Indian online stores are now enjoying wide popularity. The growing internet population, increasing access to internet, interest in the minds of buyers to make purchases online and advertisements by online stores in various media including television are some of the factors that contribute to the overwhelming popularity enjoyed by online stores now. It all depends on how efficiently online stores work to draw more customers and retain existing customers. The competition could not have been tougher. The market could not have been wider. Reviews on services of stores are no longer limited to neighbors and relatives. Every online store that props up is a competitor, every new browser is a prospective customer and every review goes online to remain for everyone to see. Under these circumstances, the efficiency of online stores needs to rise higher to stay connected. Let us see how Flipkart deals the situation and handles its competitor, Snapdeal.
The Rise Of Flipkart And Snapdeal
Flipkart set foot online by selling books in the year 2007. However, it did not remain long as a bookseller as it diversified and included various categories such as apparels, computers, mobiles, home appliances and a lot more. Snapdeal started its online operation in the year 2010. The online store has a massive collection across various categories, which include apparels, computers, mobiles, cameras, books, fashion products, home appliances and so on. In short, both online stores could be said to be nearing the status of ‘one-stop shop’.
How Do The Products Rate And The Rates Fare?
As far as quality is concerned, Flipkart seems to be better placed than Snapdeal. Though both online stores deal with branded products, Flipkart has earned a better name when compared to Snapdeal. There are complaints about Snapdeal delivering faulty products. It could either be associated with the quality of products or negligence in performance, which points out to lack of effective customer service.
The rates offered by both the online stores are competitive. You can have your pick on any product and you can be assured that you are getting the best deal. Be it in apparels or home appliances, the products are offered on a discounted rate. Moreover, both Flipkart and Snapdeal offer Flipkart discount coupons and Snapdeal coupons respectively and hence, you gain a lot by buying from these sites.
Customer Service – Needs Improvement
Basing the question on the reviews available in the internet, one can only conclude that both online stores need to do a lot to improve their customer service. There are many complaints about delivery of faulty products, delayed delivery and unresponsive staff in the customer service department and so on. In online business, it would do no good to remain unconnected with customers and not address their complaints. Both online stores do not seem to take into account the complaints online. However, it needs to be recorded that in spite of all the disadvantages registered against using Snapdeal, 90% of the buyers still recommend the site. That points to the fact that the quality is superior and the rates are reasonable. You cannot overlook complaints on faulty products, though. Flipkart does not enjoy as much recommendation as Snapdeal. However, both have become famous for their products and offers. The sites need to work towards enhancing the quality of customer service. At present, you can only call them equals.
April 7, 2013
The Partnership for Integrity in Scientific Dis-semination was established by a concerned group of biomedical scientists to combat the steady encroachment of Open Access (OA) publishing initiatives on the profit margins of traditional publishers. Major academic publishers such as Elsevier, Wiley, and Springer earn millions of dollars every year selling universities and other institutions expensive subscriptions to the academic journals they produce. For decades, commercial publishers have played a critical role in the production and dissemination of scientific information. Under their careful stewardship, science has blossomed from a casual hobby into a moderately-sized enterprise complete with its own R&D budget.
Recently, however, a group of short-sighted scientists, librarians, government officials, and “New Media” publishers have launched an initiative named “Open Access” (OA) intended to compete with traditional academic publishers. The purported goal of the OA initiative is to make scientific information free by eliminating journal subscription fees and shifting the burden of publishing costs to authors and their institutions. The present website was developed to counter the myths being propagated by OA proponents, most of whom are bloggers of low repute. The members of the PISD grant that OA proponents may have good intentions; however, there is little doubt that the OA initiative is an ill-conceived and fundamentally misguided endeavour. In particular, the PISD Coalition maintains that OA is not in the best interest of science. After undergoing extensive mediation and couples counseling, the PISD Coalition can confidently assert that scientific information does not want to be free. It wants to stay just where it is: safe and warm in the Reed Elsevier vaults, protected by the long arm of intellectual property law, earning massive profits for traditional publishers.
PISD is a loose-knit coalition of biomedical scientists and other practitioners of clear thinking. We provide an independent, unbiased perspective on current controversies surrounding academic publishing. PISD has no affiliation with any commercial academic publisher. We see the truth so clearly because we’re smart, not because we’re bought. And the truth is simple: OA is bad for science.
Proponents of OA like to point out that most empirical studies assessing the impact of OA on scientific dissemination have found a favorable effect of OA over conventional, closed-access models. There’s no question that it sounds convincing when a library scientist claims that papers that are freely available online are cited significantly more often than papers that aren’t—sometimes twice as often! But there are at least two problems with such ‘data’ that OA advocates won’t tell you about.
First, all of the studies on OA have a common problem: they make assumptions. It’s important to realize that assumptions can be wrong. For example, most of the data favoring OA are based on long-term projections. OA advocates might say things like “if self-archiving online continues to increase at the current rate, 95% of scientific articles will be freely downloadable by 2021, increasing total citations by 350%.” Ninety-five and three-hundred-and-fifty may sound like fancy numbers, but the reality is that to achieve the projections OA advocates make, a lot of assumptions about the future have to hold. The problem is that not only do we not know that these assumptions will hold true, we don’t even know what other factors might come into play that OA advocates haven’t thought to include in their models! To paraphrase a famous man, there are known unknowns—things we know that we don’t know—and unknown unknowns—things we don’t know we don’t know. Contrast that with what we do know for sure—namely, that if OA gains substantial support from the scientific community, commercial publishers will lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
Second, many of the studies on OA have been conducted by scientists. It’s hardly surprising that studies conducted by scientists tend to favor positions that scientists incorrectly believe to be in their best interests! To obtain a balanced viewpoint, you would have to have an equal number of studies conducted by impartial groups that have extensively consulted publishers to obtain their side of the story. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many published studies that favor a conventional publishing model over OA. That shouldn’t be surprising either considering who the editors of scientific journals are: they’re scientists! Isn’t it ironic that scientists are conspiring to eliminate the very same publishing industry that stacks the deck in scientists’ favor, and against itself?
Peer reviewing doesn’t cost journals anything—scientists usually referee papers for free. Isn’t that a little unfair?
It is indeed a source of consternation to many in the publishing industry that current publishing conventions provide scientists with the opportunity to referee papers at no cost. Consider all the benefits reviewers accrue: (a) they get to read potentially important manuscripts several months or years before they’re officially published and become popular; (b) they’re afforded an easy opportunity to silence or scoop competitors by stalling their publications; (c) they might learn something, and you know how scientists are always saying you can’t put a price on knowledge! Given all these benefits, it’s pretty clear that peer reviewers are taking advantage of publishers’ goodwill in a way that publishers never intended. Fortunately, the current outdated model will soon give way to a new, auction-based model currently under development at one of the larger publishing companies.
It depends how far into the future you project. In the first couple of weeks, researchers would fret about where to send the papers they’d already planned to submit. Then, they’d spend a couple of weeks rewriting those manuscripts into a format acceptable to the few OA journals already in operation. In the meantime, a number of academics with vision and technical expertise would set about creating new OA journals that use novel and sophisticated publishing platforms the likes of which have never been seen before. Dissemination of scientific information would flourish, productivity would rise, the pursuit of science would once again attain its rightful status as the noblest of all human enterprises. Then, about five years later, civilization would suddenly collapse. Cities would rust, industries would implode, dinosaurs would once again rule the Earth.
November 24, 2011