New Delhi: The e-commerce companies are trying hard to come up with a foolproof system to eradicate blunders and provide the customers with authentic products as they attempt to maintain and improve their brand image.
But still they haven't been able to plug in the loop hole completely. Recently, a New Delhi-based person ordered a LG G2 Smartphone from a online retailer and he was delivered with a second hand phone. Fortunately, He ordered the Smartphone opting ‘cash on delivery’ payment mode and so was able to return it.
Nakul Bajaj, CEO Darveys.com, said, "The reason that customers encounter faulty products is due to the mismanagement of inventory. In a marketplace model it gets more cumbersome as there are so many sellers and the actual marketplace cannot control the inventory themselves. In our International market place model it’s completely different, wherein we have hired a company which does all the checks on our products from quality to the basics of checking and assures that it is the right product in itself. In our case every seller first ships out the item to this company and then they re-ship it thereby making sure that the customer receives the correct item every time."
The major challenge any e-commerce firm faces is to gain consumer confidence on the authenticity of the products. It can be spoiled in a minute if a faulty product is delivered to the customer.
Nijesh Shah, CEO of SapnaOnline and Bookadda.com made the following suggestions on how e-commerce companies can ensure not delivering faulty products.
1. 'Quality Check' team to ensure no faulty products get delivered to the customer. By placing the QC team in between the procurement and packaging process, we are able to solve 95% of the product quality related issues. The QC team ensures that every product that is procured, before getting packed and shipped, is in proper and accurate condition.
2. The rest 5% is solved by putting in place stringent clauses and SLA's with logistic companies to make sure that there is no issue with the order delivery to the customer during the shipment transit time.
Praveen Sinha, Founder and MD, Jabong.com, said that, “The news about fake products is rife, but Jabong has undertaken stringent measures to curb counterfeits by apprising the consumers through various platforms on how to differentiate between a fake and an authentic product. We have also collaborated with a testing lab -Intertek – an industry leader in product testing to test our products for their authenticity and quality.”
"E-commerce companies and brands, particularly in e-tail have a greater responsibility to ensure that they get their product quality absolutely right. This is being done with increased focus on areas like category management, quality control & assurance, mystery shopping, customer feedback, analysis of replacement items, evaluating each supplier stringently before empanelment and blacklisting of repeat offender suppliers,"said Peshwa Acharya, CEO, Think as Consumer.
Blaming Logistics for the wrong delivery of products has become an answer for e-commerce companies to pass the ball to the other court, but according to consumers it is the responsibility of online retailers to deliver the product safely to the consumers.
Hardik Kapoor, founder, Jewelsify.com, said, “Logistics are holding India’s e-Commerce companies back. There are ways like good storage facility in case of inventory model, product check when receive products from vendor. In case marketplace model careful packaging, trackable ship methods, handling of product and signature-required methods for high-price point items to know about the product. “
While different level of quality checks have been implemented by e-commerce companies to deliver the right product. "American Swan has stringent checks and processes to ensure compliance on quality standards. Right from engaging with best-in-class vendors and partners, to product or merchandise QC to easy & free returns: we ensure that the customer is at the core of our business. Further, we address issues of quality with utmost importance & priority and ensure that we are continuously improving on the service level," said, Anurag Rajpal, Director and CEO of American Swan.