The festive season offers a great opportunity for e-commerce sites. Here’s a look at some of the deals and promotions being carried out to woo customers
The festival season is upon us, and with it comes the shopping frenzy usually associated with prosperity-related festivals like Dusshera and Diwali. In fact, in India, the festival season lasts for several months, right from Durga Puja in October through Dusshera, Diwali, Eid and Christmas, finally culminating in New Years. Naturally, with urban India finding itself flush with prosperity and money to spend, this three-month window sees a flurry of shopping activity, much to the delight of vendors, retailers and merchants. However, along with the joys of festivities comes the onerous activity of actually braving the over-crowded marketplaces and shopping malls. This puts a lot of people off shopping, especially added to the recent danger of terrorist attacks at crowded places.
It is against that background that e-commerce in India has seen a spectacular rise. India’s e-commerce market was estimated to be worth around R50,000 crore in 2011, according to data from the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IMAI), with around 10 million online shoppers. IMAI data also shows that the e-commerce market in India is growing at a red-hot 40-45% CAGR compared to a global growth of 8-10%. The advantages of e-commerce in India are obvious: the cash-on-delivery feature pioneered by Flipkart and now adopted by many others, the convenience (and safety) of home delivery, to name a few. With this rapid growth and the obvious attraction posed by the large festive season window, many e-commerce sites have brought out festive offers to attract shoppers and build up sales.
Flipkart hasn’t made its festive season plans public yet, but last year it offered discounts of up to 25% on its electronics and kitchen appliances. It is likely that Flipkart will follow that model this year as well. Jabong.com, another familiar name, has wholeheartedly embraced the festive season, but seems to be focussing more on the apparel side. Its website boasts a sizeable and discounted collection of clothes, watches and footwear (for men and women) for every festival between now and New Years—a separate set for Dandiya, Durga Puja, Navratri, Diwali and even a semi-casual set for festive parties. Similarly, Homeshop18.com’s promotions include discounts on a whole range of kitchen appliances (discounts of up to 27%), furnishings (discounts up to 61%), home solutions like safes and