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 ? ”
25 July 2015