Manoj Sardana, a city-based marketing professional has started planning his Diwali spend. The only difference is that unlike when he was younger, this time, he plans to order online. “It saves time. Who wants to go to the market and waste an entire day there?” says the 28-year-old. There was a time when Diwali used to bring with it a great amount of excitement, as it served as an occasion to spend quality time with family and friends. However, with the digital alteration in the way we socialise, communicate and celebrate, age-old traditions are witnessing a massive shift. Today, most people shop online, breaking away from the tradition of creating a family activity out of shopping. In fact, according to a recent report by Criteo, a performance marketing technology company, which is based on an analysis of six million online transactions made in India last year, the rise in the average online traffic on key retail companies’ websites reached up to 35%. Also, during the same period, the maximum sale on these websites went up to 87%.
What leads people to online portals during Diwali? “While convenience is one of the key reasons for consumers moving online for shopping during the festive season, it is also to beat the rush in the markets. It enables the consumer to easily find a wide assortment to choose from, given the buying is not just limited to the self,” says Suchi Mukherjee, founder, LimeRoad.com.
According to Manoj Gupta, co-founder, Craftsvilla.com, while in the olden times, festive preparations would start well in advance, now people are pressed for time and preparations almost always start just before the season. “There are various reasons for this — lifestyle, lack of time, being away from home for work, nuclear families, etc. These have brought about a change in the festive shopping methods. E-commerce has brought about convenience and ease into the customers’ lives. Now, they can shop in the comfort of their homes and order products from various regions and brands,” he says.
As per experts, men and women between the age group of 25 and 34 years of age shop online the most during the festive season. In fact, Sanjay Gupta, CMO, Urban Ladder, feels that “spends peak around this time because people put in their mind space into their purchases at this time, and end up buying in bulk for most part of the year”.
Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany is of the opinion that even though online shopping is convenient to people, it also results in isolation. “The increase in online festival shopping is taking away the pleasure of having a family outing, which creates a healthy bond in the family, making the family’s dynamics stronger,” she says. She feels that people need to realise that going for shopping during the festival season keeps the family Diwali culture alive. “It makes you nostalgic about all the shopping you did when you were younger, and that makes one feel happy. So, we all need to continue the trend and make this family bonding time possible,” she says.