Rarely I have felt wowed, and getting this feeling twice is even rarer, but looks like has broken the record.
Indian retail is rarely known for its customer friendliness or humane policies. In fact some time ago I had written about how the most successful Indian brands thrive & take pride of the agony they cause to their customers. For such a tortured soul, bigbasket is a wonderful change. Cash on delivery & no questions asked refunds are common in e-commerce stores in India (although rare in traditional retail), but this website takes it to a all new experience by:
1. WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) policy: They refund 150% of the order value if they are unable to fulfill the order and meet the customer expectation.
1. Cash on delivery: So that I pay for only what I can see, touch & feel (important for perishable fruits & vegetables). I am attaching the apology mail that they send to me which shows the level of dedication & commitment this firm has.

2. Sanctity of delivery time: Something unheard of in India, this website actually refunded me 10% of the order value for being 55 minutes later than the time that I had asked them to deliver on. They really have taken the same day delivery to the next level

The SLA set by them are so stringent that I doubt any other company will be able to match them. I guess their model of operation is simple, pamper the customer so much that they become loyal customer and a staunch supporter of their brand. I was introduced to this website by a loyal customer and over the past couple of months I have recommended this website to 4-5 additional customers. I guess their decision to divert marketing budget into improving the operations and quality are paying rich dividends.


Buying prescription spectacles is a tedious job globally. I remember a friend of mine in France who had to wait for a month before she could get an ophthalmologist appointment so that she can get the right prescription. Then she had to wait for a week before she got an approval from her student health insurance for reimbursement of the expenses. Only after that she could go to the store & order her glasses. The whole ordeal cost her 6 weeks and €200/-
Surprisingly, things are much more affordable and faster. You could walk into any store without any prior appointment order the glasses and collect it the next day. Also a decent looking prescription glasses could be purchased in 1,500/- ($25/-)
Yesterday I purchased my new glasses from Lenskart and was utterly delighted by the whole experience.

  1. Convenience: I live in the outskirts and taking time off for 2 visits was difficult & expensive (time & fuel). Ordering online and getting it delivered at home via courier was the perfect.
  2. Technology: It might be small, but I liked their tool which uses the laptop webcam to capture the face, then size it right using a credit card (for the dimensions). This way I could virtually try various frames and how I would look in them.
  3. Price: I paid almost half the price (where else could you get the same pair of spectacles at $10). I googled and found that almost perpetually they have some promotional/discount scheme or the other running.
  4. Promptness: I got the frame delivered in 30 hours flat, all this without even moving a finger
  5. Service: I was very skeptical ordering prescription glasses online. Hence I logged off midway. However their representative called me up and explained the entire process. They even offered to send their ophthalmologist at my residence for measurement & trial (250 trial spectacles) for a nominal price of 100/-. What more could I ask for.
  6. Packaging: The entire look & feel of the box, packaging, the website was professional. They had a welcome to Lenskart family card also in the courier along with a plastic card printed with my prescription etc.
  7. No-Cross selling: Unlike the physical stores, they were more interested in providing me with what I want, rather than selling contact-lens, cleaning fluids and other junk that I never asked for.

What they can improve on:

  1. T.V. Ads: I must say their TV ad puts me on “Stalker Alert!!!” How creepy will it be if a guy tries to introduce himself with a girl wearing 100 different spectacles & sun-glasses
  2. Pricing & Positioning: Spectacles, like watches are fashion accessories. Hence like the luxury goods, people feel good when they shell out high prices. HMT (Indian watch maker) faced a lot of trouble when they tried to create economy/popular brands. Giving too many discounts often damages the company’s bottomline and creates wrong expectations in the mind of the customers.
  3. Intuitive UI (user interface): Their cart did not load properly because of which I had an issue with check-out. Also who needs so much pop-ups, banners etc.
  4. Real-world & online connect: There is no way to check & confirm the precision of the glasses. Hence a connecting with the physical world would be welcome to address anxious first time customers.

flipkart ad: "Aapko bhi to photo dekhkar pasand kiya tha"

I was watching the latest series of Flipkart tv ads and I could see a remarkable difference in the product positioning by this market leader and pioneer in India’s E-Commerce space.
1. Unless the rest of the folks, the ads don’t talk about discounts. Everybody (esp. Indians) love discounts, buts its never good for business and till 2011 had created a situation where almost all the online retailers were booking losses and burning cash (rather than generating it)
2. Returns/reverse logistics: Flipkart has one of the best infrastructure and policy for the dissatisfied customer to return the products. However still the current series of ads don’t talk about it. Maybe its like one of those features (like credit card payment, Cash on delivery) that almost all the online shoppers expect the website to offer. Hence they have realized that its no point wasting precious media time talking about it.
3. “Aapko bhi to photo dekhkar pasand kiya tha”
I loved this line as it will strike a familiar chord amongst the entire country where arranged marriages are prevalent. Here the wife effectively convinces her husband that there is nothing new is selecting goods (or even your spouse) by just a photograph.
4. Use of kids: I am not sure why they use it, but kids create a natural curiosity and grabs our attention. Also it helps to communicate that the website is so easy to use that even toddlers can shop.
The shift from discounts, cash on delivery, return policies to the fact that its not too risky to shop online is a wonderful change. It addresses the core issue which keeps most shoppers away from websites, while ensuring that e-commerce not mere discount stores.