Online shopping likely to touch over Rs 5,000 cr. during Diwali: ASSOCHAM

Online demand during the upcoming festive season for products like mobile phones, e-tablets, consumer electronics, home appliances, home decor, furnishings, apparel and ornaments have been likely to witness increase of 300 per cent from last year to over Rs 5,000 crore as nearly 1.25 crore consumers are expected to place orders over internet, according to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The figure has gone up by over 100% which was around 250% to Rs 2,000 crore in 2010 in which nearly 90-100 lakh consumers took part according to ASSOCHAM.

Throwing more light on the ASSOCHAM analysis, its secretary general, D S Rawat said, “the articles that are likely to be shopped intensively during Diwali would include electronic items, gift articles, idols of Gods and Goddesses, sweets, flowers, clothes & jewellery and diamonds due to discount range from 10-15% to 80-90% depending upon product vertical and other offers are lucky draws, free shipping, free gifts and gift vouchers”.

The reasons for increase of online shoppers this festive season are because of factors such as home delivery which saves timealong with ’24×7′ hours shopping with ease and availability factors for product comparisons.

Rawat further added that the expected growth during key festivals like Karva Chauth, Dhanteras, Diwali, the online shopping portals will go up by 30-35% this diwali. So, online shopping seen a phenomenal rise in the country and will continue to do so  given the great potential and the huge segment of population which is still not net savvy.

The ASSOCHAM analysis also revealed some specific study based on demographic, it says,  Gujarathis are taking lead in ordering their Diwali requirements of consumer durables product followed by Maharahtrian, Delhiites, Sindhi’s, Rajasthanis and Punjabi. The percentage of South Indians is equally strong.

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Cashing in on the festive opportunities, a lot of online players have already announced exclusive Diwali deals and even exclusive Diwali shopping stores. Besides for the other shopping sites like ebay, homeshop18, sify, indiaplaza and indiatimes have also opened shop for Diwali offers and are enticing online buyers with discounts.

These shopping portals are witnessing a large number of users buying gifts and products also for personal use. Cashing in on the growing number of online shoppers, portals like rediff and ebay are readying themselves for increased traffic, with a series of offerings to consumers.

As per ASSOCHAM estimates, for any shopping site, the sales are expected to go up by around 20-30% month on month during October.

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are also shopping more online during the festive season. During Raksha Bandhan, online shopping by NRIs contribute to about 40-50% of total shopping, whereas during Diwali, it increases to 85%, adds the paper.

Rediff has announced a series of offerings for its consumers, which includes offering of special gift vouchers of Rs 1,500 with every purchase.  The single portal has also seen an increase in the number of visitors each day from 1, 00,000 to 1,50,000 during the festive season, which adds up to 7 million visitors a month.

Similarly, other portals are also introducing the ‘Get lucky’ offer, where consumers who shop on the portal will get a discount coupon of 10-50% on all their purchases.

The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, which include mobile phones and accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others, said Mr. Rawat.

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Online shopping boom is not restricted to metros alone. Lucknow ranks high, followed by Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Dehradun, Nasik, Trichy, adds the Assocham report.

Further Rawat 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.

Diwali also marks a time when online purchases of consumer durables, jewellery and gifts comes out of the shadows of online travel, which corners a lion’s share of the country’s e-commerce. “Majority of the Diwali shopping is consumer durables include electronics, mobile phones, accessories, jewellery and apparel during Dhanteras, when we see many big-ticket items being sold”.

These clearly show that online shopping has truly come of age and consumers are keen to shop on the net. Festival shopping is the prime time for multi-channel retailers to attract new shoppers.

Online retailers have seen growing consumer interest in buying Diwali gifts online. The growth in the last two years to be broad product selection and the ever-expanding range of unique and unusual gifts ideas as well as increased consumer confidence in shopping on interest.