2015 was a year filled of a lot of turmoil for market. The market is growing and with it quality of service, number of sellers, number of sites, number of deals, offers and discount coupons are growing. But there were few things which ruled the whole industry in 2015. Lets have a look at the most dominating factors of 2015 in the sphere of online shopping.
1. Paytm Vs Mobikwik war
This was rather pre-destined, what would happen if two very well financially and technically backed wallet based startups collides? A war of cashback and nearly-all-occassion offers were bombarded on the customers. While these companies bled funding, customers enjoyed.
2. The App-only love
This was rather awkward as it is a necessity by default for nearly all big etailers to stay on all platforms (app, mobile site and desktop) to serve all customers genre. Shopping sites started getting a lot of traffic from smartphones which they concluded as the ‘only’ source of potential projected revenue in India. Many companies went App-only and suffered heavy loses in their sales, many were about to repeat the history but packed their bags to retaliate from an abyss of misconception that going App-only is the best way to work in the industry. A remark was made from Mr. Bahl, CEO, Snapdeal.com which says : “One thing that really helped our fashion business was Myntra’s app-only strategy… I think it’s the most consumer-unfriendly idea I have ever heard of. Maybe three years later it’s worth a conversation, when PC contribution is even lesser. Even then, it is a conversation still. It’s not a yes or no situation.” – TOI. Well, high paid analysts were not so smart after-all.
3. Less Coupons More offers
2014 observed a Tsunami of coupons and deals. Companies were full of money via funding and were busy in educating people with the experience of the online shopping though burning their cash. The cash was burnt in terms of coupons which were Really Good. By the end of the year, companies like Flipkart, Snapdeal & Amazon started pushing offers instead of coupons. As per Mr. Shashi, one of the online shopping analysts of FreeKaaMaal stated that his recent observation is that their are less coupons and more offers present with the big etailers. As the matter of fact, the offers and deals nowadays are somewhat better than many products with applicable coupon codes.
China generally goes with a Free one day shipping to all its customers. The practice of one day shipping is so common that it has become a by default modus operandi for the big companies there. India, however is still strugling in this part but some ground breaking changes were made by major ecommerce giants this year. For example : ‘Flipkart First’, under which a member just have to pay around Rs. 500 one time in a year and will get Free one day delivery in return, became very popular among the loyal customers of Flipkart. Etailing extended its arms way beyond expectations in terms of logistics reach. Amazon stopped its Free Shipping service for orders below Rs.499 only. Jabong added VAT and additional shipping charges. Snapdeal partnered with GoJavas and Snapdeal invests an additional $20 million in it to strengthen its delivery wing.
5. Exclusive launch
From Xiaomi’s Flash Sale to Lenovo K3 & A7000, online shopping sites were the most sought after destination for the smartphone lovers. The exclusive launches were something which shook the whole retailing & marketing concepts of smartphones in India. From the convential method of using print media and TV ads for the sales of mobiles, the sale was made through tie-ups with various dominant sites like that of Amazon, Snapdeal and specially Flipkart. Millions of smartphones started selling in a few seconds, the ‘out-of-stock’ label frustrated as well as intrigued shoppers to buy the product in demand (human nature – to incline toward rare).
6. Hiring Top Executives
Hiring of Mr. Puneet Soni by Flipkart for the top management as its chief product manager was one of the many hirings ecommerce retail giants did in order to fill the vaccum of leadership in the top positions. The hirings were from various big MNC’s like that of Google, HUL etc. and were meant to brew the startups with experience and values. The salary offered to them were more than a crore rupees of package annually implying the deficiency of talent in the newly born industry in India.
7. Refund policies
Refund is an after sale service provided by the etailers for their shoppers in order to give them the best shopping experience ever. This process, however, was not good till late 2014 but it sprang up at a great hieghts when Flipkart introduced easy returns and refund policies. The refund policies target the highest customer gratification. Flipkart is now offering a full refund in a few hours of return. Amazon and Snapdeal are on the same track wherein Amazon is leading among two.
8. Freebies by AskMeBazaar
We have to include it in the list. AskMeBazaar is big for sure, but it do have a bad reputation for its delivery and customer care services. While members of our Forum were complaining about worst than imagination service of AMB, some of the members started getting freebies from it. They were amazed by the timely delivery of the freebies. AMB is now improving at an awesome level but it never stop to surprise us.
9. Attack on delivery boys
The backbone of industry, delivery boy, were attacked on multiple occasions. They were looted, mugged and were robbed of the cash they collected for the COD orders. Some were brutally beaten and held captive. It is really sad to see this kind of behaviour toward hard working guys, running all day to spread happiness.
10. Increase in fraud activities
Companies, specially Flipkart, were targeted and looted. It was the extreme exploitation of their customer friendly schemes. Thanks to activeness of police, most of them got caught in no time.