The convenience of shopping online, browsing through a variety of options, before making a purchase, is something that we all love. With the online market being flooded with various domestic and international brands, the decision becomes that much tougher.
Did you know that there are about 20 lakh domestic and 2 lakh international market deliveries carried out in India each day? From consumer goods like mobiles, watches, kindles, music systems, and jewellery to home improvement products, these numbers are only going to increase.
As consumers who often shop from the international e-commerce portals, here are a few things that we must remember:
1. Scour before making a purchase
Sometimes we assume that a certain product is only available on an international e-commerce portal but with a little bit of research, one can find similar products sold by domestic e-commerce ventures as well.
Also, while many international retailers are willing to ship to Indian addresses, they end up taking a very long time to reach and hence finding other alternatives might be a good idea.
2. Check the return policy
One of the advantages of buying things from an Indian e-commerce portal is the ability to return them if they are unsuitable. Before you make any purchase on an international platform, ensure that you go through their return and refund policy in detail. You certainly do not want to get stuck with a product with no use to you.
3. Be mindful of shipping and duty charges
I remember the time I found the perfect cushions for my home on an international portal. What was even more attractive was the price point. It was less than half of what I was getting in India.
Imagine my astonishment when while checking out, I found the cost quadrupled. The duty and shipping charges were almost thrice the cost of the cushions.
So check these details before making the payment.
4. Check for payment options
Most international portals only accept credit cards, payments via Paypal or Amex cards. Domestic debit/credit cards that are not enabled for international transactions may also not work on international portals. So before you attempt a payment, do check with your bank. Also, ensure that you check the price of the product in Indian currency.
5. Wait for sales
Given that the shipping charges are usually high, it would help to wait for periods when there is a sale on the platform. Many sites also waive off the charges on a minimum order amount. These sales usually come by at least twice a year, if not more.
India is an emerging market, and with the increase in the number of online transactions, international retailers are constantly looking for ways to make it an easy process for the shoppers.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)