LocalCircles, which is a pollster on issues of governance and consumer interest, in its research said only 4 in 10 consumers say e-commerce platforms are displaying the country of origin information for all products, while only 3 in 10 consumers say that most sellers / producers have this information displayed.
Further, the percentage of e-commerce consumers that look for country of origin information when shopping online rose from 37 per cent in 2020 to 51 per cent in 2022, showing that Indian consumers are becoming savvy.
While most older establishedplatformsnow have the country of origin information for the majority of products, the same is not the case with newer platforms.
To understand how the compliance to country of origin display requirements by e-commerce apps and platforms was working out from a consumer perspective, LocalCircles conducted a national survey that received over 19,000 responses from consumers residing in 309 districts of India. Among the respondents, 66 per cent were men and 34 per cent were women.
Of these, 49 per cent of respondents were from Tier-I, 32 per centfromTier-II and 19 per cent from Tier-III, Tier-IV and rural districts. According to the survey, only42per centof consumers found e-commerce app platforms to be compliant in making country of origin information available to sellers and consumers.
However, 28 per cent of consumers said ecommerce apps and platforms remain non-compliant while 30 per cent did not have an opinion or did notlook for this information. On the other hand, 29 per cent of consumers say e-commerce sellers are now making country of origin information available on products.
Moreover, 51 per cent of the consumers that shop online look for country of origin information, with the price, delivery date, ratings and reviews being most important to consumers. “The need of the hour is for e-commerce platforms to ensure that sellers are complying, and those that don’t face action beyond the government action.The department of legal metrology needs to ensure it makes its interfaces easier for a consumer to file a complaint.
Also, it needs to make a provision where class action complaints on which hundreds of consumers have given their acceptance or concurrence are taken up expeditiously and actioned within days as opposed to months,’’ said LocalCircles Chairman and CEO Sachin Taparia.
He further suggested that for up-and-coming sellers, who may not necessarily have the ability to read English and upload this information, provisions must be made to upload an image of the principal display panel or product detail page on e-commerce platforms which will show the country of origin information.