More time to provide feedback on draft ecomm user protection rules

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 13, 2019

BENGALURU: The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has extended the deadline to submit feedback on proposed rules aimed at curbing the sale of counterfeit goods, streamline returns and refunds, and delineate the liabilities of sellers and online marketplaces. 20191113-9

It notified on Monday that stakeholders and the public can comment on the draft rules pertaining to consumer protection on ecommerce platforms till December 2, the third extension to the deadline it has given so far.

The Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules, 2019, is part of eight draft rules that the ministry wants to notify under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

The ministry had first introduced the ‘Ecommerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019’ in August. “Rules on various topics are required to be notified under the new Act. The Department now proposes to notify the following rules under the Act,” the ministry notification read.

Under the proposed rules, all ecommerce businesses will have to be registered in India, will not directly or indirectly influence the prices of products and services they sell, will have to display the terms of contract with a seller or service provider, and not engage in misleading advertising, among others.

ET reported on September 30 that that the ministry was looking to expand the scope of the rules to ensure consumer protection for services such as video streaming, online ticket booking and ride hailing.

Following feedback from industry and stakeholders, the government will come out with the final rules for consumer protection for online shoppers.

Govt examining possibility of regulatory authority for e-commerce sector

Source: Financial Express, Nov 07, 2019

The government is examining a possibility for setting up of a regulatory authority for the e-commerce sector, a senior official said on Thursday. Domestic traders have time and20191108-5 again demanded a regulator to monitor the sector and act against online retail companies flouting norms.

The official in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) said that they are currently working on a policy for the e-commerce sector and are examining several issues under that.

“One of the ideas floated as a part of this exercise is whether there’s a need for any regulatory authority for e-commerce. It is not a decision because the policy is yet to be finalised, but one of the many suggestions that we are examining,” the official added.

Read the rest of this entry »

E-tailers notch up Rs 19,000 crore in first 6 days of October

Source: IBEF.org, Oct 10, 2019

E-tailers sold merchandise of worth Rs 19,000 crore (US$ 3 billion) during the first six days of the festive season sale that was organised in the first week of October. This was mainly led by Amazon and Flipkart.

The revenue for e-commerce majors is expected to reach Rs 39,000 crore (US$ 6 billion) for the month of October 2019. 

Sales witnessed growth of 30 per cent year-on-year, up from US$ 2.3 billion last year, with the majority share coming from customers in Tier-2 cities and smaller towns led by the wide selection and affordability offers.

The category leader during the previous years sale was mobile phones, contributing to over 55 per cent of gross merchandise value (GMV).

According to Mr. Anil Kumar, Founder and CEO, RedSeer Consulting, “The first wave of the festival sale event has seen a record GMV of almost US$ 3 billion despite a challenging macro environment, indicating that consumer sentiment on online shopping remains bullish.”

He added, “The larger push has come from Bharat (non-metro) customers migrating to online shopping driven by the strong value provided from the online retailers across categories including mobiles, which have shown a strong surge during sale event despite having a relatively slow growing half year from January-June.”

According to RedSeer, during the sale, Flipkart standalone gross GMV share stood at 60-62 per cent and 63 per cent along with its group entities Myntra and Jabong, making it the market leader. The market share of Amazon was pegged at 28-30 per cent and the rest was held by other e-tailers.

According to Amazon spokesperson, “We cannot comment on speculative reports that lack robust and credible methodology. During the Great Indian Festival (September 28-October 4), Amazon led with the highest share of transacting customers at 51 per cent, order share of 42 per cent and value share of 45 per cent across all marketplaces in India, according to Nielsen’s E-Analytics empanelled read of 190,000 digital users across 50 plus cities.”

The Amazon spokesperson further added, “With orders from 99.4 per cent pin codes, over 65,000 sellers from 500 plus cities receiving orders in just five days, customers from over 15,000 pin codes joining Prime and over 88 per cent new customers coming from small towns, this event has been our biggest celebration ever.”
 
Although, the blockbuster festival season sales cannot indicate a positive turn of prevailing weak consumer sentiment as the contribution of e-commerce is as low as 2 per cent of retail sales.  K Vaitheeswaran, founder of Indiaplaza, the country’s first e-commerce company, and co-founder of Again Drinks, pointed that the trend will continue throughout the festival season sale period which is till the end of October as the online shoppers are expected to further utilise the opportunity to fulfil their requirements with the deep discount deals.

Festive Ecomm sales touch $1.8 billion in 3 days: Report

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 04, 2019

BENGALURU: India’s online retail sector clocked $1.8 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) during the first three days of the festive sales and is on track to hitting the $3.7 billion sales mark by the end of the six-day sale period, according to a report from RedSeer Consulting.

RedSeer did not break out individual sales numbers of the two largest players in the market — Flipkart and Amazon. However, it found that consumers preferred shopping for fashion on Flipkart but bought electronics on Amazon due to lower prices and faster delivery.

The report said that 55% of GMV for the sector was driven by mobiles, similar to previous years. Growth was also seen in electronics, fashion and furniture categories, the analyst added. “The first three days have been a strong success for etailers despite challenging macro environment, indicating that consumer sentiment on online shopping remains bullish,” said Anil Kumar, CEO, Red-Seer Consulting.

RedSeer has estimated that e-tailers will clock $3.7 billion in sales during the offer period, a 60-65% growth over the cumulative GMV during last year’s sale period.

With the industry getting to the halfway point in three days, the analyst said that the sector will achieve 80-100% of the predicted sales target.
Another researcher Forrester had also predicted that e-commerce marketplaces would clock $3.8 billion in sales during the six day long sales period.

Amazon, Flipkart create over 140,000 temporary jobs ahead of festive sales

Source: Business Standard, Sept 24, 2019

New Delhi: E-commerce giant Amazon and Flipkart have created over 1.4 lakh temporary jobs across supply chain, last-mile connectivity and customer support in preparation for their festive sales that kicks off later this month.

Amazon.in, in a statement on Tuesday, said it has created more than 90,000 seasonal employment opportunities across its fulfilment centres, sortation centres, delivery stations, partner fulfilment network and customer service sites.

Similarly, Walmart-owned Flipkart has added over 50,000 direct jobs across its supply chain, logistics arm and customer support. Read the rest of this entry »

Lower discounts, economic slump take toll: Click-wait for ecommerce as consumers put off buys

Source: ETRetail.com, Sept 16, 2019

BENGALURU | MUMBAI: Consumer spending on online shopping sites is estimated to be down by about a fifth in the first half of the year to June as etailers have cut discounts and the growth slump has hit buying sentiment across sectors, according to a report by market research firm Kantar.

To be sure, the company expects a “bounce back” in the second half, which is marked by the festive season when ecommerce players typically register a significant spike in sales.

While the average ticket size has fallen 27% in the first six months compared with the same period last year, average spending is down 21%, according to the report that’s exclusive to ET. Read the rest of this entry »

Amazon expands network to ensure faster deliveries

Source: LiveMint.com, Sept 12, 2019

BENGALURU : E-commerce giant Amazon India is gearing up for the festive season by significantly expanding its partner networks for faster delivery. Amazon.in has doubled its delivery service partner network with over 1,400 stations across 750 cities compared to 700 delivery centres in 500 cities last year.

Now, the company has direct delivery centres across Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Fast and reliable delivery is the most important part of the e-commerce business, along with the right product assortment. Read the rest of this entry »