The online retailers faced a major hurdle this Diwali: How to make Indians shop on their portals.
While Indians are using e-commerce portals more than ever for shopping nearly everything online, they prefer going to a store or a mall during festivals, a study by the US-based Visa Inc suggested.
Various factors like the product design, feel and most importantly, the ‘experience’ of shopping lured spenders to traditional brick-and-mortar stores this Diwali.
"While e-commerce continues to make strong inroads in India, for key occasions and festivities citizens still prefer a personalized experience, accompanied by ‘touch-and-feel’,” TR Ramachandran, country manager for India & South Asia, Visa said in the report.The world’s largest payments network on Thursday released data on consumer spending in India during the week leading to Diwali this year on Visa cards.
Visa study threw up some very interesting and encouraging insights on consumer spending habits, especially during Dhanteras and Diwali.
During the week leading to Diwali, Visa recorded 7.9 crore transactions, up 49 percent from last year. While the average spend was 1.48 times more than that during a normal week, it doubled on Dhanteras, when customers spent essentially on jewelry, home improvement products and apparel & accessories.
Dhanteras, the country’s busiest gold buying day, and Diwali are the two major Indian festivals when demand for the yellow metal peaks as it is considered auspicious and invokes lasting prosperity.
While the top five cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai contributed 46 percent of total face-to-face (F2F) spend, the city of Chandigarh, with a 34 percent change, recorded the highest growth in F2F spend.
Although online retail has made tremendous strides in India, the country’s nascent e-commerce market is still a small fraction of its overall retail trade. In 2016, it stood at $33 billion and is expected to go up by 50 percent in 10 years.
Millennial consumers, one of the prime target audience of the online retailers, love to experiment with trends and often use e-commerce portals to buy merchandise that are shipped directly from the US, China and other countries.
According to a report by digital payment firm Paypal, Indian shoppers will spend around Rs 8,75,600 crore buying products from online global marketplaces in 2018 from the estimated Rs 4,92,500 crore in 2016.
This rise in the number of online shoppers buying from other countries is driven by a number of reasons, with free shipping topping the list, the report highlighted.
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First Published: IST