Monday, May 19, 2008


If you're not an e- shopper...

...then you're wasting quite a lot! A lot of money, time and for sure! How does it feel standing in the long queues at the billing counter of your nearest retail store... tiring? Or for that matter seeing your friend get the latest mobile handset at a much cheaper price than you... frustrating? And it surely doesn't feel good to hear 'out of stock' and 'no variety' from your retailer when you are in grave need of a product.

A word of advice for you... just relax and go e-shopping!

Today, online retailing has given a new dimension to the sale and purchase of a product. In India, the Internet is expected to grow exponentially from the previously reported active internet user base of 46 million to cover 120 million of the population by the end of 2008, according to an ASSOCHAM report. Out of this, a very small number actually buy products from an online store. The rest prefer to face the real-life adversaries rather than trusting these virtual stores. The question is: Where does this lack of trust stem from?

A Majority of today's well-equipped shopping portals have in- built secure and safe methods of protecting customer information and the money transaction details. Your security actually depends upon the site or portal that you choose to buy from and how careful you are during any such transaction and correspondence. Like I just said, regardless of the many apprehensions, millions still buy online and are satisfied customers.

Here are some tips to check how secure a particular e-store is:

1. Does the e-store have proper security seals for customer information? Check if the information is sealed and secure from the reach of hackers.
2. Evaluate the authenticity of testimonials attached to it, if there are any. An open platform to voice opinions builds up significant credibility. This will certainly prove the credibility of the website.
3. Does the e-store provide follow-up information regarding the shipping and delivery of the purchased item? How detailed is the information? Can you contact them for any further assistance? It is important to be able to get in touch with the portal, in case of any shipping/ delivery or other problems.
4. Also check whether transaction history can be accessed from time to time during the course of shipping of the purchased item.
If you have more tips to share with the better half of the Indian population who are still unaware of the advantages of online shoppers, and also know a few more safety tips, feel free to add to this post.

Happy e-Shopping!!!

Online Shopping Store

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Will the Indian villages login to shop?

What if your maid sends you an email from her hometown? How about village and small town artisans selling their creations to the global cities like New York, London etc? These will no longer remain a distant dream as the Internet is slowly making in-roads into the far-flung villages and remote sections of rural India.

There were questions been put up as to how can rural India gain from the current e-shopping boom? And the answer is simple: through dedicated and collaborative work of the public and private sectors. For a developing country like ours, the government authorities play an essential part along with the private sector for the technological growth of the rural area.

At present, rural India is already advancing towards the Net-age with wi—fi enabled services being introduced at many villages. Initiative in this regard was taken up by a Noida-based company, Drishtee, headed by Satyan Mishra. Seven years back, Drishtee was launched to connect the rural villages of India. As a result, 6000 villages have already been connected till date with a future estimate of touching 10,000 villages by the next 2 years. In 2006-07, a similar project was started by a Massachusetts-based company, United Villages, which brought the concept of DakNet and Kiosks to the backward villages in Orissa. The startling aspect of consumerism, visible in the project was the amount of requests being made by the villagers to learn about e-shopping. These kiosks, transported from village to village to provide the Internet facility, are equipped with a computer, web-cam, wi-fi antenna and other paraphernalia.

According to a report by the National Council of Applied Economics Research (NCAER), rural consumers are more than half of the total consumers in India. Shocking? And more importantly the rural regions are being seen as an important avenue for the essential goods and services market. Therefore, the introduction of e-commerce in rural India is being considered as a vital step.

And lastly, the million dollar question is can e-shopping actually enter in the rural belt of our country? In my opinion, it can enter with the support of government services like Citizen Service Kiosks and portable computers which can be carried to the rural pockets of India and in collaboration with the highly advanced technologies of the West.

Considering the present circumstances, it can surely be said that our quintessential rustic Indian bhaiya is going to get techie very soon!