E-Commerce in India is relatively new but very upcoming. As online platforms become a suitable medium for communication and advertisement of products, e-commerce indulgence goes up. Customer presence online has been at an all-time high in recent years and websites such as Amazon & Flipkart, etc. have gained a very positive response. Challenges arise while dealing with products displayed on the screen, and it becomes essential for e-commerce business owners to invest in methods of customer satisfaction. One of the primary ways of doing so is ensuring fulfillment is met.
Fulfillment of Order Fulfillment refers to the processes involved in helping a customer receive their package. This includes receiving the information of the order placed by a customer, packaging of the product, and shipping the product to the customer’s address. Successful online retailers have a strong network with fulfillment providers and ensure that customer gratification is their ultimate goal.
CURRENT E-COMMERCE TREND IN INDIA
Indian e-commerce has seen a rise in the near past with advancements in technology such as digital payments, logistics, customer engagement, advertisements on online media etc. The Indian Government has taken initiatives to help scope the e-commerce by introducing schemes such as Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India, Make in India etc. With the aid given by the Government, e-commerce is set on a growth path of $200 billion by the next seven years.
Online selling sites such as Amazon and Flipkart are multi-brand goods and service providers following a marketplace model of business. According to India’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), a 100% FDI allowance has been set in the mentioned companies above.
E-commerce is mainly a lucrative form of online selling business. The retail industry needs to remain aware of the competition and make plans for investments. With the Government’s decision, e-commerce is seeing a field of opportunities and advantages. Thus, it is clear that the growth for e-commerce is reaching new heights, for both web and brick-and-mortar retailers. The traditional “inventory-led model” is being dismantled and is being replaced by an original method of trade between buyers and sellers.
India has proven to be a hub for e-commerce with a 15-20% increase in trade per annum. Internet and Mobile Association of India made a study which stated that there are 52 million internet users that are new to the online platforms, increasing the total user base to 352 million. Indian retail market is expanding with the top 25 retail businesses in India, accounting for 62% of the overall internet traffic. The growth is predicted to be exponential, and e-commerce business owners are in for a successful expansion of their organization.
THE ROLE OF FULFILLMENT IN E-COMMERCE
Finding success may be a difficult task, but if enough is invested in customer gratification, it is possible for a business to triumph. Fulfillment aims at providing impeccable service to customers. In earlier times, fulfillment was done by the retailers; however, in recent years, agencies have come up with which handle customer satisfaction. The critical question is: How does fulfillment help in the field of e-commerce?
1. PROVIDING ACCURATE PRODUCTS TO CUSTOMERS
Selling products on Amazon & Flipkart is not a simple procedure. Giant and successful sites such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc., ensures that fulfillment is of the highest quality. The image of a particular product must match the actual delivered product. Thus, good agencies are hired to ensure that the product is adequately packed to avoid any damage to the item. Accuracy must be maintained- warehouses must store products in suitable conditions to preserve the health of a product. If the item delivered is the same as the claim made by the online retail site, it increases customer gratification and trust drastically. Thus, fulfillment service becomes a necessity for the success of a company.
2. ASSURING MINT-CONDITION AND QUALITY OF PRODUCTS
The customer values the right quality products. A defective, faulty or unusable product puts up a bad reputation for the retailer. Thus, it is crucial to employ fulfillment strategies to ensure that the quality of the product is maintained. Warehouses storing the products provide that the packaging of the product is not ripped, food items are correctly preserved in refrigerators and products reach the customer in the exact state it is intended. The value and image of a brand increases when a customer is fully satisfied with the quality of the product and acknowledges the fact that the claims aren’t false.
3. DELIVERING THE PRODUCTS ON TIME
Another significant factor that fulfillment brings into the picture is on-time delivery. No consumer likes to be on the waiting end of things. Since an average delivery time is provided on the online website, it is the responsibility of the retailer that the product reaches the customer as promised. Fulfillment takes care that the shipment of the order is made well in advance to ensure the trust is maintained between the customer and the retailer. On-time delivery helps the customer be assured that the order of a product will not disrupt any other activities pertaining to their daily life as the consumer will know when to expect the arrival of the product. This positive approach, with the help of fulfillment, strengthens the consumer and retailer bond.
4. EASY EXCHANGE OF PRODUCTS
It is relatively healthy for goods to be exchanged for various reasons such as placing an order by mistake, issues regarding the size of the product, a change of mind, etc. In such cases, a good fulfillment model will ensure that exchanges are provided with ease. The fluidity in the warehouses should ensure that the returned products have a separate department looking into the matter and issuing a new period as to when the exchanged product will be delivered. After that, the new product must be provided with equal finesse in packaging, shipping, and delivering. Knowing that items can be returned or exchanged engages customers at a more rapid level.
E-commerce is taking India by storm. The online presence is changing the scope of marketing and businesses with the introduction of fulfillment to aid the process further. The growth of e-commerce in India is increasing millionfold and is likely to grow more in the coming years. With the advancement in technology, an Indian is introduced to the internet every three seconds, thus securing the existence of online retailers firmly for an extended period. Fulfillment is an essential tool for the success of any online shopping site. Customers constitute the primary reason for a company’s success and keeping consumers happy should be the number one priority. Hiring agencies that deliver professional fulfillment is of utmost importance.