Offline Retailers Launch ‘We Will Act’ Protest For Price Undercutting By Ecommerce Sites
I have heard this from number of my friends who run physical stores – This year they have experienced much lower footfalls from consumers, especially in the electronic and apparel segment. And many of them believe it is due to rise in ecommerce in India. People now increasingly prefer shopping online rather than going to physical stores.
While this is great for consumers, have you thought how this is affecting lakhs of local offline businesses? Obviously, they now see online retailers as their biggest enemy.
So what do offline retailers do to overcome this?
These physical store owners are now getting together to protest against the undercutting of prices by online retailers. They have launched a website – We Will Act – that condemns the business practices undertaken by ecommerce sites (mind you, in very strong words). They have also written to the Competition Commission of India, complaining that their online counterparts are selling goods below cost and skirting Indian laws on foreign direct investment in retail.
The website wewillact.com have put up Appeals to Government of India, Political parties of India, to consumers, to manufacturers and vendors and even to Venture Capitalists who are putting millions of dollars of investment.
Sample this – Here is what “We Will Act” asks consumers to do, in their own words:
?Let’s take some small steps
We will not purchase or supply anything to these unethical online retailers. ( XKart, Ydeal, KBong..)
?Lets boycott them.
Let’s now punish them:
1- Let’s place Cash on delivery orders for Rs.40000.00 rupees items every alternate day and cancel when delivery boy comes to delivery. This will make them to lose their fat by Rs.1000.00 at least.
2- Whenever you are free call to their customer care and waste their time. This will increase their customer care expenses.
Here is what they say about online retailers:
Some online retailers in India are like BIGDE BETE of their BIG PAPA of USA. They are getting so much money for doing so much of experiment in India and kind of playing GAMBLING. Every six months they are changing their business models, spending heavily on advertisements, selling everything to everyone at much below their cost prices, running business in huge operating losses and that is adversely affecting the traditional physical retailers.
There can be possibility if some enemies of our country or terror outfits giving funding to these MONKEYS to do so much drama and make lakhs of retailers loose their piece of mind and livelihood.
Will This Protest Help?
I really don’t think this it is going to make any difference. While they have a right to be frustrated with price undercutting, it is a business model which online retailers are following with a view of garnering consumer base in long term. I don’t think anyone can object online retailers’ business practices.
Rather than doing a protest like this, they need to accept the new world order and join the flow. They have to find a way to compete and probably move their business online.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this!