Amazon is leaving no stone unturned to strengthen its position in India. After attracting Indian customers through its superior customer service and online shopping experience, it now plans to woo sellers on its platform.
Sellers on e-commerce platforms often complain of the high rate of return and refunds which lead to an extra cost of reverse logistics. Amazon has introduced a program called Automated Returns to address this problem.
Under Amazon Automated Returns, the company will handle refunds or returns under INR 5000 for sellers who use its logistics service. The e-commerce giant aims to make returns and reverse logistics hassle free for sellers through this programme.
An ET report revealed the information on the basis of an email shared by sellers. In the email sent to listed sellers on its platform, Amazon wrote,
“Amazon is launching a new programme called ‘Automated Returns’. You can now focus on your core business while Amazon handles returns and refunds for all your orders and refunds. All Easy Ship returns that you receive from September 1, 2016 will be automatically covered under this programme.”
This move by Amazon comes at a time when sellers have shown their unhappiness with the return policy of Flipkart.
This year Flipkart had introduced changes which had led to an increase in costs incurred by sellers on shipping, reverse shipping fee, and collection fee on every product returned by the customer.
Many sellers on Flipkart had protested against these policy changes. However, Flipkart did not pay any heed to their demands and has maintained that its return policy and the process is the best and easiest in the industry.
The rate of returns in online shopping has always been on a higher side. It touches even 50% in categories like electronics, mobile phones, mobile accessories, apparel, and jewellery. This leads to an increased costs for sellers in the form of reverse logistics and blocked inventory.
Both e-commerce companies had reduced the period of return window from 30 days to 10 days to address irrational returns and refunds.
Going a step ahead, Amazon also reduced its commission from sellers on selected items by up to 7%. On the other hand, Flipkart had increased this commission by 5% leading to seller protests.
Recently, the sellers All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) had also written to PMO to complain about frequent policy changes by e-commerce companies.
These changes affect their business process regularly and lead to high operational costs due to frequent changes. They have demanded regulation by the government on the companies to safeguard their interest.
However, the latest change by Amazon will surely appease a majority of these sellers as far as return and refunds are concerned.