E-lala CAIT

CAIT stands for Confederation of All India Traders

It has over 4.5 million retailers as its members

Till a few weeks back , CAIT was opposed to e-commerce in retail trade

But when it realized that the e-Commerce tide was unstoppable , it decided to join it !

Recently , CAIT General Secretary , Khandelwal said :

” E-commerce is a reality. We cannot be blind to it. Through ‘e-Lala’, our aim is to retain consumers who were traditionally with brick-and-mortar outlets but are now shifting away to online stores

We are being forced by circumstances to get into this. We have to move with the times ”

By October 2015 , CAIT plans to launch its own e-Commerce portal ” e-Lala” to take on the likes of Amazon / Flipkart / Snapdeal / Myntra etc

But unlike these existing e-Commerce portals , CAIT does not have a war-chest of billions of dollars , to

>   Set up Fulfillment Centers ( Warehouses ) all over the country

>   Advertise online / offline , in a big way

But when you have 4.5 million Fulfillment Centers ( of course small ) , spread all over the entire country , covering every street , then why do you need to build central warehouses ?

And when 10 million delivery boys / girls , deliver a billion packages every day to millions of households , with a plastic bag / card-box carton that reads ” YOUR  e-LALA DELIVERY  ” , then why do you need to waste money on advertising  ?

Now the bad news :

>   How will e-Lala control the quality of products being delivered by 4.5     million retailers  ?

>   How will it ensure timely delivery  ?

>   How will it ensure that Member-Retailers do not overcharge ?

>   Existing e-Commerce portals buy in bulk , directly from the         manufacturers ; then offer heavy discounts over the printed MRP .

How will e-Lala counter this  ?

>  Today , barely 5 % of the retail buyers , pay thru Credit Cards . 95 % pay in cash

If e-Lala insists on advance payment using Credit Card thru a online Payment Gateway , will this put-off buyers from using e-Lala portal  ?

Again , today , almost all buyers pay ” Cash Against Delivery ” to their neighborhood retailer.

They may not like to pay in advance of the delivery !

>   To- day, buyers do refuse to accept deliveries for various reasons , such as :

#   Wrong product or labeling or package size or brand

#   Expiry date exceeded or about to expire

#   Even , change of mind !

All because , there is no online advance payment , and nothing is lost by refusing !

>  To-day , buyers are even able to return the purchased goods to their neighborhood retailer , a couple of days later.

And the retailer usually accepts the ” Return ” , in order to retain the

client on a long-term basis – a client whom , he knows personally !

This will not be easy to duplicate in E-Lala ecosystem !

This is not to say that CAIT’s e-Lala experiment is doomed  !

If anything , e-Lala would do well to think through these issues , then provide answers thru a FAQ page on its e-com web site

And in order to crystallize this thinking , it may not be too late even now , for CAIT to host: TRUE / FALSE : YES/ NO : MULTIPLE CHOICE : online Questionnaires , on its existing web site

One questionnaire for the End-Consumers  and another one for its 4.5 million member retailers

In today’s ” Dog it Dog ” world of e-commerce , one can neither dictate nor predict , a competitor’s actions

That kind of wishful thinking just does not work

To stay two steps ahead of the Competitors , you need to think and decide :

”  What am I going to do this morning ? ”

hemen  parekh

25  July  2015



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