The last few months haven’t been good to e-commerce. While the shutdowns and consolidations were anticipated and accounted for, the threat of consumers losing faith in online buying must not be ignored lest the growth slows.
Why should the industry bother? Because customer is king. And they don’t take kindly to being treated otherwise.
As cash starved ventures shut shop, or merge, many customers are being left in the lurch about the orders they paid for.
The recent incident with Timtara, a Noida based e-commerce company facing charges of fraud for not delivering products bought by customers, has muddied the waters.
But it is not an isolated instance.
Meanwhile, vendors or sellers with these companies have also complained that the many online retailers have not paid their dues and cheques have been bouncing.
According to a discussion on NextBigWhat forum – Seventymm has not paid dues of vendors for months and is now asking sellers to settle for 60% of the promised amount.
“We have not been paid for the last four months though we have been following up with them regularly. The sourcing team has not been receiving my calls,” Sanjeev Sahni, one of the suppliers to Seventymm said. While the Seventymm site is still alive, it doesn’t let customers buy from them anymore.
The $10 bn e-commerce industry in India is in its growth stage. The business requires confidence of both buyers and sellers. Situations like this will quickly erode trust and can add to the problems of the nascent industry. Many sellers are now wary of extending credit to startups in the ecommerce space.
The young ecommerce industry must act swiftly to shore up its credibility which is at stake.
The good news is, there are lots of disillusioned customers out there for the taking. All you need to do is delight them. By the standards that have been set by the ones that are going under, it shouldn’t be too difficult.