Festive seasons such as Diwali are one of the major opportunities for retail businesses across India to make a killing. As modern retail has so far unable to cater to the need of consumers, meanwhile online retail has been evangelizing the festivity feast. In an attempt to attract maximum traction various online retailers offered exciting deals specifically for Diwali this year, for instance, eBay India created a Mega Diwali offer wherein their customers depending on the quantum of purchases got a whole range of absolutely assured gifts.
This Diwali online retail has performed far better than previous one (2010), it has also observed few interesting trends such as:
- More people are buying: This year, we have seen more number of consumers from tier II and tier III cities buying online. Factors like Cash on Delivery (COD), freebies, assured gifts along with exciting and innovative TV advertising guided people to buy online.
- They are buying more: Another outcome of increased confidence in online shopping is that consumers are buying more expensive items online e.g. Big-ticket items such as flat panel TVs, Digicams, smart phones, laptops and Tablets were being sold in large numbers.
Apart from big ticket size purchase, this Diwali retailers have also seen transactions of low ticket purchase from tier 2 and 3 cities. Shedding light on Diwali sales (during October), Abhimanyu Lal, Head of Marketing, eBay India said “Apart from big ticket size purchases, we have seen increased sales of Saris, salwar kameez, home décor, diamond jewellery, hallmarked gold coins, personal and skin care items and other daily use items”. Later, Lal added that decorative items and gifting items are also popular during Diwali.
Home category has also showed phenomenal sales including bed & bath, kitchen & dining, living & decor, luggage & home storage, and other home utilities. Some of the online retailers such as futurebazaar.com took a fairly contrarian approach and did a clearance sale of their retail formats on futurebazaar.com . Speaking more about futurebazaar.com’s sale during Diwali, Kashyap Deorah, President (futurebazaar) said “the clearance sale for Ezone and Big Bazaar turned out to be most popular followed by Home Town, Planet Sports and Brand Factory. We also saw good traction in a newly launched range of household supplies with personal care leading as a sub-category”. Later, Deorah pointed out that October has witnessed 200% more than September (3x) in terms of number of orders per day.
Similarly, letsbuy.com, India’s leading electronic online retailer has also experienced more than 100 percent of sales in October in contrast of September. Smart phones, Home Appliances, LCD’s and LED TV’s and Laptops were the top transacted categories at letsbuy.com. Throwing light on letsbuy offerings this Diwali, Amanpreet Bajaj, COO, letsbuy.com said “this Diwali, the focus at letsbuy.com was to ensure that the customer enjoyed maximum benefits of shopping online – this included faster shipments, Great deals and a wide range of products along with bundled freebies across all categories”. Letsbuy also enticed consumers with a number of unique promotional gimmicks on its website like every customer on Letsbuy was given a free assured gift with every purchase, Chance for each customer to get his order for free every 30 minutes during the festive period and exclusive freebies and bundles for Mobiles, Laptops, Cameras, LCDs and home appliances.
EBS, leading Payment Gateway also reports hike of transactions by 25 and 50 percent during September – October. On the peak days of Diwali, Dhanteras and Navratri shopping, EBS processed transactions at the hike of 50 percent. According to the data provided by EBS – travel, retail majorly electronics, deals sites, jewellery, apparels, and gifts processed maximum transactions. Interestingly, EBS has also confirmed overwhelming participation of tier 2 and 3 cities in the festive season. Moreover, new merchants from 2 & 3 tier cities are emerging and new merchants shared a space with innovative business models.