While all eyes are on the upcoming ecommerce regulations, a draft framework on issues relating to counter fake reviews and unverified star ratings on ecommerce marketplaces, travel and hotel booking platforms has been finalised.
Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, said that the government is in talks with ecommerce players to reach consensus on the framework, ET reported. The government is planning to release the guidelines soon.
According to Singh, traceability and legitimacy of the reviews and ratings remains the main concern, to verify if the reviewer is actually the user. Hotels and travel reviews are the biggest defaulters in this matter, he noted.
“This is the right time to address such issues because e-commerce prevalence has been increasing and more and more people are shopping online,” Singh said as quoted in the report.
In the last few months, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) has developed the framework.
Earlier in June, the government formed a committee to work on the issues of fake reviews on ecommerce platforms. It included representatives from ecommerce firms, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and other stakeholders.
Currently, India’s ecommerce market has a size of $100 Bn, which is estimated to reach $400 Bn in 20230, according to an Inc42 report. Moreover, the total number of online shoppers are projected to reach 350 Mn by 2025, from the current 165 Mn shoppers.
In the last two years, ecommerce has become more mainstream among the Indian consumers as more people stayed at home owing to the pandemic-related restrictions. Among all new emerging sectors, ecommerce continues to be one of the highest funded sectors with 23 unicorns and 14 soonicorns.
Interestingly, the government is also keeping an eye on product placements in movies, Singh said, adding that this is a new route to surrogate advertising. He cited the example of Bollywood movie Darlings which was recently released on Netflix.
“I saw the movie Darlings on Netflix, and there were some 20 products placed there, which is a new surrogate way of advertising—this is a new challenge for us,” he said.
It must be noted that the centre is planning to issue social media influencers guidelines to bring paid promotions and disclosures under its ambit. The guidelines are reportedly expected to be released within the next 15 days.
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While all eyes are on the upcoming ecommerce regulations, a draft framework on issues relating to counter fake reviews and… NewsInc42 Media