By her own admission, Sweta Singh (32), a Bangalore-based communications professional, is reduced to a near pauper by the end of the festival season each year. This year, weighed down by EMIs, Singh was reluctant to splurge, but that didn’t stop her from spending R10,000 in just two hours at an online fashion store that offered up to a 70% discount and freebies.
With Indians becoming even more familiar with e-commerce, online retailers hope to beat the sluggish consumer mood during the festival months that started with Onam in Kerala, followed by Dussehra and Diwali. The players are offering exclusive deals in apparel, accessories and ethnic-wear brands as they feed off traffic from popular social shopping and networking sites.
E-tailer Flipkart.com expects a 50% growth in sales during the festival season compared with the previous month.
“We have a number of offers and discounts being planned for the Diwali season across all our products — especially our gifting categories. We are concentrating on our newly launched categories like home furnishings and ethnic wear. Sales for ethnic wear have doubled over the last three months,” says Ravi Vora, senior VP (marketing), Flipkart.com.
“We are expecting around three times more sale from our online space this festival season, which can be attributed to not just buying for self but also includes a lot of gifting. Our online sales percentage is also fuelled through the incentivised buying schemes that we provide our customers. Also, the product portfolio during the festival season is comparatively higher,” says Anita Dongre, creative director, AND & Global Desi, an offline fashion house that is expecting its online platform to pump up volumes during the festival season.
India’s R1,500-crore online apparel market includes a R300-400 crore ethnic wear sub-segment. E-tailers point out that apparel as a category offers 30-40% margin depending on the brand and price point. Experts say that schemes, promotions and marketing are geared towards increasing the average transaction value as well as the number of items on the cart during the last four months of the year.
Online retailer Myntra is seeing an increase in the number of items in cart by 30-50% during the festival season. For Myntra, the average selling price per customer is expected to go up by 50%, doubling the overall sales. “All the categories jump, but ethnic wear jump disproportionately to almost double. We are expanding our collection in ethnic wear,” says Ganesh