While globally the eCommerce industry is making bank during Covid19, Indian eCommerce companies seem to have taken a hit. With the government taking a firm stand towards the delivery of essentials alone, logistics being hit in a huge way and consumers going back to their trusted Kirana walas (neighbourhood local grocery stores), eCommerce marketplaces need to think through efficient processes to survive in the race of existing and emerging players striving to carve a lion’s share of the pie.
Ecommerce was growing at an exponential rate in India before COVID19 hit us with 6 million new entrants every month, according to a Deloitte report ‘Beyond the growth story Mitigating fraud risks in the e-commerce industry.’
Aggressive competition to gain market share through competitive pricing strategies, meeting profitability expectation of investors and the race to seek funds for expansion, the eCommerce companies often overlooked their core strategies to provide value to customers, and their back-end processes and controls, thereby increasing risk to sustain, survive and be a player in the long run. Here are 5 ways by which eCommerce marketplaces can mitigate loss.
Be known for something unique: Providing differentiated products or services is key to creating a niche demand for your platform and of course to remain relevant and not be consumed by the big fishes. Here is something that food tech platforms can learn from Nykaa.com, the largest beauty eCom player in the country. Nykaa initially brought all the unique brands online that were difficult to find otherwise gained a huge customer base.
Bring exclusivity to your inventory: Most eCommerce companies focus on ease of delivery and competitive pricing with little or no new variants in the product line-up. To attract new customers or retain new ones, eCommerce platforms can partner with brands that would sell exclusively on their specific platform. Ecommerce companies can also sell brand products that are manufactured solely to be purchased online. For example, Hindustan Unilever has partnered with Amazon to sell exclusive men grooming products that are unavailable in traditional stores.
Do it for the story: When you have a product or service that solves a problem of your target customer base, it is essential for you, as a business owner, to communicate the same. This is where content marketing comes into play. You can market your distinguished product or service line-up by partnering with marketing content companies, taking up speaker opportunities and making sure your brand story is heard across media platforms. If you have a story share it, if you don’t, find one!
Have a robust return and refund policy: Your website should clearly articulate your return and refund policies so that your customers believe in your credibility. Being accountable for incorrect delivery or delivery of faulty products also invites your customers’ trust. A recent survey by UPS on online marketplaces points out that 48% of customers like to purchase from those retailers who offer hassle-free returns.
Build a seamless transaction experience: More often than not, a majority of eCommerce businesses tend to partner with third-party vendors. It is imperative to ensure that your third-party vendor software is updated with additional features/upgrades installed timely to mitigate risks from hackers or fraudsters who often take recourse to these software to make unlawful transactions, leading to revenue and reputation loss for your company.
For eCommerce to bounce back, looking inwards for solutions, sticking to basics and keeping the consumers first will be the key to a sustainable and potentially profitable growth trajectory.
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