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Election fervour hits e-commerce platforms

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This trend initially emerged during the 2019 polls when e-commerce platforms became go-to destinations for campaign merchandise and accessories

New Delhi: Political fervour has permeated even the realm of e-commerce in India, with merchandise related to various political parties becoming hot commodities.

From BJP’s lotus on dream catchers to AAP’s logo on vintage maritime clocks and Congress’ signature dupattas, these online platforms offer a plethora of election-themed products.

Simply enter the name of the desired political party into the search bar of an e-commerce website, and a diverse array of merchandise ranging from flags to pendants to pens will populate the page.

This trend initially emerged during the 2019 polls when e-commerce platforms became go-to destinations for campaign merchandise and accessories, a representative from an e-commerce platform said.

“When everything is sold online, why not this and it is the sellers who put it on our platforms and the e-commerce websites have to just check it follows the protocol,” she said.

Notably, some political parties themselves have actively participated in selling such merchandise on their respective websites.

The NaMo merchandise website, for instance, boasts an extensive range of products including T-shirts, mugs, notebooks, badges, wristbands, keychains, stickers, magnets, caps, and pens adorned with slogans such as ‘Modi ka parivar,’ ‘Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar,’ ‘Modi ki guarantee’, and ‘Modi hai toh mumkin hai’.

Despite PTI’s attempts to seek a response from Amazon India and Flipkart on this trend, responses from both platforms were not received.

However, one of the suppliers of these merchandise to e-commerce platforms revealed that Lok Sabha elections witnessed a surge in online sales of such items.

“Previously, our supplies were directed to physical shops, but with the shift towards online retail, it only made sense to adapt,” the supplier commented.

Furthermore, the supplier noted that merchandise associated with the BJP and Congress remains among the highest-selling items, although the full impact of election fervour is yet to be realised, as this reflects only the preliminary trend.

Another supplier highlighted a new trend emerging this time around: a heightened demand for merchandise representing regional and state parties.

These e-commerce platforms offer a diverse range of items catering to various political affiliations, including key chains featuring the Samajwadi Party’s logo, TMC AC Adapter Night Lamps, and CPI (M) bonnet flags.

Sadar Market, renowned as the largest wholesale market for household items in Delhi, is home to over 8 to 10 shops specialising in poll-related materials.

According to Shamshad Ali, a shopkeeper at Sadar Bazaar, there has been a notable shift in the sale of these products over the past decade.

“A considerable portion of campaigning has transitioned online, and our products primarily cater to rallies or are distributed among party members,” Ali remarked.

To stay competitive, many sellers are now focusing on product innovation. Examples include a clock featuring the Samajwadi Party’s logo, a wind catcher adorned with the BJP’s lotus emblem, and dupattas featuring the Congress logo.

The Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to be held in seven phases, commencing on April 19, with vote counting slated for June 4. This marks the world’s largest democratic exercise, wherein Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a third consecutive term.

The subsequent phases will take place on April 26, May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and June 1.

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