Thursday 17 March 2016

Etailers queuing-up to explore villages thanks to low returns

Big ecommerce players moved from metropolitan cities to tier 2 & 3 cities in the last couple of years. Now they are also gradually inching towards small towns and villages due to the growing trend of online shopping in rural areas.

Shopclues, Flipkart, Amazon spreading their rural presence

A positive byproduct of the surge in rural internet users and smartphones is the rise of online rural buyers. No one wants to miss this boat. Therefore, right from Shopclues to Amazon, etailers are adding remote pin-codes to their serviceable areas.
Shopclues caters to 8,000 pin-codes spread across various small towns and villages. The etailer revealed that demand for unbranded apparel, plastics containers & buckets, inexpensive utensils and low-priced electronics is high.
Amazon India, Snapdeal and Flipkart too are steadily working towards expanding their rural presence and making the most of this emerging trend.

Bullock-carts and local delivery men come to rescue

Last mile delivery issues are aplenty in remote areas. As a result, etailers have to think on their feet and find logistic solutions using the available tools. Shopclues recently delivered a Samsung LED television in Gangaram village of Andhra Pradesh using a bullock-cart!
To meet the demand from this emerging market, Shopclues has also tied up with rural ecommerce start-up mVikarsha, a company that connects online retailers and buyers.
On the other hand, Amazon relies on good old India Post, NGOs, rural service provider and local delivery boys to fulfil orders placed from small towns & villages.

Low returns rate, a definite crowd-puller

Besides the growing demand, one of the main reasons why ecommerce biggies are investing heavily in the rural market is the low returns rate.
As we all know, high returns rate is a huge concern for etailers and to lower the same they are implementing innovative ideas.
So it comes as a huge relief that rural buyers are largely need-based customers unlike impulse and wandering urban buyers from tier-1 cities. This is why the returns rate is low compared to metro cities.
Needless to say, etailers are way too happy catering to a section of consumers who don’t buy just for the thrill and return products on a whim.
Vishal Sharma, VP – Operations at Shopclues shared, “The returns in smaller towns and villages are much lower, only 3%.”

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