eCommerce Blog

eCommerce Blog – Opportunities in US and India (by Darpan Munjal)

Multi-Channel Retailing – Breaking the Barriers

Posted by Darpan Munjal On October - 12 - 2009
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I recently ordered a Boston Acoustics subwoofer from an Amazon marketplace seller because it was significantly cheaper than buying directly from Amazon or from a local retailer. 15 days later, all I hear is a whistling sound from that piece of equipment. Now I am not a big audiophile but if all I hear is a whistling sound while watching a loud thriller movie, I can tell there is something wrong with the sub. I know – hindsight is 20-20 but I should have probably purchased that item from a local retailer so I could have at least returned that 40 pound brick without much hassle. I can’t even imagine packing such a heavy piece of equipment and shipping it back to a 3rd party marketplace seller.

Marketplace concept has been fairly common with online retailers such as and However, it seems that multi-channel retailers are also joining the bandwagon. Sears and Walmart have both opened up their online platforms to allow third party sellers to list and sell their merchandise. This definitely opens up an alternative source of revenue for retailers and in these trying times, who doesn’t want to have additional revenue sources. Read the rest of this entry »

Sears – Winning the crowd by crowdsourcing?

Posted by Darpan Munjal On August - 16 - 2009
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It was about 5 years ago but I still remember when my refrigerator stopped working two days after I ordered it from Sears. It took me more than 8 phone calls to get the situation addressed. I remember calling different customer service hotlines and finally getting a resolution after contacting some internal departments. All this happened when I was working at Sears!! I shared my experience with the appropriate groups in the hopes that others wouldn’t have to go through similar frustration. However, at that moment, I couldn’t help but empathize with the situation of other customers who had no good means to “escalate” the issue within the appropriate internal departments. .

Fast forward 5 years – enter the connected world! I recently visited and was amazed at the community involvement! Even though you see customers occasionally venting about product issues and their experiences, what is really impressive is that Sears has taken a bold step to let it all out in the open. They have provided an online platform where Customers are free to post their experiences. This is bold because it demonstrates leadership as well as compassion that Sears not only cares about listening to their customers, they are also not afraid of letting customers openly talk about their experiences online, however negative they might be. Interestingly, Read the rest of this entry »

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