While managing any online business, the company not only needs to focus on providing the easiest approach to accessing their platform but also deal with a handful of nagging, questioning customers. These firms need to have an enhanced customer support team to successfully address and avert their mid-life crisis — possibly their stuck money!
While the e-commerce rivalry between Flipkart and Amazon had intensified over the past years, Amazon India has managed to beat home-brewed former unicorn Flipkart in terms of customer experience, according to Forrester’s India CX Index 2016. Flipkart, on the other hand, has recently revealed that it was able to maintain its pole position in terms of sales during the festive season but the competition was cut-throat.
These heavy movers in the e-commerce ecosystem in India did bag the top spots but surprisingly Jabong emerged as one of the most consumer-friendly online business in this report. For those unaware, fashion marketplace Jabong was acquired by Flipkart for a staggering $70 million.
In addition, the customer experience index for e-commerce and retail as a category improved from “poor” last year to “OK”, the segment lags behind counterparts in the US and China. E-tailers have been insistently trying to tap into the known mindset of Indian pupil and shower them with discounts and sales but the same has begun to taper off in hindsight of improved customer experience. E-commerce players in foreign countries are known to offer better customer support, flexible return policies and faster delivery services.
Commenting on the same, Amit Bhatia, senior analyst at Forrester says,
In general, digital-only retailers are realizing that deep discounting as a customer acquisition strategy leads to a downward spiral.
With no profits to show, increasingly impatient investors, and the threat of foreign entrants with even deeper pockets looming large, many digital retailers have now begun to publicly claim to focus on delivering a differentiated CX instead.
The CX report also reveals that Amazon India shares the top spot with the most consumer-friendly grocer in town — BigBasket. It also adds that expanding on online to offline strategies also helps improve customer experience. With respect to the Indian ecosystem, marketplaces like Zivame, Chumbak, LensKart among others already have an offline presence. This enables consumers to visit the store nearby and check out the products before purchasing. Myntra, its parent Flipkart, and Urban Ladder are planning offline expansion in coming months. With its aggressive push in India, Amazon might also be looking to set up customer experience stores in the country.
These e-commerce companies have recently also been launching new products(apps or experiences) to retain and make their user base return back to the platform. Amazon is expanding its scope by launching its Prime delivery and Prime Video subscription service at affordable rates to the masses. Whereas Flipkart has debuted a Lite version of its platform on mobile to enable users to access its services even at sluggish internet speeds.
Forrester data shows a compelling link between CX and revenue. Higher CX returns are around the corner for brands that walk the CX walk. Brands that seize this opportunity to deliver superior CX can hope to differentiate themselves from their competition and look forward to higher revenue growth and market share.
comments Bhatia on the importance of customer experience.