Ecommerce players should focus on creating a consolidated community space where consumers can have an omnichannel shopping experience, angel investor and business strategist Lloyd Mathias said while sharing his views on ‘building consumer trust and relationship for ecommerce’ at Consumer Confidence Conclave 2021 organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.
Mr Mathias also pointed out the critical role played by the ecommerce platforms during the pandemic and called for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to create a trusted ecommerce ecosystem.
“Both policy makers and regulators need to recognise the fact that ecommerce has become mainstream, it is no longer an addon to the larger retail experience. Especially during the pandemic, ecommerce became a lifeline for most of us. This not about some large conglomerate trying to overtake India’s retail space this is about how millions of Indians are going to shop.”
Underscoring the need to make the ecommerce ecosystem more participative, Mr Mathias said,” I envisage a future where your nearest retailer is connected to an ecommerce platform and he can come by with all of the selections so that we can have the touch and feel experience.”
It is important to keep consumers at the centre of this whole issue. Be it policy makers or ecommerce players, they need to look at it from the standpoint of consumers, he added.
Speaking at the conclave, noted ad film maker Prahlad Kakkar highlighted a key aspect of consumer behaviour saying, people tend to forget efficiencies in the digital age.
” If a consumer gets 100 deliveries right and finds an issue with just one package. He tends forget all the great service he had availed so far and focuses on the deficiency part.”
“And when you allow people to share their dissatisfaction, engage with them and acknowledge there was a mistake on your part, you will find their memory of dissatisfaction will be temporary,” he added.
LocalCircles CEO Sachin Taparia, who was also part of the esteemed panel, said earlier ecommerce was only about selection and convenience but now it is about safety and we are gradually migrating towards trust.
Sharing his experience regarding consumer grievance redressal , Taparia said, in 2016, when ecommerce was in a nascent stage, they received complaints from consumers that they did not see MRP or expiry dates of consumption products on ecommerce websites. So, when they receive the package, at times, there was an MRP mismatch or in some cases the products were expiring in a month’s time.
“So, we conducted a survey on the request of Consumer Affairs ministry and found around% consumers were facing the same issue. Following the poll results, department of Consumer Affairs amended the Packaged Commodity Rules 2011 and made it mandatory for all eCommerce sites will have to disclose the actual MRP of the product,” he added.
Vivan Sharan from Koan Advisory marked a cautionary note on blatantly following the European model in ecommerce-related policy decisions.
“It is important to look at the cause and effect, the outcomes in European country as compared to outcomes we desire and find our own unique path”
He also said that technology companies are going beyond ‘touch and feel’ in terms of behavioural data and consumer biases. As a consumer, we know that they are feeding data in their algorithms to serve our preferences.