Online festive shopping shows a growing trend

29 Oct 2007

New Delhi: Online sales this Diwali season have, till now, shown a growth of 40 per cent, and are expected to settle at 130 per cent by the time the festive shopping season comes to a close.

According to an Assocham release, the consumer goods industry had witnessed sales of Rs250 crore during this time in 2006 through e-shopping, whereby approximately 18-20 lakh consumers used the Internet for their festive shopping sprees.

The release says that as per estimates, the 2007 Diwali shopping season is likely to witness over 30 lakh consumers leveraging the Internet for e-shopping. The move to the online medium is facilitated by features such as convenience and accessibility.

Improvements in logistics and delivery mechanisms have also fuelled the e-commerce trend in India. Assocham also says that a large number of consumers increasingly foresee security threats as a deterrent and prefer to avoid physical movement in large, prominent markets which usually feature high on the list of security agencies.

Commenting on Assocham’s analysis, Assocham president Venugopal Dhoot says that as a community, the Gujarathis have taken a lead in their Diwali shopping for consumer durables products, followed closely by Sindhi’s and Punjabi’s. He says the percentage of people from Maharashtra “is equally strong”, pointing out that a majority of South Indian’s and consumers in extreme Himalayas lag behind in e-shopping.

The “favourite list” of articles that are likely to bought intensively during Diwali includes electronic items, gift articles, idols of gods and goddesses, sweets, flowers, clothes & jewellery and diamonds

Commenting on shopping trends, ASSOCHAM estimates that in “normal” months, 85 per cent orders are for self purchases, while during festivals like Diwali and Rakhi gift orders increase to over 95 per cent.

Online shopping players who have setup their online stores for Diwali sales have top buys including handsets, accessories, stamps, mobile accessories and PC games.

According to Assocham, gifting an online purchase is much easier, facilitated by most online portals taking care of delivery across the country, and some delivering to different parts of the world as well. The study says that the online community of 38 million goes online for purchasing, leveraging advantages of online shopping such as ease of shopping, product reviews, ease of delivery, and wide-range of gift products available at a few clicks.

Dhoot said that “online shopping is definitely catching up. Emerging gifting trends also include imported wines and juices. Chocolates are picking up in a big way as a substitute to mithais. This trend extensively points towards luxury shopping, an emerging concept in the Indian market”

While Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore top the charts in online shopping, cities like Lucknow rank high in beauty products category and Ahmedabad for toys. Jaipur seems to be buying its books, movies and home tools online; Nasik logs in for apparel and Trichy for food products.

Indian e-commerce, according to the latest findings, is estimated at Rs2200 crore in 2006-07, and is expected to grow almost 150 per cent to Rs5,500 crore in 2007-08.

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