While the entire world was abuzz with excitement as a new era of shopping convenience emerged with online shopping, and the western world had already seen retail behemoths like Amazon take the market by storm, the Indian shopper watched keenly but also rather sceptically.
How was one to buy anything by just looking at a picture shopping? What about quality, colour or the trustworthiness of the seller? After all, this was a set up where you had to pay your money first and then wait for a few days for your stuff to arrive. It was mostly going to be a novel concept that might find a few takers wanting to just try something new, but this didn’t seem to be one of those ideas that might last and take root.
This was sometime back, but now people all over the country are slowly loosening their purse strings to enjoy the luxury of shopping at their place of comfort. To the urban Indian, who is strapped for time and in search of convenience, online shopping presents the option of being able to avoid jostling noisy crowded malls, hunt for parking, spend hours hopping from one store to the next to peer at a vast array of products across price ranges, compare prices across stores and hunt for Coupon Codes and promo codes. Now, all he needs to do is sit down in his own living room and just click a little button to shop. Delivery men riding around in bikes, bearing packages from Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, Fashion and You are quite a common site now and this seems to only be the beginning.
The e-tailers, aware of their market’s biggest concerns, introduced options like “try it to buy it” and also a generous exchange policy. Among the other problems was security of online transactions. Here most e-tailers have introduced a “cash on delivery” system which has increased their reach considerably. Many have the option of paying with EMI and free delivery too.
All this aside, the consumer’s fundamental incentive of shopping anywhere is always to get a good bang for his buck. The words “discount” and “deal” have always grabbed the shopper’s attention and interest. This is where e-tailing delivered and made inroads into the consumer’s psyche. Sites like Flipkart and Fashion and You offer consistently lower prices than regular retail prices and now almost everyone checks the price of a book first on Flipkart before buying it elsewhere. The very model of e-tailing is such that the seller is able to save so much on the cost of actually setting up and maintaining a brick-and-mortar store, that giving a better deal online to the consumer is not only a great way to attract shoppers, but also makes business sense to the seller.
As the word “Cashback Offers” is now added to the online shopper’s lexicon, one doesn’t need to only shop at discount stores to get a deal. Shopping at any store has the promise of getting fabulous savings! Very quickly, the Indian consumer seems to have fewer and fewer reasons to ignore this alternative of shopping online, and the array of choices for the bargain-hunting, quality conscious shopper is only looking better and better.