Shopping is a tradition that has been passed on from generations and something that we are happy to carry forward for years to come. Online Shopping on the other hand is an epidemic that has conquered many of us youngsters.
The Great Indian Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) has even made its way into Wikipedia! It was created by Google India on 12 December 2012 in collaboration with a number of Indian online shopping portals, with the concept of online shopping sites giving heavy discounts for one day, in order to promote their sales. The important thing to note is the intimate connection between Festivals and Shopping!
Ask any woman, your mother, sister, wife, friend or just that woman sitting across the table in front of you, if she has any shopping plans when a festival is around the corner. I assure you the answer will be yes 9/10 times!
Shopping is for Women?
It’s not a myth that Women love shopping; but it definitely isn’t true that men don’t! Ecommerce understands this equation very well. Women, being natural window shoppers, spend longer session times on online shopping websites & are their best buddies. Whether there is a Sale or not, whether they have a new collection or not, whether it is a Festival or not a woman will love to browse through an ecommerce site. But it is the men who need that “motivation” or a “push” to shop. They need to be told what to buy, why to buy and when to buy!
Tell a man, your girlfriend is going to be so happy that she will brag about you to all her friends; while all you have to do is buy this little pendant and gift it to her on Valentine’s day! That’s what ecommerce does to the men in our society! They place little cues for them that builds a story to end up in a purchase. It’s interesting to keep check on trends that drive Men’s ecommerce habits!
Indian festivals are no less demanding. Whether it is Karva Chaut or Diwali; people want new clothes, shoes and jewellery. Even National Holidays are catching up with exclusive sales for Independence Day and Republic Day!
“It’s the apt time to pick up unique designs, such as Diyas for Diwali or décor for Christmas. There are sites that pop up on my Facebook wall that have such pretty articles, it’s just so hard to resist” says Ayesha Kapoor, who is quite a shopaholic!
Nidhi Poddar, who has quite a busy schedule, says “I lose track of holidays and festivals and by the time I realise it’s already too late to go and shop at a mall. So while I burn the mid-night oil I can pick up goodies online. I did that this year for Rakshabandhan and was pleasantly delighted with what I got even-though it was last minute shopping. Thank God for ecommerce!”
Festive themes in vogue
Indians love celebrations, isn’t that why we have so many festivals? And celebrations call for goodies- New clothes, Jewellery, Accessories, Gifts and what not. Ecommerce in India has struck the right cord in leveraging these trends of encouraging if not enticing customers to shop more during the festivities! An entire section on bluestone.com’s ecommerce site talks about how important festive and religious jewellery are to Indian shoppers . I myself absolutely fell in love with the adorable Ganesha pendants that popped up in my inbox a few days before Ganesh Chaturthi. The timing is so apt that unless we leave our wallets at home or ensure we forget our pin numbers; it is difficult to resist buying them!
Here are few more Festive e-mailers that have landed in my inbox and have been culprits to making my wallet lighter!
The Gifting Itch
…And why I call it the itch is because it is something that doesn’t stop and in fact is quite addictive. Festive Shopping accounts a lot to buying gifts for family and friends. Asha Sriram, a house-wife says “Festivals are a good occasion to invite people home and to visit them; it is always a pleasant gesture to gift relatives and friends something memorable and unique that keeps relationships and bonds strong.”
And thanks to Online Shopping, we now buy gifts in bulk! Gift Vouchers, Buy one get one free, Combo deals, Multiple colours of similar products; are all out there to fill up our e-carts so that we can spread some happiness among our social groups.
Nikhil Joseph, an enthusiastic online shopper says “Last Christmas, all we did was pick out different gifts online, got them gift packed and shipped them to our dear ones; both near and far. There was no waste of time in window shopping at a mall, finding parking, wading through large crowds, stand in long billing queues or even couriering gifts during the festive season. This is going to be our new ritual.”
Discounts and Sales are always there, but Festive Shopping is a trend that ecommerce companies shouldn’t lose out on at any cost; however it is up to them to market it in a much more creative manner. Here are a few ideas to keep the festivities rolling:
- Plan in advance and send out communication to customers well in advance to give them ample time to shop and ship. A Diwali promotion must reach a customer at least two weeks earlier and a reminder message can follow.
- Make creative E-mailers with your product designs rather than just a promotion for a festival- Chumbak’s Ganesh Chturthi Emailer was just adorable!
- Write Blogs on your take on the festivities and what your ecommerce site can offer to be part of it. Here’s a good example- The 11 Reasons A Wife Should Be Most Definitely Thanked For!
- Use Festival Names as Keywords while listing products so that they pop up on searches and help SEO too!
- If your ecommerce business also has a smartphone app, send out push notifications to users for festivals by geographically targeting them.
- Target niche customer groups who don’t usually shop on your site. For example- Non expectant individuals can be enticed to buy gifts for expecting mothers during Mother’s day from sites like Babyoye.com or Firstcry.com
- Ensure you have a variety of designs, colours & sizes of similar products for customers to choose from as gifts for their loved ones. Encourage gifting by providing services like Free Gift Wrapping, Free Shipping and Customized & Personalised Greetings.
So all I can say is that Festive Shopping, on ecommerce is here to stay! And, who won’t keep that Vrath if hubby darling is gonna buy you on of these!