Social Commerce Can Be Better Than e-commerce

  • It has a lower barrier to entry than creating an account on a site, adding your address, adding your card, installing apps on all your devices, logging in everywhere, and so on.
  • I just message what I want to the owner. I don’t have the overhead of selecting items, adding them to a cart, placing the order, not have the credit card OTP arrive, retry, etc.
  • I don’t have to search the site to find what I want. I just message it to him and he does the search for me.
  • When I don’t understand the doctor’s squiggles, which is often, I just take a photo of the prescription and message it to him. On an e-commerce site, I wouldn’t know what to put in the search box.
  • If a medicine is not available, the owner recommends alternatives. When I was spending too much on a certain medicine and asked him for a cheaper alternative, he suggested one at half the price.
  • If things go wrong, I can call up the owner. Whereas big companies have no accountability. For example, when I tried to cancel an order on 1mg, they told me they can’t cancel it, but I can refuse the delivery, and when it’s returned, I’ll get my money back. But the delivery boy refused to take it back, argued and spoke rudely. After going back, he called me and hassled me on the phone. I spoke to his boss, who was polite but didn’t fix anything. They wrongly marked it as delivered. 1mg wouldn’t listen to me. They had a dumb customer support agent who kept saying it’s delivered. And it turned out that the courier company had forged my signature. Big companies are often unaccountable because there are so many people involved, things can fall through the cracks, people have their defined jobs and stick to them, and customer dis-service people are told to just read scripts instead of being empowered to do what’s right for the customer. A small shop owner doesn’t have the attitude of “It’s not my job” because everything is his job.
  • The service is excellent. Things haven’t gone seriously wrong even once in 12 years, probably because there’s accountability.
  • The service is customised. For example, they don’t deliver in the afternoon because they know it’s inconvenient for us.
  • There’s no delivery fee. It’s ironic that companies that are a thousand times bigger than a small medical shop, allegedly with a lot more sophistication and highly skilled experts on staff, can’t match this.
  • If I need it urgently, they deliver immediately, such as in an hour, again at no fee. It’s a human relationship where we accommodate and help each other, not a bureaucratic system with procedures and policies.
  • I pay at the end of the month, which is more convenient than paying each time, going through a checkout flow, selecting a card, having transactions fail, get an SMS and email both from my bank and the e-commerce site, and so on.
  • I pay via IMPS, so middlemen don’t steal 2%, as with payment gateways. The owner said that he prefers delayed payment to losing 2%.
  • I never get marketing spam, unlike companies that have an exploitative attitude towards customers. They’ve forgotten that if you treat people well, they reciprocate, and if you take advantage of people, they’ll reciprocate that, too.
  • I have an authentic human relationship with the owner. He even came by to invite me to his sister’s wedding.

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Consulting CTO. Earlier: Google | Founder | CTO | Advisor

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Kartick Vaddadi

Kartick Vaddadi

Consulting CTO. Earlier: Google | Founder | CTO | Advisor

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