With onion prices shooting through the roof, value conscious Indians are turning to the web to shop this festive season.
Popular e-tail websites are reporting a 300% spurt in sales over last month. From chocolates and clothes to mobile phones and jewellery, consumers are enjoying the lower prices, the variety on offer and the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes. “The gifting category is pushing growth for most players,” says Manu Jain, co-founder of Jabong.
Sample this: A shopping portal from distribution and supply chain service firm GATI promises to deliver items such as kesar from Kashmir, Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri , peanuts from Baruch, chikki from Lonavala and haleem from Hyderabad to any place in the country in 12 hours flat. “Who would want to brave traffic jams and overcrowded markets,” says Bablu Tewari, COO at GATI-KWE. “People are now looking for one-click answers to their gifting needs.”
Think Diwali-specific categories such as thalis, home furnishings, decorations and artifacts. Says Saurabh Malik, business head, Indiatimes Shopping: “One of the most interesting trends we have noticed this year is that a lot of people from Tier-II and Tier-III towns are buying gifts online.” Though e-tail captures less than a per cent of the retail pie in India, which is very low compared to 6% in China and 5% in the US, it is the fastest growing category in the non-travel segment of e-commerce with 59% Y-o-Y growth, according to a report by global consultancy firm KPMG.
The Indian e-tail industry is pegged at Rs 13,000 crore by industry estimates. “Most people go online to check and compare features of high-involvement categories like consumer electronics and durables, but they end up buying something on impulse like gifts at the last minute,” says Anand Ramanathan, associate director, KPMG in India.
Country manager and head of consumer services at American Express Banking Corp Shailesh Baidwan agrees: “Nearly 40% of our card members transact online. This month, we are seeing a significant increase in their spending and card usage. Perhaps the discounts and offers on our cards for Diwali is contributing to the rise.”
Discounts are a big draw for people who are taking to the web to shop. “In the current unpredictable economic scenario, people want value for their money,” says Hitendra Chaturvedi, founder and CEO of GreenDust, a company that sells branded refurbished consumer durables like refrigerators, televisions, laptops and mobile phones on its website and retail stores. “Earlier, people were not very keen to buy refurbished electronics. This time, I’m not too surprised to see even affluent consumers from metros walking off with large factory-second LEDs at half the price.”
Unlike most offline retailers, which focus on just discounts and freebies, sites such as, Flipkart(FlipKart Careers), Snapdeal(SnapDeals Careers), Jabong(Jabong Careers), Myntra(Myntra Careers) and Yebhi(YEBHI Careers) are expanding the range of products on offer. “One of the main reasons is to tap women who are fast migrating to the online space,” says Nikhil Rungta, chief business officer at Yebhi. “From 75:25 a year ago, the split between male and female consumers who shop online has changed to 65:35.”
While Yebhi is banking on affordable fashion jewellery and western wear, Flipkart(FlipKart Careers) is pushing its new range of ethnic wear, which according to various retailers is snapped up briskly during festive periods. Says Ravi Vora, senior VP (marketing) at Flipkart, “We have started offering saris and we are already seeing a spike in numbers before Diwali.”
Surfing to save
– At Rs 13,000 crore e-tailing accounts for 1% of India’s retail business â€” far less than 6% in China & 5% in the US. But it’s the fastest growing segment of e-commerce (non-travel) at 59% annually, with Tier-II & III towns giving biggest boost.
– This festive season, banks’ offers on cards, online discounts and the convenience of shopping from home has pushed sales.
– Netizens are lapping up even refurbished durables and taking on such offers as getting a haleem from Hyderabad in 12 hours.
– Women are driving sales too, clocking a male-to-female ratio of 65:35, which is up from 75:25 a year ago. (Source:ET)
|FlipKart Careers||Myntra Careers||Jabong Careers|
|Ebay careers||Junglee Careers||Amazon India Careers|
|GreenDust Careers||SnapDeals Careers||YEBHI Careers|
|GATI Supply Chain Careers|