The e-commerce industry in India is growing at a remarkable pace due to high penetration of internet and sophisticated electronic devices. However, the recent growth rate of e-commerce in India is far lagging behind than other developed countries. There are many big problems and challenged on the way of an online merchant. Factors like safety and security of online money transaction being the biggest problem along with others have curbed the smooth expansion of the online industry in the country. Although, major portion of e-business sectors have affected by the below mentioned challenges but still there are few online giants like Makemytrip.com, flipkart.com, Snapdeal.com who have overcome the challenges and represents the perfect growth trends of e-commerce in India.
Poor Knowledge and Awareness: When it comes to ratio of internet consumers, scenario is not so admirable one. Majority of Indian rural population are unaware of internet and it uses. Surprisingly, most of internet savvies or urban population are also suffering from poor knowledge on online business and its functionalities. Very few are aware of the online corruption and fraud and thus darkness still exists. A reliable survey reveals that 50% of Indian online users are unaware of the solution of online security.
Online Transaction: Most of Indian customers do not possess plastic money, credit card, debit card and net banking system, which is one of the prime reasons to curtail the growth of ecommerce. Nevertheless, in recent years, some of the nationalized banks have started to issue debit cards to all its account holders. This is undoubtedly a positive sign for Indian online entrepreneurs.
Cash on Delivery: Cash on Delivery (COD) has evolved out of less penetration of credit card in India. Most of Indian E-commerce companies are offering COD as one of mode of payment for the buyers. 30%-50% of buyers are also taking advantage of this mode of payment while making purchase of any product and service over internet. COD has been introduced to counter the payment security issues of online transaction, but this mode has been proving to be loss and expensive to the companies. It is seen that majority of the customers denied to make the payment at the time of delivery of the product. Hence, companies tend to lose the sale along with product transit fees. In order to curb the problem of COD, online companies should take some judicial steps; otherwise basic logic behind the ecommerce business will be at risk.
Online Security: In case of startup and small business, Business owners are ignoring the importance of authentic software due to budget constraints. They are even failing to take the initial steps to secure and protect their online business through installation of authentic protection services like antivirus and firewall protection, which indeed a crucial step for successful online business players. In India, maximum number of business entrepreneurs used unauthorized software in their server, which usually does not come with upgraded online security. Such pirated software leaves room for virus, malwares and Trojan attacks and it is highly risky task to make online transactions in the systems, which may disclose or leak sensitive details of credit cards and online banking of the users. These kinds of droopiness should be banned in Indian ecommerce sectors. Affiliation to SSL certificate should be imposed as a mandatory action for every owner.
Logistics and Shipment Services: In India, logistics and courier services required lots of improvement. While, perfect and strong logistics service is one of the key reasons behind the success of any online company, India is lagging far behind in this sector as most of the town and small villages are still not covered under serviceable area of many of the courier and logistic companies. Ecommerce is hampered in a big way owing to the limited services offered by the courier service companies.
Tax Structure: Tax rate system of Indian market is another factor for lesser growth rate of ecommerce in India in comparison to other developed countries like USA and UK. In those countries, tax rate is uniform for all sectors whereas tax structure of India varies from sector to sector. This factor creates accounting problems for the Indian online business companies.
Fear factor: Fear of making online payment is a universal psychological factor of Indian customers. With the spread of knowledge on online transactions and its reliability, some percentages of customers have overlooked this fear and they are fearlessly engaging themselves in online shopping. But still, majority of customers are not aware of online transactions and its security. They often reluctant to disclose their credit card and bank details and preferred to stay away from online world of shopping.
‘Touch and Feel’ factors: Indian customers are more comfortable in buying products physically. They tend to choose the product by touching the product directly. Thereby, Indian buyers are more inclined to do ticketing and booking online in Travel sectors, books and electronics. Companies dealing with products like apparel, handicrafts, jewellery have to face challenges to sell their products as the buyers want to see and touch before they buy these stuffs.