Metroplus

Cart in the web

Deepavali shopping has changed with more shoppers now picking up stuff online, write T. Saravanan and A. Shrikumar

Deepavali is undoubtedly one of the biggest shopping ventures for both young and old. With the advent of numerous online shopping portals, festival buying has become sweat and hassle-free. And the sites stock more exciting and variety of products than the shops.

“Virtual shopping is handier as everything is just a click away. You save time and energy,” says N.Naga Sundaralingam, a regular online shopper. “I started buying electronic accessories and now the impressive offers especially on clothes are irresistible.” Special promotions and attractive sales initiatives including gifts, discount coupons and cash-backs also flood the online market during festive seasons.

From branded garments and lifestyle products to festival specific items like crackers, sweets and lanterns, there’s nothing that one can’t get on the net. There are over 20 different shopping portals that are popular among the people.

Vikas Ahuja, Chief Marketing Officer of Myntra.com says, “Online shopping in India took off around 2010 and has been steadily growing. According to Google, online shopping grew by 128 per cent in 2012 as compared to 40 per cent in 2011. By 2015, the total online transaction value is set to touch Rs 40,000 crores fuelled by demand for apparel, electronics and accessories.”

Surbhi Gupta, who owns a fashion portal ‘The Source’, says, “In big cities such as Mumbai, it’s a task wading through traffic in times like Deepavali. So people opt to shop from home instead of entering a crowded mall or a showroom. And we take care in delivering orders on time.”

Even in small towns like Madurai, online shopping has penetrated various age groups and classes. G.Ramesh, a businessman, says, “There are more advantages in shopping online. The EMI offers on these sites are easy on the pocket and the deliveries are prompt and much-cared. They also replace damages and redress customer grievances. The major factor for the shift of shopping trend is the flexibility to shop 24X7”

“More than half of our business is generated from non-metros. Our website receives nearly five to six lakh visits every day,” says Vikas. “The festive season starts with Onam in the South followed by Dussehra / Navrathri and continues till Deepavali and New Year. Keeping this in mind, we are already stocking additional quantities to satisfy the growing demand.”

With an extensive reach and response from customers, even branded companies feature or launch their products on portals than in showrooms. Shweta Sharma, a freelance stylist says, “The fresh designs from the ramp are sold off websites these days. And if a style gets viral online, it gets replicated in the stores. Ethnic wear seems to be the craze for Deepavali.”

Not only garments and fashion accessories like footwear and jewellery, but it’s also time to buy your crackers online! In a novel attempt to ease cracker buying, Yasir has launched crackerman.com that features all kinds of latest fireworks. “As we cut down on dealers and middle-men, the online prices are competitive. We do free door delivery within Madurai and Chennai city limits,” he says. Yasir makes use of the services of college student for delivering the orders.

Kamal of Onlinesandhai.com which also offers Deepavali crackers, says, “The restrictions in stocking explosives in mandapams and the high demand each year for a suitable space to sell crackers, made me rethink my strategies.”

Customer-friendly features like free shipping, cash-on-delivery options and lower-than-market prices have made online shopping a major hit. The trend is set to grow further in the coming years.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 7:47:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/cart-in-the-web/article5304533.ece

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