Endless or Futurebazaar – Is this REALLY the future?

Futurebazaar

Welcome back to one and all

So whats this post all about? Well I was looking into ecommerce websites, in India, when I came across Futurebazaar. With a name like that, I of course fired up Firefox (IE 7.0 doesn’t really do it for me), and opened up the website. What did I see? Did I see the future, nope I saw the past, I saw an ecommerce website which one could do using oscommerce for free. It had your products, your shopping cart, and of course your payment module. But if thats the future, then India is going backwards not forwards.

Futurebazaar, comes from the house of pantaloon, the guys who bring you household name like Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, Central, E-Zone, Fashion Station, and lots more. We have all used them at one time or another, and they know retail. India of course like the rest of the world was going to move into ecommerce. In fact India is more likely to adapt to it, than other countries, because its easier to shop online than actually finding parking at any of these malls 🙂 . So in 5 years ecommerce will be a real hit. Baazee of course led the pack several years ago until it was bought by ebay..

So why am I being a little hard. Well guys, you know retail, but judging by the website, you have’t a clue about online users. Recently Amit over at webyantra looked into UI (user interface) design, and what makes a good website, go and take a look. Designing websites is not just about Dreamweaver, its about listening to the user. This website is what we had 8 years ago on the Internet. Make the user proud of using this website, make him want to come back to the website not because it has cheap clothes, but because it offers a better experience.

A few ideas:

1. Count how many clicks it takes to show the price of a item.

2. Add to that how many clicks before a person can pay and checkout. The count seems high.

3. You say it has the lowest prices, save people the time , and make sure they dont go elsewhere, by carrying out a price comparision of other stores and websites and listing them on your website.

…etc etc

The astute reader would have realised that I have mentioned another ecommerce website in this article….Endless.

Now you want to know what the future is, goto endless.com. Unfortunately its not Indian, its from the house of Amazon. Look at how the pages do not reload, how you can pick colours, sizes, and even zoom into each corner of an item to get a close up view. Endless is the future, not futurebazaar.

Futurebazaar will I am sure be successful, simply because of its buying power, and also its marketing spend, but in order for it to become a landmark website, it will need to engage the user better. There must be some really good UI teams out there in India, if so please let me know, India needs you.

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13 Responses

  1. Endless is really good, the zoom is a great idea. F. Bazaar, sometimes I am saddened what comes in India, it looking so old.

    Shopping online will be big in India as you say, what about ebay, is it not doing something in India still

    Suman K.

  2. Baazee was better on its own, ebay is just big, buys baazee, it is just part of ebay now, and is not alone player anymore.
    Big companis buying is not always good

    Summy

  3. Sumita, I couldn’t have said it better, I think when companies buy out, or takeover others, and the founders leave (or even stay), the creativity is lost. The red tape grows, and the passion falls out of the startup.

    Hopefully when companies in India get purchased, they will ensure that the startup remains a separate entity, and the purchase benefits the startup, and its not viewed as a exit.

    Iqbal

  4. I was lured by the online and advertisement hype created by futurebazaar.com. being a regular at ebay.in online shopping, I ordered goods worth more than Rs 8000 which I paid online through their website. The money was deducted immediately from my account but even after eight days the order status remains “Awaiting Payment confirmation”. When I contacted their helpline, they blamed the delay on their accounting department. today I received two of the items worth Rs 638) Though the order status still remains unchanged. I do not know if and when I will receive rest of the items.
    Their site is unstable too! It crashed throwing up NullPointerException (They have Java Struts based backe-end).

    I guess we Indians can only work for the US companies and not for ourselves. Long time ago circa Y2K, rediff started their online store and I ordered Rs 400 worth of goods. They sent me items which said “Sample only not for sale”. They were actually selling the items their parent advertisement company’s free promotional materials. I felt cheated and never ever bought from rediff since then.

    Though we are moving in right direction as far as e-commerce is concerned we have a long way to go.

  5. Ashish, I think there is a long way to go period, in India. Just as the user interface needs work on websites, so does the logistics, and the backoffice work.

    Iqbal

  6. iqbalgandham, Suman, Ashish and Iqbal its nice to see your comments about one of the first e-retailing websites in the country.
    Compared to its peers Ebay, Rediff and Indiatimes are just platforms where Sellers ‘Sell’ and Buyers ‘Buy’.
    Its the first portal where the company takes complete ownership for the authenticity and genuineness of the products displayed and the delivery. Check out the 15-Day Return Policy
    “If you have purchased something at FutureBazaar and the product did not meet your expectations or does not fit your needs, then you can return the product to us; no questions asked, as long as it is unused, in its original packaging and accompanied by its invoice. futurebazaar will even make the return process simple for you – just contact their customer support and they’ll arrange to pick up the product from your home. Alternately, you can drop it off at the nearest Big Bazaar”

    Yes we have a long way to go but the complexity of our geography and customers is different to its western counterparts.

    I really like the site and am happy with such initiatives by Retail organization like ‘Future Group’

  7. Tushar, thanks for the comments, my point is that furturebazaar possible have spent Cr’s on infrastructure for this website, and the architecture, but someone needs to spend a little time looking at the frontend also.

    Iqbal

  8. you like endless.com, you gotta see bigshoebazaar.com

    and folks, this one is India. And its better than endless at that

  9. Leave the teachnology. Look at their service. A normal customer like me is not concerned of technology. But their service is pathetic. You order and just find it. The product will be damaged. I guess all scrap of Big bazaar is sold here

  10. Best Online and Cheapest Online Market After all cash Works !!!

  11. I am just another customer. I tried to buy from Futurebazaar and had a lot of apprehensions, because we are good at screwing up. Both my gifts to Delhi were delivered by courier safely and in time (say within 15 days). I am not cribbing. Quality of both the products, a room heater and a pressure cooker, their own brands, were commensurate with the price.

    I am pleasantly surprised. I am very hopeful that other online retailers in India, are capable of getting similar feedbacks.

  12. Webportal is really designed well but is should have the same solid customer care support to run a successful online-shopping portal. Currently the level of service is very disappointing.

  13. Futurebazaar is the worst online shopping site. Its pathetic and very unfriendly to consumers. My products were not delivered even after One Month. Please dont order products from futurebazaar.

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