Why Many Indian e-commerce Sites Suck

Indian E-com sites still need a lot of work. Most are characterized by churlish interfaces, bad writing, poor grammar, pathetic delivery options, poor searchability, and often, blatant mis-classification of the goods on sale. Add to the this the extremely limited selection available at most of these places. Even something as slick as Fabmart fails in this last department. And don't bother saying, "we're an Indian site, this is to be expected...". When you are online selling books and music, I -- and any customer with sense -- will judge you to Amazon's standards. And you don't have to be a giant like Amazon to make a great impression. Try ThinkGeek (a shopping site oriented towards techie types) or HerHifi.com (a consumer electronics site for women) to get an idea of what it ought to be like.

This image (of an Indian e-store that shall remain nameless) is a good example of all that is wrong with Indian e-com sites... maybe it's just me, but after a user experience like this, I tend to rush back towards Amazon or ThinkGeek to assure myself that, yes, e-shopping can be a satisfying experience for the consumer. I'd like readers to note that I'm not bashing this site per se, I'm merely using it as an example to point out many of the symptoms that affect most Indian e-stores.

As a sort of finale, and to make my point about bad writing, this site also has this Disclaimer, reproduced verbatim below (with font and coloring intact).


We are not responsible for any errors, omissions or representations on any of our pages or on any links on any of our pages. We do not endorse in anyway any advertisers on our web pages. Please verify the veracity of all information on your own before undertaking any reliance.

The linked sites are not under our control and we are not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites. We are providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by us of the site.

We hereby expressly disclaim any implied warranties imputed by the laws of any jurisdiction. We consider ourselves and intend to be subject to the jurisdiction only of the courts of the state of Karnataka, India.

If you don't agree with any of our disclaimers above please do not read the material on any of our pages.


"Undertaking any reliance"? Enough said, I think.

[image of nameless e-store, 56k GIF]

Created: August 20 2000 1329 IST.
Copyright © Prasenjeet Dutta. Terms of Use.