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

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Online shopping industry may touch Rs 5,000 crore during Diwali due to increased sales of consumer electronics and other products, an Assocham survey has said.

The online demand for products like mobile phones, e-tablets, consumer electronics, home appliances, home decor, furnishings, apparel, and ornaments is likely to shoot up 300 percent from the last year to over Rs 5,000 crore as nearly 1.25 crore consumers are expected to place orders through the Internet, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The figure has gone up by over 100 percent, which was around 250 percent, to Rs 2,000 crore in 2010 in which nearly 90–100 lakh consumers took part. According to ASSOCHAM, the estimated sales for any online shopping site are expected to go up by around 20–30 percent month-on-month during October.

Commenting on the analysis, DS Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM 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, and jewelry and diamonds due to discount range from 10–15 percent to 80–90 percent, depending upon product verticals. Other offers are lucky draws, free shipping, and free gifts and gift vouchers. Tech and fashion category products, which include mobile phones and accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewelry, among others record highest sales.”

He further added that the expected growth for the online shopping portals during key festivals like Dhanteras and Diwali is likely to go up by 30–35 percent. The reasons for the growing number of e-shoppers are features such as home delivery, a “24×7” convenient shopping platform, and product comparison facility.

Rawat said: “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. The online shopping boom is not restricted to metros alone. Lucknow ranks high, followed by Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Dehradun, Nasik, and Trichy.”

Keeping this boom in mind, a lot of online players have already announced exclusive Diwali deals and shopping stores. The 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.

Gujaratis are taking lead in ordering their Diwali requirements of consumer durable products followed by Maharashtrians, Delhiites, Sindhis, Rajasthanis, and Punjabis. The percentage of South Indian online shoppers is equally strong.

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) are more actively shopping online during the festive season. During Raksha Bandhan, online shopping by NRIs contributes 40–50 percent of total shopping, whereas during Diwali, it increases to 85 percent.

Online business model is cost effective, easily accessible, and profitable in many functional areas. Consumers and retailers both desire safe, simple, and comprehensive online shopping that will truly realize the range of power of the Internet.

-IndiaRetailing Bureau

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