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Ecommerce Development company

Top things to look for in an eCommerce development company

For every business, today, having a digital presence is the need of the hour. With eCommerce developing at a rapid pace, there is a surge in eCommerce development companies in the market. However, given the plethora of options available it can be quite daunting to select the right company that meets your business needs and requirements as well as budget. So for you to hire a trustworthy eCommerce company, we’ve put together some crucial factors that will help you in making the right decision easily:

  • Client List and Portfolio

A seasoned eCommerce company will have an eminent list of clients and portfolios. Such a company will be at par with the industry trends and standards and be aware of eCommerce developments in and outs. So if you are looking for someone who can craft the best solutions for your business, remember to deep dive and research the client list and portfolio before making the final decision.

  • Case studies

A successful eCommerce business will always showcase the case studies of their client on the website. Read through it and evaluate the different ways they have suggested and developed the roadmap for their existing clients. As a business owner, this will give you an idea of evaluating how the company will handle different situations and problems and judge their approach in developing strategies that will assist in the growth of your business.

  • Team strength
    Team strength is one of the fundamentals of any business. If the eCommerce development company is sufficiently staffed and has a good strength of developers, coders, content curators and managers you know you are in safe hands and will have a network of individuals assisting your project and crafting solutions for your business without any hiccups.

Use of latest technology and development

To stay at the forefront of new emerging eCommerce technologies, companies need to be in sync with the latest trends and developments while making use of the best offerings of technology for their clients. Developing a website for such businesses is piece of cake, but it is important to evaluate the features and highlights that are being utilised by the agency to make your business offering cohesive and stand out from the crowd.

  • Service skill-set
    A full-fledged eCommerce company will have a plethora of niche services that will be customised as per your business needs and requirements. Evaluate and validate their offerings and check their flexibility in crafting solutions.
  • Agency fee and service cost
    Every business has a pre-set budget in mind before hiring an expert solution provider. Remember to be transparent at all times and communicate the budget with the company. So your project can be offered flexible solutions as per the budget. Always check for hidden costs to avoid surprises later.
  • Maintenance Service

For seamless business operations, an effective eCommerce development company will always provide regular maintenance services. For example – updating the platform, checking on security etc. It is always best and important to clarify this point at the beginning of the project as later hiring developers for maintenance can be quite heavy on the pockets.

Amazon marketing

5 Reasons You Need To Advertise On Amazon

Amazon is now a household name in terms of retail shopping and e-commerce and is a popular mobile app, accounting for almost 31.2 percent of the G.M.V. market share in the Indian e-commerce space. As there is an increase in consumer demand, there is a resultant increase in seller competition and hence, brands have to gear up and amplify their marketing strategies to redirect consumers to buy their product offerings. To overcome the competition, Amazon offers its platform to let brands and sellers advertise products to current and potential customers to drive acquisition. A recent study by Kantar suggests that 54% of shoppers, who are exposed to advertising, say that it helps remind them of something they need, or it prompts an idea for something they want, therefore prompting ⅔ rd of the brands to increase their spends on the Amazon advertising platform.

With a search on the retailer’s website, a key element in the pre-buy consumer journey, advertising on the Amazon marketplace comes out as a mandate for enabling one’s products to be discovered on Amazon.

Here are the top reasons recommended by our very own industry experts to consider leveraging Amazon marketing services to gain conversions. 

1. Access To Real Purchasers 

Unlike other PPC platforms, Amazon is an online retail outlet, moreover a popular one, that attracts a major portion of the consumer market and hence it is wise to invest in Amazon’s online marketing services where there is a multitude of purchase-ready customers. 

Moreover, Amazon advertisers have witnessed 10 times more conversion rates than in any other PPC platform. 

2. Create Higher Brand Awareness

Amazon’s marketing services increase the level of brand awareness when compared to advertisements run on Google, Facebook, etc. where chances of the ad being noticed by users are lower, as they have little intention to buy products. 

On the other hand, Amazon has a massive number of purchase-ready visitors who when chancing upon your ad, will be redirected to your online storefront, thereby creating brand awareness through the display of your product range, brand voice, logo, colours, banners and videos.

