India’s e-commerce market, which is expected to be worth $60 billion in 5 years has become a heated battleground for the likes of Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. Each of these is trying to put the other down, but getting a lead in such a tough market is an art in itself.
Just a few days, Flipkart announced that its customers can now expect refunds within 24 hours. Keeping the fight tooth and nail, Snapdeal today announced that consumers shopping through its service can get ‘instant refunds’.
While ‘instant’ may not be the exact word to define it, Snapdeal’s refunds are actually going to be faster than any other e-commerce sites’. Customers can can now expect their money back within an hour of Snapdeal receiving the returned item. According to the company, it has teamed up with “one of [India’s] largest private banks” to accomplish this.
While both Flipkart and Snapdeal seem to be fighting for the top spot, Amazon seems to be lagging behind the two in the subcontinent. Amazon still requires a minimum of one working day to process a refund and an additional two to four business days for the amount to finally reach the customer.
Most of India’s e-commerce services still rely heavily on cash-on-delivery. Keeping this in tow, the company said that, “100 percent of customers using the cash-on-delivery facility will have access to IMPS (immediate payment service) 24/7, while bank holidays will have no impact on this service either.”
According to Citibank India, IMPS can be described as a service that allows customers to instantly transfer money online or from mobile phones using their registered mobile number. What that implies is that customers will not actually be getting hard cash returns. Instead, they may get the refunds in the form of an online transfer into a bank account or mobile ewallet or cashing it out at an offline money transfer agent.
Snapdeal believes that this type of approach is a first. They define it as “an automated, API-based, real-time, highly reliable, secure instant refund transfer system based on IMPS technology.” And yeah, you could expect a catch in that somewhere.
We hope that customers never want a refund,
Anand Chandrashekaran, Chief Product Manager of Snapdeal said in a statement on today’s launch regarding the new service,
but we respect that it is a crucial part of the customer’s return experience. Having said that, we are extremely proud to introduce the country’s fastest instant-refund facility, assuring our customers the most seamless refund experience.
We have already noticed that close to 100 percent of refunds take place within an hour, and 85 percent within 30 minutes, making this a highly reliable refund service for our customers,