Useless e-commerce comparisions

Backdrop: My wife was nagging me to iron the pile of clothes for the past few days and finally I gave in. Well to be honest… nobody was surprised if the iron broke in 2 pieces halfway during the excruciating manual labor process.

Anyways here I am 10pm on a friday evening surfing the net to find a replacement.

“I was looking for: Steam iron which is compatible to a 5A plug point and has a 2+m cord. Heavier the weight, more I would prefer it.”

I am surfing all the top online stores (flipkart, ebay, pepperfry & cromaretail). I must say that each and every one had published a 1 page long description of each of the 100+ different irons they were carrying, yet none of these store had the information I was looking for. Instead they would bombard me with more products than I could compare, various discounts, coupons, cashback schemes that would confuse me.

I bought my phone (Nokia Lumnia) in flipkart a month ago. Since this was a high value purchase of a fashion accessory: I went to a store, selected the best match (product, feature, price range, color, look, feel, size etc.) then compared online for the best price. I was OK to wait for 2 days for delivery because the discount was worth it. for a 1,000/- steam iron, I am unlikely going to do that.

Essentially I see steam irons as a commodity. As long as it is from a good brand, there is not much value add in spending hours doing the research about it. I wanted to shop online because of the promise of convenience that it offers and also to save me the time and energy to go to a physical store for this undifferentiated product.

Maybe you feel it is a rant…. but its a voice of a customer who is willing to pay a premium if a store could save him a trip to the store.


4 thoughts on “Useless e-commerce comparisions

  1. 1 – How did you manage to break an iron into half? What did you do, hulk out on it? Arrrr….Ankur angry!! Is it captured on pic/video?
    2 – The moment you start saying things like “As long as it is from a good brand”, it stops being a commodity. It means that in practical terms, the product performance in case of competing brands does not have a significant variation.

    Regarding the long product descriptions, I too find them less than useful in most of the cases and more of a page filler from the seller’s side to show how much knowledgeable they are about the product they are selling.


  2. official version… i iron fell and the hot ironing base cracked in 2 pieces….. there are certain chores that i guy likes to avoid as long as he/she can.

    about commodity… sometimes price itself is a feature… the cheapest iron costs 200-300 bucks…. but i am looking something in 1.5-2k range… there are about 5-6 renowned brand who i trust enough that it won’t electrocute me (in spite of my handling).

    commodity because those 5-6 leading brands produce almost undifferentiated products in features, price, form factor etc. and as I mentioned before i am lazy because its not worth the time.
    it is neither recurring, interesting or significant purchase


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