3. Rich Insights And Data

Data on Consumer behavior is essential to optimize your online advertising strategies to reach your target audience. Using Amazon’s marketing, you can gain access to invaluable customer buying behavior data and analytics that other PPC platforms like Facebook are unable to offer. 

Moreover, Amazon provides real-time insights which when combined with its available consumer data, allows you to run truly successful ad campaigns.

4. Greater ROI With Amazon CPC Ads

It’s a well-established fact that CPC ads garner greater ROI when compared to other ad models, but did you know that CPC ads, specifically of Amazon’s digital marketing services, comparatively give you a massive ROI than other PPC platforms like google. 

This is due to the fact that online users on Amazon have a stronger intent to buy products. Hence you see a sizable amount of clicks and ultimately, conversions. 

5. Run SKU Level Campaigns

The benefits of advertising each product individually are immeasurable and Amazon’s digital marketing services let you do just this. By advertising products individually, you can focus on your best-selling products and generate more revenue rather than spending time, money and energy on products that do not convert. 

In this way, you are assured of minimizing losses and achieving a higher ROI by providing increased exposure on converting products. Moreover, the SKU level of advertising allows you to clear old stocks, promote seasonal products and newly launched products. 

To sum up, Advertising on Amazon proves to be a better option as opposed to advertising on other platforms. It is a filtered hub of a massive number of purchase-ready consumers, where there is a higher chance of product conversions for you by taking advantage of the variety of Amazon’s marketing services. 

A+ Content on Amazon

Checklist for Creating A+ Content on Amazon

Amazon is the most sought-after marketplace for online sales with scores of brands competing against each other to capture their target market. Listing product offerings on Amazon and expecting them to be sold like hotcakes is far from reality as a result of increased competition from your competitors. What you need is a competitive advantage that increases the visibility of your brand and products. This can easily be done by leveraging Amazon’s free and unlimited discoverability tool known as the A+ content feature. 

A+ Content: What is it? 

Amazon A+ content or enhanced brand content design is a highly beneficial tool that lets Amazon’s first-party vendors and sellers have a competitive edge over others. The free and unlimited platform boosts your visibility, discoverability, conversion rates and ultimately, sales. It is like a landing page where you can effectively showcase your products in an enhanced and creative way that appeals to & addresses the needs of potential customers. Amazon’s A+ content service lets you display enhanced product information, vivid imagery, eye-catching videos, the brand’s logo, colours and voice, product comparison charts and informative FAQs that result in brand awareness and informed buying decisions of the customers.

Who is eligible to use the A+ Content feature?

Amazon’s sales-boosting A+ content feature is available only to third-party sellers who have been registered and approved as brand owners under the Amazon brand registry program and to new companies that have already been registered under selling initiatives like Amazon Launchpad. 

How to make your A+ Content conversion-ready

  • Display the unique selling points of the product offerings through the use of text and corresponding images to attract customers. Images and more so, videos enable increased understandability in online users. 
  • Provide detailed information regarding the products to help potential customers make purchase decisions faster and prevent them from moving on to other brands that they think can fulfil their exact requirements. 
  • Identify high ranking keywords through analytics and incorporate them in your A+ content and images. Remember you are competing with several other sellers, so ensure your Amazon copy is informative and helps in boosting sales.
  • Design your content in a format or style that is simple and easily comprehensible. Complex product offerings and aspects can be broken down into digestible images, videos and copies.
  • For effective A+ content, incorporate value-added content that directly addresses the requirements of customers. Such data about customer requirements are frequently available in the reviews and comments section. 

