E-tailing takes off in India

E-commerce is booming in the country with a newfound confidence in online shopping, reports Prerna K Mishra.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2006 19:24 IST

If your festive shopping fever is dampened by thoughts of traffic snarls, try the cyber superhighway. E-bazaars are decked up for the festive season and the good news is that customers, trying to avoid crowded shopping malls and parking problems, are driving past and even stopping to shop on the Internet.

E-commerce is booming in the country with a newfound confidence in online shopping, and it is clear that consumers of all ages and backgrounds are now using the World Wide Web to shop, says the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

"This season means good news for e-tailers who hear the jingle on their cash registers as they expect their revenues to double and the traffic to go up by over 75 per cent. There has been a huge increase in consumer confidence when it comes to online shopping," says IAMAI President Subho Ray.

IAMAI says India's e-commerce market will zoom to Rs 2,300 crore by the end of the current financial year that ends in March, 2007, representing a 95 per cent rise over the year.

Akin to the multi-storied malls, websites and online stores are sporting the festive look with Santa Claus, snowman, ginger bread man, and snowflakes and lots of bells ringing.

Adding low value items like Santa carvings, scented candles, gift hampers and more, Fabmall.com has designed a special store to rope in buyers. It is retailing wines, plum cakes, Christmas cakes, flowers, Christmas trees and related books, music and movies to match the mood.

"We have launched a digital camera store to coincide with the New Year. This store has all leading camera brands and almost all models offer discounts — with discounts on some models going up to 43 per cent until the New Year. There are other promotions running especially on winter wear and books," says Fabmall.com Chief Operating Officer K Vaitheeswaran.

Pantaloon Retail (India) Senior Manager E Retailing Rahul Sethi said: "For the festive season, we have launched a new property called 'half off' where we are offering 50 per cent discount on the maximum retail price on select products. The products change every week."

In a bid to delight the customer, online shopping sites have also come up with unique delivery models. For this Christmas season, Chennaibazaar.com offered gifts delivery service by Santa Claus personally on Christmas Eve.

"For New Year we have a midnight surprise where we offer delivery on New Year Eve," says Rajesh Nahar, an Operations and Support official at Chennaibazaar.com.

Email Prerna K Mishra: pmishra@hindustantimes.com

First Published: Dec 25, 2006 19:24 IST