The Indian consumer is happily shopping from home, office, airport, restaurant and any other place that you can think of. Online shopping has brought in a sea change in the buying behaviour of the shoppers. It is just not restricted to the top metros but can be seen percolating down to the B and C cities where the aspiration for latest trends is high. Special values and free shipping seems to catch everyone’s attention. Is it convenience or fad? The truth is whatever the trigger may be the e-commerce sites are only too happy to garner more revenue from online shopping.

Air tickets and hotels have been attracting a whole lot of online sale for quite some time now but it is interesting to see small ticket items ranging from gifts, flowers and fashion products gaining such high momentum. Prêt-line, white goods and lifestyle brands starting from below Rs.5000 to about Rs.15000 would easily move from the shelf that only requires a couple of minutes for purchase decision. The lifestyle and fashion brands are creating brand loyalty through blogs and the transition to online buying is often a small nudge than a push. An interesting angle to the online industry is the way it has upgraded itself in terms of positioning and packaging over the net. The products can be viewed from various angles, compared and contrasted. Virtual walkthroughs and related mood shots do create the expected stickiness for the surfer who may just stop and click the button. Not just the computer but shopping via a mobile device, tablet or in-store kiosk plugs all the available gizmos that the younger generation is using.

The youth of today who perpetually live online would always remain loyal to online shopping and in the coming years the trend would increase in huge measures.

Retailers of all types are expanding product offerings, adding in-store pickup, free shipping, payment options in terms of cash on delivery or online and experimenting with social media. It’s getting harder to tell pure play Internet retailers from the bricks and mortar shops with online portals, and all of them are reinventing how we’ll shop online in the future.

The online purchase chain has developed into a robust infrastructure starting from payment security to warehousing and delivery within the stipulated time with exchange and refund mechanism. At this moment there are dampeners like slow internet connectivity and other logistics infrastructure. For sellers, to ship products across India is not easy because of varied taxes in different states. Till there is a flat standardization couriers are restricted to smaller pockets. This makes servicing in smaller towns a bit challenging, but the online brands are hopeful of penetration of courier services to boost online shopping as deliveries are mostly done through them.

Though India is at a nascent stage in online shopping compared to the global platform, what is encouraging is that the mindset that has now started building up among consumers who look at online shopping as a good alternative if not better.

Source: New Delhi Reporter

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