Key Benefits Of The Amazon A+ Content

With Amazon A+ content, businesses can accelerate sales up to 10%. The implementation of additional images, videos, product descriptions and how-to-use-instructions to the product listings results in:

  • Improved Conversion Rates: Apart from the product listing content, the inclusion of additional elements like videos, images, sales copies, value-added content, stories, brand voice, logo and colours arrests the attention of potential customers and helps them gain a deeper understanding of the products. It also addresses their needs, creates credibility and social proof. All these are the factors based on which customers make informed purchasing decisions and ultimately, buy the product. 
  • Decreased Product Returns: When customers have made informed purchase decisions depending on the detailed information provided in the A+ content regarding the product, they are more likely to remain satisfied with their purchases and less likely to return them afterwards. 
  • Excellent Reviews: Based on the enhanced product information and subsequent product satisfaction, it leads to an enriched buyer experience, making customers write good reviews about the purchased products. 
  • Decreased Advertising Expenses And Increased Rate Of Return: As a consequence of the overall appealing nature of the A+ content, customers are more likely to make instant purchases, thereby reducing the need for extra advertising and ultimately, increasing the return on investment. 
Ecommerce Consultancy firm?

What To Look For In An E-commerce Consultancy Firm?

Brands globally are ramping up their e-commerce businesses. It’s being taken seriously by the top management across sectors. When brands look at establishing an e-commerce roadmap to exploit the potential to maximize online revenues – they know that they’ve got to build out an e-commerce department. And then starts the question – do we build that team in-house, or do we outsource it? What are the consequences of that decision? 

At Tenovia, we believe that getting the right team in a fast-growing space like e-commerce is tricky – and the cost of the wrong hires can set a brand back by 6 – 12 months. And that’s why at the core of our belief – we’ve built a model where we work as the outsourced ecommerce department for a fast-growing brand. 

The idea of this blog post is to help you consider some factors when selecting an e-commerce consulting firm: 

Tips to remember while selecting an e-commerce consultancy firm

  • Look at the firm’s services 

Look at the team’s services – will they work for you as a team extension? Can their services be bundled up and also be deployed in parts. 

  • Look at the firm’s portfolio. 

Look at the track record of the consulting firm/agency. One good way is to see the brands they’ve worked with. Go through the case studies. Ask them to talk you through their most successful projects. 

Look for how their expertise can help your brand increase e-commerce revenues

Moreover, looking at their existing portfolio gives you a better idea of their work and their ability to understand various products and market demographics. A portfolio will tell you about the clients and size of companies they would have worked for. This will help you understand how well the firm can gel with your business. 

  • Look at the firm’s expertise areas.

Do they have the expertise in your industry? Or do they have the expertise in the functions where you need the most help? Remember – e-commerce is a large space – and it has its niches of expertise in multiple functions such as merchandising, supply chain, warehousing, logistics, cataloguing, customer service, marketing, analytics, and others. 

  • Look at the firm’s competencies in the three areas.

Your ideal e-commerce partner would be good in Technology + e-commerce business strategies and execution + digital transformation.

Gauge the capabilities of these competencies as well. 

  • Team size of the e-commerce agency

Will the e-commerce agency be able to provide enough resources to breathe life into your e-commerce business? You want to know the team size that would be working on your account. If possible – ask for profiles of the team members who would be working on your account. 

  • Do metrics and KPIs drive them? 

As you’re trying to set up your brand’s eCommerce business – make sure that the e-commerce consulting firm that you hire is driven by metrics and clear KPIs so that they can help you create an organization in which you can hold multiple members (whether in the house / outsourced) accountable. This needs metrics and KPIs to be defined and tracked. 

  • Know the strengths and weaknesses of your e-commerce agency

All agencies / consulting firms have their strengths and weaknesses. Best way to find out your agency’s strengths and weaknesses? Ask them. 

The bigger the dream – the more important the team. So make sure you know you’re well enough. 

  • What’s their roadmap for you?

E-commerce offers exciting opportunities for your business. A consultant’s strong understanding of the marketplace and its policies help formulate your business plan for e-commerce. They offer tried and tested solutions and abundant resources to create a roadmap suited to where you are in your ecommerce journey. A strategic roadmap will provide you with the liberty to track your goals, quantitatively and qualitatively for both short term and long term basis. 

Why Does Your Business Need an e-Commerce Technology Partner ?

