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E-retail: Try before you buy

E-retailers are leaving no stone unturned to come at par with offline retailers; virtual trial rooms is one such initiative.

Tags: eretail, online, retail, COD, Lenskart, kingschest, myntra, zovi, zivame, yebhi

BY Gunjan Piplani  |  Jul 26, 2012  |  comments ( 3 )  | 

E-retailers are aiming high to get to their consumers in the best possible way. It’s a known fact that Indian or any consumer across the globe would always want to try the product especially when it is about apparels and footwear. For the Indian consumers buying online, size and look of the product was a question mark until e-retailers decided to take a step further and give consumers a physical store like shopping experience. The services that are likely to change the way people shop online  include virtual trial rooms, try n buy and 3D virtual room decorators. The new wave will also help e-retailers to come at par with physical stores.

“The foremost fear that haunted the growth of e-commerce in India, was that the customers always wanted to touch and feel the product before buying it. To take care of it, the concept of Return Policy came into being. Adding onto it, with competition gone fierce every e-commerce player is trying to win over the customers by creating a differentiating factor, a factor which should have been created out of ‘an entirely new e-commerce format’ or ‘by targeting a niche segment’,” says Love Ranga, CSO, Luxury Connect.

Customer need

Launching of these services has instigated shoppers to make purchases online without skepticism. They now have a flexibility of trying a particular product to see how it would look on them. It also takes them away from the pain of following the 30 day process of return policy as Try N Buy lets them make the decision as and when the product is delivered.

“The customer has responded with great delight. She feels more empowered, more in control of the purchases, since she gets to see, touch and even try on what she has ordered. It is the wave of the future and it increases the base of people willing to shop online,” says Manmohan Agarwal, CEO- Big Shoe Bazaar India (P) Ltd. offers products including footwear with a Try N Buy service, where in a consumer can purchase a pair of shoes and try before they pay at the time of delivery.

This has built in strong customer confidence and also better return visitors on the website. This also enhances the conversion rates and ensures higher ticket size.

Moreover, with virtual mirror, consumers can try a particular product and share their look online on various social networking sites, for further confirmation as to how the product looks.

The number play

The launching of virtual mirrors and try n buy, though a recent concept, has already started showing better numbers in terms of conversions and also ticket size.

Ashutosh Lawania, Co-Founder & Head Sales,, “We as of now are just offering try n buy, in specific regions, where we have our own logistics team. We are soon coming up with a tool which will enable the consumer to create his/her virtual mannequin by giving their vital stats. They then can try the product on that mannequin.”

He expects that conversion rates would go up by 15-20 per cent once this tool is launched and the average ticket size would go upto Rs 1400. is likely to launch the tool by September-October.

While on the other hand, a newly emerged e-retailer,, has developed a 3D Virtual Designer. The tool enables consumer to recreate their room in terms of wall and ceiling paint, flooring and rims. For this, Kingschest has tied up with leading brands for paints and floorings. Once the consumer chooses particular product, the website helps them know the nearest dealer where they can find the product.

Jasraj Sohal, Associate Manager,, “We till date hadn’t seen any website in India, that would allow people to play with various things in a room. With our 3D Virtual Designer, consumer can play with colours for their room and also locate the nearest dealers for the product. We presently have about 5000-8000 visitors and of these almost 25% visit our virtual room decorator.”

For, Agarwal avers, “The ticket size has improved by about 35%. The customer is now ordering without fear for the entire family and she is buying more for herself and she is doing so at once.” is another player which is offering a virtual camera for its consumers buying spectacles or sunglasses. All one has to do is select face shape or upload their own picture and try various frames. “Almost every product that is up on our website, it is ensured that the product has a virtual mirror,” says Peyush Bansal, CEO,

“Our conversion rates have gone up by 1 per cent to 3 per cent but virtual mirror is one of the reasons,” he adds.




Try N Buy

Virtual mirror

Zovi Eye (virtual mirror) & Try N Buy

Virtual trial room

Virtual 3D room

Virtual mirror (Launch soon) & Try N Buy

Virtual mirror (launch in August)

The critics

According to Ranga, it’s an old wine being presented in a new bottle.

This concept has not just been created to give consumers ease but is also a marketing strategy, a new name to the “Return Policy” only giving consumer a choice to return back the product there and then. Moreover, try n buy can work well only when third party logistics isn’t involved and also COD becomes mandatory in this.

“To me as an online customer, this concept fails to gain my confidence. And e-commerce being our focus as well, I precisely know the toll; a single return back takes on entire transaction value. Its is suicidal concept,” concludes Ranga.

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Ashish July 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

e-retail is a big black hole as far as quality of products is concerned. Read e-retailer's T&Cs before placing the order. If the T&C says that the e-store is just a platform between buyers and sellers than be very cautious. In most of these cases, e-retailer would not take any responsibility for the defective product and would direct you to deal with the seller directly, which would be a big pain.

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Bhagwati July 27, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hi All, Its my suggestion to every one that please don't buy any thing from As they are cheating their customers and I am also one of the victim of them. I bought 2 pcs. of Vests online from them. one of them had holes on it (torn) so requested them to replace it within 10-12 days. But they kept making excuses and finally they stopped correspondence and finally mail came after a month that "Sorry for inconvenience ,but we don't exchange innerwear" Till the time time they told me this my another vest also got torned. Now you guys can understand about their quality and Service. That how they are cheating but still claiming to be among best E commerce of India.

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Suresh July 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

These are just eyewash.The return policies are a big pain.It is always a pain for customer to go to courier shop and ship the product back.The truth is that except Book and some kind basic cloth ,we cannot buy anything online with confidence. On top of that many of the e-retailers are unethical.For example I ordered a product in,even after 3/4 weeks product is not shipped because they says that product is not in stock,though website showed it as in stock.They are not refunding money or ship alternate products. Most of these retailer does not know how to run an e -store,how to ship with good packing and they have very poor customer care

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