Online shopping may clock sales worth up to Rs 25K crore: ASSOCHAM

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    The upcoming festive season, beginning October 1 is likely to register
    record-breaking sales, revenues, and highest ever purchase rate per minute
    for e-commerce giants as most people deferred their purchasing plans during
    the fortnight of pitru paksha and are now ready to loosen purse strings, an
    ASSOCHAM survey-cum-analysis has noted.

    The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)
    interacted with about 2,500 working professionals (almost equal number of
    male/female respondents) in the age group of 25-40 years from diverse
    sectors. These include – automobile, biotechnology, BFSI (banking, financial
    services and insurance), energy, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG),
    information technology (IT), media and entertainment, pharmaceutical, real
    estate and others.

    The ASSOCHAM had carried out the survey during the course of past fortnight
    across 10 prominent cities of – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR,
    Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai to ascertain their
    shopping plans for the upcoming festive season.

    “About 60 per cent of the total respondents said they are ready with their
    shopping lists and would prefer online shopping over standing long hours in
    store aisles, while most of the remaining opted for shopping at physical
    brick and mortar outlets,” highlighted the survey conducted by the ASSOCHAM
    Social Development Foundation.

    Majority of respondents also said they are planning to splurge on lucrative
    deals and discounts offered by e-tailers on everything from apparels,
    appliances, cosmetics, jewellery, perfumes, shoes, electronic items like –
    mobiles, laptop, television, portable media players and others.

    Ease of shopping, various delivery options, diverse payment modes, better
    offers and other such factors are key reasons highlighted by many
    respondents to shop online in the festive season starting with ‘Navratri’ in
    October followed by a string of festivals including Diwali and the
    festivities do not stop until new year.

    “This is expected to be the busiest festive season for e-commerce companies
    as Indian consumers are likely to spend up to Rs 25,000 crore and more as
    against over Rs 20,000 crore spent in festive season last year thereby
    registering about 25 per cent growth,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general
    of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the chamber’s
    survey-cum-analysis.

    “Most of the e-tailers have already jumped on the bandwagon for running
    promotional offers like deep discounts, exclusive merchandise, cash-back
    schemes, and other such deals to cash in on festive season frenzy and have
    set off marketing campaigns to rake in maximum profits,” said Mr Rawat.

    “Besides, introduction of premium services like free shipping, extended
    return period and others together with rise of high-speed internet usage
    through smartphones are likely to boost online shopping this festive season
    and help the e-tailers to register profits after a dull first half of this
    year,” he added.

    As part of its analysis, ASSOCHAM had also sought opinions of various
    experts in the field of advanced research, analytics and digital
    intelligence services specialising in communications insights and community
    trends.

    Many of these suggested various things like – the e-tailers must learn from
    the past and gear up to counter various challenges related to logistics,
    influx of visitors and avoid losing customers due to technical issues by
    taking all precautionary measures beforehand like investing in a larger
    server or cloud hosting service.

    Besides easier website navigation together with higher levels of service and
    festive product categories and a responsive website will entice customers
    and is a great way to differentiate from competitors that may launch
    seasonal marketing campaigns and offer similar discounts.

    E-tailers must ensure that stock levels are high, however running out stock
    is often unavoidable, but it should not hamper their relationship with
    customer by showcasing related products to them that could be of interest.

    Ensuring that delivery dates are correct is another significant thing as
    customers want to be sure of the latest date and time they can order and be
    certain it will arrive in time. As such companies should provide the
    customers with multiple delivery options.

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