The e-commerce industry has been expanding significantly over the last 20 years – especially ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, higher consumer demand, digital receptiveness, – are the reason behind the  recent e-commerce growth. When it comes to Direct to Consumer channels – a brand’s own technology can be the competitive advantage in the – and that’s why brands need to understand and invest in it. Technology has given the consumers scope to access various tools to estimate prices, obtain coupons, and find alternatives, which resulted in the growth of online shopping.

How working with a technology partner benefits your e-commerce business? 

An e-commerce technology partner can help your e-commerce business grow in many ways. Here are some of the reasons how a technology partner can help your e-commerce business:

  • They bring products to market faster 

When you start working with a technology partner, you get instant access to experts’ knowledge about different platforms, emerging technologies, and integrations. 

  • Provide access to advanced technologies

Partnership with an outsourcing company signifies that your e-commerce business will be utilizing the latest technology and tools. 

  • Focus on core activities

A technology partner handles the rest of the processes and components to complete the omnichannel shopping experience. 

  • Less capital investment

A technology partner loses up your budget for improving other business functions. You also get the resilience to scale up or down these resources within less time.

Factors to remember while looking for a perfect technology partner

There are a lot of e-commerce solution providers out there. So, you should be careful and keep the following factors in mind before choosing one:

  • Area of expertise: While selecting a technology partner, try to go with a firm that has the experience in the particular domain and provides quality service. Because it not only helps you to analyze the market trend but also assists you through building a scalable product.
  • Support: A right tech partner makes sure that your work gets completed within the scheduled time. If you have any additional requirements, they must have a dedicated team assigned to provide the assistance immediately. 
  • Reliability: A partner should always be reliable irrespective of the domain and the field. So, carefully choose a technology partner who has been in the field for a long time now, and can be trusted to work with. 
  • Omnichannel: The modern-day customers do have a thing when it comes to where, when, and how they want to shop. So, select a technology partner who understands omnichannel inside out and can provide frictionless and seamless customer experience. 
  • Previous work: A company’s previous work and accomplishments says all about it. So, find a technology partner who has already worked on projects that are similar to your requirements and expectations. Also, find out if any of their previous work has won any appreciation in the form of awards. 

Therefore a technology partner helps your e-commerce business grow in many ways and ensures your future e-commerce trends are consistent. Here at Tenovia, our team of highly experienced and certified developers is ready to bring your vision to life. 

Call us today to explore our services!

Social media trends 2021

Social media is changing and in 2021 it’s become more important than ever. Being a valuable channel for marketers to reach and convert customers, brands need to focus on social media strategies too. A survey conducted by Datareportal’s Digital snapshot 2020 stated that nearly half of respondents have spent more time on social media due to COVID-19. 

Right from rising platforms to worthy causes, utilizing social media for shopping, live events, or forming relationships, 2021 social media trends is certainly something to look forward to.

Key Findings

  • Studies show that 75% of people don’t accept advertisements as truth
  • 63% of social media users feel consumer ratings are a priority
  • 70% of consumers believe customer opinions more than advertisements
  • 90% of people believe in brand recommendation from friends

This shows us that people trust strangers more than advertisements. Hence, to work in 2021, social media marketers must invest in their relationships with employees, customers, and influencers. This will ensure brand messages are backed up by voices that customers value. Here are a few trends to look forward to in 2021:

People-first 

Two-way communication is the key to boosting organic growth.  Brands need an engaged online community who engages with your content through likes, comments, and shares. This will help amplify content, through a channel which customers trust. Be it influencer marketing, reviews, etc. using nano influencers especially those who already have a brand affinity, and finding ways to collaborate with them is an essential component of your digital marketing.

Diversification

Social media has diversified tremendously this year with TikTok, pioneering as a new approach in social engagement. The introduction of Instagram’s Reel has also offered the opportunity to create short 15 second videos. A diversified social media field has definitely been laid down. Hence, it becomes vital to reconsider content posted on social media platforms and explore previously unexplored platforms.

Live 

Live social media has performed tremendously this year. Using live streaming, especially during the pandemic has helped fill the physical void for consumers. Marketers can use this opportunity to meet their customers live online. Additionally, live social media innovation has helped brands achieve their goals in ways previously unknown.

