46% of those consumers who purchased a product or service via social platforms say they have experienced fraudulent activity
- • 31% consumers say they have purchased a product or a service through these platforms
- • 85% want these platforms to be subjected to Ecommerce Rules
December 16, 2019, New Delhi: Social media has now become an integral part of the daily lives of Indians. From catching up with friends and family, to reading the trending news, social media keeps people updated with the happenings from around the world. And lately, platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram have also turned into marketplaces where one can buy things from.
Consumers have reported that many of the social platforms now have marketplaces and vendors selling goods and services like clothes, footwear, jewellery etc. and even real estate now. Many consumers have also reported receiving links or unsolicited offers to buy products and services. In some cases, consumers have reported that payment links shared by the seller are fraudulent in nature.
LocalCircles did a set of polls to understand the consumer issues better. The 3-point survey received around 26,000 responses from consumers across India.
31% citizens say they have purchased a product or service (directly or indirectly) through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social platforms
The first question asked consumers if they had ever clicked on a link to buy on Facebook, Instagram of WhatsApp or other social media platforms, or were approached by a seller through them. 5% said yes, it is a regular practice and 6% said it has happened many times. 20% said it has happened a few times while 64% said it has never happened with them. This indicates that a lot of people are tending to buying things socially, esp via facebook and whatsapp.
46% citizens say they have been subject to some type of fraudulent activity (directly or via links) when purchasing a product or service via Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other social platforms
Many citizens have reported that they have lost money when they clicked on these links that appear on social media platforms. When clicked upon, these links direct the user towards a third party website which asks them to make the payment, enter an OTP or other details, leading to money being debited from their account. The products according to many consumers never arrive.
When asked if they had been subjected to some kind of fraudulent activity when purchasing any product or service through Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or other social platform directly or via links. 46% answered in a ‘yes’ while 46% answered in a ‘no’.
85% citizens believe platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp should be subject to eCommerce rules and policies
The Government have been working towards forming policies and rules to regulate these social media platforms in the country. The Department of Consumer Affairs is currently making rules for consumer protection for ecommerce sector and DPIIT under Ministry of Commerce is due to come out with the next draft of the ecommerce policy sometime in early 2020.
85% consumers in the final poll said they believe platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp should be subjected to ecommerce rules and policies. Only 10% voted against it.
The results of the survey clearly point to the fact that consumers want social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. which allow marketplace like transactions to happen on their platform, to be included under the ecommerce rules so that the consumer interest could be protected and cases of frauds on and via these platforms could be drastically reduced. LocalCircles will share the findings of this survey with both Department of Consumer Affairs, DPIIT as well as MEITY and request action on it.