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Too cold? Stay in and shop

A pair of trendy knee-length boots. Check. A set of iBall headphones. Check. Spa package worth Rs 2,500 at Rs 400. Check.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2011 00:14 IST
Ruchira Hoon

A pair of trendy knee-length boots. Check. A set of iBall headphones. Check. Spa package worth Rs 2,500 at Rs 400. Check.

In real life, 28-year-old Madhulika Nair is a reluctant shopper; she'd rather be listening to music than be going out in the cold looking for a good bargain.

But virtually, she's a shopoholic. Constantly trawling through shopping sites online, Nair gets the best deals sitting right at office. "It's just too cold to go out shopping. The malls get claustrophobic and street shopping takes too much effort," says this media executive. "Which is why over the last two months, I have been buying everything from clothes to dinner deals to bed linen online."

Nair isn't the only one who's feeling too lazy to step out. "Online shopping makes it so much easier to get custom-made shopping delivered to your friends or even to you," says marketing professional, Vipul Bhaskar, "I place nearly 60-70 orders online everyday. Even though they are corporate orders, I'd rather click on a mouse than drive around in the fog."

With e-commerce marketplaces and online shopping sites reporting more than 30 per cent rise in sales, more and more people are now opting to stay-in, surf and shop this winter. Says online shopping site 99labels CEO Ishita Swarup, "The rise in sales began in October, peaked in December and has stayed on in January. Obviously it was the festive season that gave it that push, but the cold has definitely played a big role." The sales at this fashion site have nearly tripled this quarter. "All this month we've been bagging 500 to 700 orders a day. Something that was quite unexpected," she says.

Gifting site myntra.com has also been receiving a similar sort of response. With over a 1,000 orders every day under their belt, their sales have doubled from six months ago. As have the sales with online shopping site Fashion and You. "The number of unique shoppers or new members as well as orders have definitely been on the rise," says Pearl Uppal, co-founder of this website. "We've seen much higher growth in December and January also because of the heavy sales in offline retail. A trend we're most happy to report"

According to group-buying website Mydala, who were selling discount vouchers for various online shopping sites, the sales have been quite phenomenal. "We sold over 1600 vouchers in 30 hours. In fact we gave to pull out the sale in two hours (when we'd sold 500 vouchers) because the merchant wasn't expecting that sort of a response," says Anita Singh, CEO, mydala.com. "That's how much people want to shop."