Social Causes

With political, environmental, and social issues taking the centre stage this year brands need to start conversations about the issues close to customers’ hearts. Merkle’s 2020 Media Insights Report found that 56% of consumers say they would not buy from businesses that remain silent on important issues. It’s now time for brands to use social platforms to inform and reassure customers. Brand giants such as Nike, Disney and Ben & Jerry’s have delved into this during the Covid-19 pandemic. Brands using this have seen increased interaction and engagement with customers.

Social Commerce

87% of e-commerce shoppers say that social media helps them make shopping decisions. Hence with Pinterest catalogues, Facebook and Instagram shops, 2021 is the perfect time for social e-commerce. Infiltrating social media, will improve the shopping experience, and shorten the purchase process. 

Hence, the above-mentioned trends will certainly help companies perform better and increase sales, while directly creating engaging content. Contact experts from Tenvio to help your company ace the 2021 social media game. 

Optimizing your eCommerce product pages for SEO success: A 2021 checklist

An optimized product page is essential for an eCommerce store, especially during the pandemic. Many products are now competing to be on page 1 in Google search and easily available for consumers who are searching for them. 

An optimized product page not only helps drive traffic but also converts the browsers into buyers. This will beat out the competition, and it will ensure the product pages are optimized. 

Here is a checklist to follow to ensure your eCommerce product page is optimized for success: 

The Dos:

1. A Keyword Strategy

Keyword research is the foundation for product page optimization. When researching one must use product-focused topics that users are actively searching for. Data from paid searches, can be used in the keywords, topic research and incorporate ad copy which will translate high click-through rates into meta descriptions.

2. Titles & Meta Descriptions

Title tags and meta descriptions are very important in product page optimization and it should include: 

  • The product brand 
  • Name of the product.
  • Model number.
  • And other important information

3. Product Pages with Structured Data

Collating the correct structure for data can help brands show up as rich snippets. All product pages should have product and review schema, which will help in:

  • Driving more impressions and clicks
  • And Improves CTR and drives more sales

4. FAQ Content

It is a must to have high-quality content that will meet the needs of users. If users do not find the content useful, bounce rates will be high, and customers may not buy the product.

5. Unique Product writeup & Meta Descriptions

Tailored content for each item can help rank branded and non-branded keywords. Hence, these should include a unique description. This will offer the consumers information which will help click on the listing and drive more traffic and sales.

6. Real Testimonials & Customer Reviews

Sharing genuine testimonials from customers who have tried your product will help purchase decisions and reflect well. It was also seen that product pages with customer reviews convert 58% more visitors than their review-free counterparts. Reviews help build trust while also providing fresh, unique content. 

7. Test the Landing Pages

Using tools like Optimizely and Google Optimize will help test the variations within product pages, which will help you figure out the ideal configuration. Changing the location of the call to action, etc, will help drive more conversions. Testing various page layout options and choosing the most impactful one is vital.

8. Quality Video & Imagery

High-quality images and videos can bridge that gap between the physical store and the virtual one. It provides end-users with the information they need to make confident purchases.

9. Minimize Load Times

Products need to be optimized for mobile. Fast-loading web pages will help get the content to the target audience faster and provide a better user experience. This also helps in increasing sales, revenue, and pages per session while decreasing bounce rates.

10. Audit the Product Pages 

Auditing the pages to see which technical and content elements need to be optimized is important. Elements to look out for include:

  • Title tags and meta descriptions
  • Slow page load times
  • Broken links
  • Thin content
  • 404 pages
  • 302 redirects
  • And missing structured data

The Don’ts:

1. Product Descriptions from Manufacturer’s Website

One of the most common mistakes in optimizing product pages is the usage of manufacturer descriptions. Most of the descriptions are not compelling and not optimized for search. Taking time to write descriptions will fare better. 

2. Don’t Remove Seasonal Pages 

A product page even if it is seasonal builds up rankings, traffic, and sales over time, hence it should not be removed. Even though they might not serve a real purpose creating content again each year would be challenging. 

3. Automated Optimization is a no

Dynamically populated product pages with the name of the product as the title tag, followed by brand and nothing else, is not a best practice. It needs to include important information in the titles, to rank for targeted keywords.

