – delivery as promised the product you promised when you promised it. Its amazing how many e-commerce portals are struggling with this.
Highlighting successful deliveries and showcasing repeat buyers will also encourage fence sitters to go ahead and place thay order. Peer reviews have a very powerful effect. Someone told me recently that more than half the ads in the US now feature a customer testimonial! Find a way to let your happy customers speak for you.
E-commerce is a tough business with barely adequate infrastructure in place for delivery. Hang on. Be patient.
India simply does not have the infrastructure that the developed nations do. It is really courageous for the current crop of e-commerce players to play on this uneven pitch and try to satisfy one of the most demanding customer groups – the India public. But things will improve slowly as they do in this country. When we started there was barely a single payment gateway, now there are over a dozen good ones. Step by step our brave entrepreneurs are putting in place the infrastructure that will be needed to take e-commerce in India to the next level.
A salute to Flipkart – keep up the great work guys!!