E-Commerce redefining Product Return Policies in India

A new study conducted by Google to understand the impact of growing Internet penetration and changes in buying behavior of shoppers in India revealed that the lines between online and offline shoppers’ behaviors are blurring. Urban offline shoppers are using the Internet in varied ways for all their product purchases, including researching online when they are at an offline store influencing their final purchase decision. The new Google study titled ‘Shopper Path-2-Purchase’ compiled by IPSOS was conducted across seven different product categories including; Accessories, Skin Care, Baby Care, Makeup, Home Decor, and Computers. The study decodes the influence of digital across different stages of an urban offline shopper’s journey.

The report was compiled by IPSOS after speaking to a total of 6600 recent shoppers covering 4 Metro and 4 Non-Metro cities, NCCS A to C, Men, and Women of various age groups to have an adequate representation of the Indian Urban Shopper.

In the pre-purchase phase, the report highlights that the Internet is now established as a natural go-to place for any kind of information needs of the users. And this behavior is now also consistent for offline shoppers even for smaller value product categories, a distinct shift from research online and buy offline behavior that was seen for high-value product categories just a few years ago.  The report underlines that the Online habit has been already created, even for the Offline shopper and they are now going online to find information even when they’re in-store before making the final purchase.

Google Study

Breaking down the purchase journey of offline shoppers, the report highlights the role of digital touchpoints in the shopper’s decision making process across phases of pre-purchase and In-Store journeys. In the pre-purchase phase, 55% of urban offline shoppers turn to digital in the case of Home Decor or Baby Care and 62% in the case of Men’s Apparel.

Further, the report highlights that the In-store purchase phase is an extension of the exploration pre-purchase phase where offline shoppers engage with different touchpoints for further verification and validation. In-store cues like visual merchandising, point of sales material and promotion definitely have an impact on offline purchase decisions, but shoppers continue to compare prices, explore discounts and promotional offers for their chosen product via online touchpoints while in-store

The report also studied the triggers and post-purchase behavior, revealing that the engagement with the online touchpoints does not cease even after the purchase has been made. Shoppers are still indulging with the category post the actual purchase with 1 in every 3 shoppers was observed to be engaging with the category online after the purchase. Shoppers are either using social media to post pictures, their experience or share reviews. Another interesting category which is on the rise is “How to Use” for the recently purchased products.

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Fell in love with Android OS from the day I bought my first Smartphone in 2013. A budding Android Developer. Love to write about Android, Tech, and Smartphones. Technology enthusiast addicted to my smartphone, I love clicking photos with my smartphone, traveling and listening to music. Currently using a OnePlus 6T and Ticwatch S.