4. Out of Stock Pages Should Not be Removed

Even if products go out of stock the URL needs to still be live, especially if the page has rankings and traffic. Keeping the pages live and providing links to other, relevant products will prove to be beneficial. 

5. Usage of the Wrong Type of Structured Data 

Structured data can help the site rank and get more traffic and sales. Many brands do not implement structured data, however, this data will help the site rank for its rich snippets.

6. Weak Calls to Action

Many brands do not have strong calls to action, however, the use of clean and easy CTAs are a must-have for any site. The main job of a product page is to drive revenue and sales, hence a strong CTA is important. 

7. Do not Optimize Low-Volume Keywords

It is important to think like a customer and use that data to make decisions about which keywords to use. Optimizing keywords that do not rank will decrease revenue and clicks. 

8. Opportunities for Internal Linking & Backlinks

Opportunities to link for internal links and backlinks should not be missed. If these are linked pages will rank and will result in high purchase intent, that can increase revenue and sales. These efforts will improve both visibility and performance.

9. Wrong Prices

Not having the right pricing strategy may cause unrest in consumers. Hence, by choosing competitive pricing it will generate higher revenue, increase sales as well as clicks. 

10. Don’t Forget Mobile Optimization

Mobile devices are used tremendously to shop online. Not having a mobile-friendly product page can cause users to not buy products from your site. This optimization will also help in driving traffic to the website, and increase sales.

By following these guidelines including optimizing your page titles, descriptions, body content, building up internal links, and decorating your pages with structured data, will help you rank your website and create a successful SEO strategy for 2021. 

Magento Migration Deciphered

The eCommerce industry is ever-changing and consumers to need to keep up with the change. Support offered by Magento has ended and Magneto 2 has come to replace it. This is done order to provide web stores with new features, faster operations, better performance, advanced security mechanisms, and other benefits.

With the end of Magento 1- migrating to Magento 2 is the wisest choice as it saves on cost, time, and the overall process.  At Tenovia, with a team of experts and with over 14 years of experience, we understand the apprehension associated with migration. We’ve curated a list to help you decipher Magneto Migration and move forward as seamlessly as possible with our expertise.

Steps involved in Magento Migration

1.    Creating a plan:

To migrate without any obstacle, a plan needs to be curated. Analyzing the current Magento 1 website and noting the features that need to be implemented, eliminated or extended. Curating a plan for migration is one of the most vital steps in migration.

2.    Updating to the latest version:

Updating the original store to the latest version of Magento 1 available in the market is a must. This is quite essential with respect to Data Migration, the optimization of data will reduce errors. All the extensions and themes used need to be compatible with the latest Magento 1.x version too.

3.    Installing the latest version of Magento 2:

The server needs to prepare with the latest version of Magento 2. All the required libraries of this release installed, this will create an empty Magento installation without any extensions.

4.    Database migration:

Using the Data migration tool, a company can migrate data from Magento 1 database to Magento 2 database. During the stage is crucial and hence the web store must be on maintenance mode. After the data migration, a trigger sent into the Magento 1. The Database to capture new entries will occur when the store reopens for customers.

5.     Migration extension:

After carefully selecting the extensions for the Magento 2 store, installation can take place. A compatibility testing needs to ben run too, this will ensure that the installed extensions don’t cause a conflict with each other.

6.    System integration:

This step is critical as it involves external systems. Integrations with external systems and services to cover the functionality that cannot be covered by readymade extensions is a must. Integrating the store with either custom-built functionality or out-of-the-box solutions, which leverages the already existing Magento extensions.

 7.    Designing:

Migration of themes cannot happen from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Hence, selecting custom or ready-made themes will create a new look and feel for your eCommerce store.

8.    Delta migration:

All data accumulated in Magento 1 store since the first primary migration is now transferred to the Magento 2, with this the last step a fully functional Magento 2 store is ready.

9.    Take it live:

After the final verification has been performed, the Magento 2 website will get published, and your new and improved eCommerce store will hence be ready to use.

