[blockquote]The real value of online commerce lies in its ability to enable the customer to acquire required product or service remotely and ensuring convenience for its users.[/blockquote]
In any service industry, the role of service recipient i.e. customer is very crucial to the success of the service delivery chain. This nature of service industry, i.e. the role of the customer in the chain, has made the service business quite a complex business.
E-commerce or Facebook-based e-commerce pursuit, popularly known as f-commerce, can be considered as a service delivery platform that enables the customer to buy varieties of physical and virtual products and get them delivered to their place.
The real value of online commerce lies in its ability to enable the customer to acquire required product or service remotely and ensuring convenience for its users. If you look closely, the most successful e-commerce companies in the world rarely produce something, well there are exceptions like Amazon Alexa or Echo but that is a different story. Instead, these companies create value in a different way., E-commerce companies across the world, and in Bangladesh as well, are in the business of convenience and creates value through making its customer’s life easy.
While convenience is what most e-commerce companies offer as value, in Dhaka ensuring convenience is quite a challenging business. Ensuring convenience and a seamless service delivery goal is a near impossible feat.
Among existing problems of e-commerce in Dhaka, payment and delivery are two most painful issues for all internet entrepreneurs. While MFS companies like bKash and Rocket has partially solved the issue of payment, by enabling customers to pay remotely through their cell phones, delivery has still been a consistent challenge for the most e-commerce companies despite the emergence of a few company like eCourier, Pathao and others. We hear rampant complaints about poor service quality on the part of the delivery partners.
The another persistent problem e-commerce companies face is fake orders. There is a growing concern among entrepreneurs about fake orders. This type of orders includes orders where the customers do not receive the product after placing orders, causing companies’ loss. This happens mostly in the case of cash on delivery mode.
Due to the persistent nature of the problem, it is often an expensive problem and businesses struggles with coming up with effective solutions. That said, many entrepreneurs have come up with quite interesting and effective solutions to this issue, thanks to the collaborative power of the internet, we have put together a list of measures taken by entrepreneurs to combat fake orders:
The quality product sends a signal to all kinds of customers and it reduces the ratio of actual order to fake order. The theory that in play here is that serious platform attracts serious kind of users.
Taking advance delivery charge will reduce fake order to the minimum, according to various entrepreneurs’ opinion online. E-Haat of Bandarban posted in a facebook group that they do not confirm any single order without getting this charge in advance which has reduced fake order to nil. There should be some sort of mechanism in place to filter out unreal users.
Some online entrepreneurs are taking resort to “no bargaining” policies, which discourage fake customers and helps the store owner to retain good customers in long run. However, store owners reported that they sometimes offer discounts based on customer loyalty.
some store owners suggested contacting the buyer multiple times after order placement. A store owner informed us that they usually call the customer after initial order placement and before dispatching the product. This has reduced many fake orders and also orders from not-sure minded customers.
Some store owner resorted to the method of analyzing customer’s social profile and make an educated guess.
Shiprocket, an Indian delivery firm, suggested using special software on the e-commerce website to track suspicious customer behavior. This way store owner can filter out fake orders with some precision.
While there is no single method to weed out fake orders from current e-commerce ecosystem of Bangladesh, due to the absence of card-based payment and the prevalence of COD, measures, outlined above, can become handy to new entrepreneurs. However, coupling multiple measures has proven to be effective according to different online store owners.