I recently bought a mattress for our guest bedroom. My first offline purchase in many months. A mattress is something that you need to touch, feel bounce on before making a purchase. And hence, we went to a nearby mattress place and after checking out a number of options, settled on one.
We could have easily walked out and purchased it online – but my conscience wouldn’t let me. So we made an order.
The guy asked me to pay half the amount as advance — in cash. I did.
What followed was a series of back and forth – calling the guy, checking with the delivery schedules. Canceling plans to wait at home and the delivery not showing up.
What was promised to be delivered on Monday, was delivered after a lot of following up 4 days later.
Worse was that the guy refused to give me a legitimate bill. He made excuses. He finally told me that his CA was away and when we will be back, he will issue me a tax invoice. I paid the entire amount in cash. After having such a tough time just getting the goods delivered, it would be foolish to follow up on a bill.
That’s where I think eCommerce really shines for me.
Not having to deal with another human for purchasing something
You look up things online. The marketplace makes prices competitive – removing the entire point of haggling. You click a button and the goods are delivered in a timely manner with all legalities in place. Without ever speaking to anyone.
Hell, you can even start your own store, use Shopify to setup your shop and your domain (Shopify offers domains) – and start selling your own goods. All without speaking to anyone.
Technology keeps people honest. It keeps the contract binding.
I think that is the most important aspect for me and many people like me. And that is why I think eCommerce will eat up all the brick and mortar businesses in India. It is not simply because eCommerce is painless (which it is) – but brick and mortar businesses are, as a friend put it, hitting their foot on the axe!
This blog was originally posted on my LinkedIn Account.