Contact the Magento migration experts at Tenovia and get a quote, and ensure a seamless migration. 

The Consumer Protection (eCommerce) Rule

The Consumer Protection Act: 

This act came to effect on August 9, 2019. However, the act only came into force on July 20, 2020. This act protects consumers, from unfair trade practices in eCommerce and to facilitate consumer welfare.

The rules impact: 

(a) all goods and services available on either digital or electronic networks, it also includes digital products

(b) all models of eCommerce, such as marketplace eCommerce and inventory eCommerce entity 

(c) all eCommerce multi-channels including single-brand retailers and single-brand retailers in single or multiple forms 

(d) all forms of unfair trade practices across all models of eCommerce.

(e) all eCommerce entities that are not in India but systematically offer goods and services to consumers in India

Duties

eCommerce entities: 

  • Corporate Entity: The rules set out that an eCommerce entity shall be a corporate entity under the Companies Act 2013 (regardless of the origin) or an office, branch or agency outside India owned or controlled by a person resident in India.
  • Nodal Officer: This requires an eCommerce entity to appoint a nodal person or an alternate senior is a resident in India, to ensure compliance with the Act or the Rules.
  • Disclosure of Information: An eCommerce entity requires one to provide the following information on its platform: 

(i) its legal name

(ii) the principal address of its headquarters and all branches

(iii) name and details of its website

(iv) contact details of customer care as well as of grievance officer

(v) details of the importer or seller of imported goods and services. 

This will hence ensure that the customer has all the information required for the eCommerce entity which will reduce the cases of fraud.

Changes in India's Consumer Protection Act 2019
  • Grievance Redressal: An eCommerce entity required to establish a grievance redressal mechanism and appoint a grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal.
  • Unfair Trade Practice: An eCommerce company should not adopt any unfair trade practice. Manipulation of the prices of the goods or services on its platform such that it can gain an unreasonable profit, should additionally not be done.
  • Cancellation Charges and Consent: eCommerce entities must not impose cancellation charges on consumers. Additionally, the rules also bar eCommerce entities from automatically recording consent of a consumer for purchase including in the form of pre-ticked checkboxes.

Marketplace eCommerce Entities

The rules suggest that the marketplace eCommerce entities need to ensure that sellers on their platform provide the description pertaining to the goods or services on their platform is accurate and corresponds directly with the actual features of the goods or services. They additionally need to disclose and display information about the sellers offering goods and services on its platform including information about the return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, and grievance redressal mechanism, etc. Furthermore, inter alia, terms and condition need to be displayed too. 

Sellers on Marketplace eCommerce Entities

The rules also prohibit sellers from adopting any unfair trade practice, including posing as consumers to post product reviews, misrepresenting the quality or features of any goods or services. The sellers additionally, cannot refuse to take back goods or discontinue the services. The rules also impose that the sellers need to appoint a grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal, the advertisements for the goods and services they offer need to be accurate and disclose information the necessary information, the country of origin needs to on the pack, additionally, guarantees of authenticity or genuineness of imported goods, and other guarantees or warranties need to be applicable and valid

Inventory eCommerce Entities

The duties and obligations of the inventory eCommerce entities are similar to that of the sellers. They too need to disclose information, like the country of origin of the goods and services, etc. They further need to deliver the goods on time and have to guarantee the authenticity of the goods. 

E-commerce under Consumer Protection Act soon

The grey area of the Act: 

Price: 

Furthermore, eCommerce as said earlier cannot manipulate the price of the goods or services offered on its platform. However, there is no guidance on what is considered as ‘unreasonable profit’. For example, a luxury designer could sell a serum 3 times the price of a regular face mask, but would this be considered as an unreasonable profit? 

Contractual information: 

Any seller in the eCommerce marketplace must disclose all contractual information which must then be displayed on its platform. Similarly, every inventory eCommerce entity is also required to display contractual information required to be disclosed by law. However, it again becomes unclear about which contract information needs to be displayed? Is it the information between the seller and the marketplace eCommerce entity? 

