A well reputed brand claims that being digital (selling online) is now a way of life and not just a channel for sale. If you notice today’s marketing strategies of marketplaces it is clearly visible that online retail influences buying habits on a daily basis. And the demand for products from such marketplaces is growing every day. But what influences consumers to come back for more? Is it service? Quality? Or discounts?
Survey says “The Indian e-commerce business is projecting a jump of up to $45 billion by 2021. Close to 240 million people are forecast to purchase products online by 2019. 56% of the population is under 30. 80% of online traffic is mainly from mobile phones.
The truth about Marketplace discounts
According to reports, complaints and interrogations, a new survey has revealed that marketplace retailers are quoting discounts on products with base prices higher than their MRP. This issue was brought to the notice of Department of Consumer Affairs who created Local Circles, an online network and a community, after which the Ministry sought inputs from local citizens for useful solutions. Local Circles conducted survey which had more than 8,000 respondents from around 200 districts.
The founder of Local Circles, Sachin Taparia said, “Many citizens have complained in multiple local circles that sellers at e-commerce sites tend to inflate the MRP of the product so that the discounts offered on them could look attractive to the buyers.” He further added, “Many shoppers tend to look up products based on discounts and end up falling in the trap only to find that the MRP on the actual product received was lower than what was listed online.” Some consumer stated that when they tried to mention in reviews that there were discrepancies in the MRP of products, some of the leading ecommerce companies rejected their reviews.
The results of the survey was
- 41 percent of the surveyed claimed to have experienced this discounting malpractice on online retail platforms.
- 34 percent of the consumers said they weren’t sure of this.
- 25 percent respondents said they hadn’t experienced it.
Consumers also suggested many solutions to overcome this problem,
- Display of a product image with actual product MRP and packaging.
- Marketplace platforms must obtain a legal contract from their retailers stating they will be blocked from the website in case they inflate prices above MRP.
- And, in the event of a request for a refund from consumer on account of MRP issue, the full amount paid should be refunded to consumer bank account instead of offering shopping credits within the website.