Timeline for compliance: 

The eCommerce Rules have come to effect from July 23, 2020, and no grace period had been given for compliance especially to the offshore eCommerce companies that systematically offer goods or services to consumers in India. Generally, a grace period for compliance allowed in order for businesses to manage their affairs to become compliant. However, this is not the case under the eCommerce Rules. This thus can affect the functionality of the said entities

These rules aim to bring transparency and accountability in the provision of information disclosed to the consumers. It also reduces the possibilities of unfair trade practices by large sellers. With the increase in eCommerce activity especially in present times, these rules will address consumer grievances and prescribe practices that benefit consumers. Hence, for entities to comply with the rules, they will have to fundamentally overhaul their websites and will have to invest significantly in legal compliance. 

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON ECOMMERCE

COVID-19 shifted the whole ecosystem of markets and has made an impact that can be deemed long-lasting. Consumer behaviour has seen a change, purchase decisions have seen a shift and the usual flow of businesses is left disrupted. But along with the many disruptions, this pandemic has brought about changes and enhanced technological growth. The eCommerce and marketplace sector have specifically witnessed this growth.

The pandemic has accelerated India’s e-commerce market almost threefold and sped up growth that is pegged to be around $85 billion by 2024, even with other sectors being negatively impacted. 

India has seen a rise in the number of FTUs or first-time-eCommerce-users in India, who had previously been inhibited to shop online. Some eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have even returned to the level of pre-COVID time. Other eCommerce players like Grofers, BigBasket, Lenskart, etc have also seen a rapid increase in various services. Many new players are entering into this marketplace noting the opportunities available. eCommerce companies can further expect: 

  1. An influx of online shopping: 

As stated with a record number of FTUs in India and brick-and-mortar and kirana stores closed and with lower footfall than usual, there is an increase in sales on eCommerce platforms.  There has been a switch from malls and supermarkets to eCommerce for everyday commodities. Companies can use this to their advantage and provide good deals. Companies like BigBasket had seen such an influx and demand of goods that they had to restrict access to their website to existing customers only, while Grofers – a rival, had faced a similar situation.

A conversation with TN Hari, Head of HR from Big Basket in April 2020 helped gain insight into changing consumer behaviour and adaptations to the new normal. As rightly predicted, the shift from offline to online in all sectors has been perceived as the need for the hour.

  1. More efficient and convenient models:

Online shopping offers the convenience of not having to go out to shop and waste time waiting in lines and scrolling through items, all it takes is just a click on a button to purchase a product that will be delivered right at your doorstep. However, eCommerce platforms should ensure efficiency in logistics and supply chain flow. Myntra’s End of Reason Sale had integrated and collaborated 400 offline stores of more than 60 brands. The items that were purchased shipped directly from the brands’ stores to the consumer’s doorsteps. Allowing for a more seamless supply chain and providing convenience to the consumers. There is also a significant rise in the number of convenient shopping models like BNPL gaining prominence among the Indian consumers.

  1. Increase in essential and corona virus-related products:

Shopping habits and consumer behaviour has seen change during the pandemic. Ecommerce companies are being required to sell essential items as a way to have an edge and meet consumer demands. Products like soaps, sanitizers and health care items have a market of its own now. ePharmacy has seen an increase in India, with numerous investors looking on ways to invest in ePharm companies. Amazon has also noticed the shift in consumer behaviour and adapting to the pandemic is said to have prioritised delivery of essential items garnering appreciation and an increase in its sales from customers. 

  1. Digital transformation: 

Kirana stores have been the crux of Indian System. But, now with the virus outbreak, people are looking out for alternatives. This has offered digitalisation and upskilling of Kirana stores to adapt to changes. Companies like Flipkart in an attempt to streamline this unorganised sector have tied up with these stores for provisions and delivery while still supporting their development. 

This pandemic has gauged a segment of shoppers that previously have not purchased online to now rely on it. Consumer buying habits are constantly changing and companies need to follow efficient ways to get FTUs hooked on while still retaining existing customers. 

With the rising adoption of Omnichannel solutions across sectors and focus on digital transformation eCommerce companies have seen and will continue to see tremendous opportunity and growth amidst COVID.

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