Offline or Online Shopping : A Perennial Debate

The week of Diwali is here and the whole country couldn’t have been more excited. The festival of lights and sound can bring a special cheer to the millions of people, as they get to celebrate it with friends and loved ones. The celebration not only involves bursting a whole lot of crackers or eating sweets but also includes a lot of shopping. Diwali is yet another big occasion where one gets to buy new clothes for their family and friends. You could probably see the increased no of courier guys roaming around the streets, delivering stuff through online shopping sites.

The big gainers during this season are the retailers, both online and offline who go on a major discount sale spree to attract people. Especially in the last few years, the presence of online ecommerce sites esp related to fashion has become a big hit. Be it boots or shoes or jeans, it’s mostly bought online

There are some people who are sworn loyal to a few stores and never buy anywhere else. There are some friends who love the smell of a book, touch of a cloth, try it on and then only consider buying it and completely dread the online experience. However a majority is moving to the online space having found impressive deals and better convenience. The online sites are ensuring repeat visits happen by sending out frequent communications and possibilities of ‘Big Billion’ day type of deals. Every other research company only expects this trend to grow even big.

If you wonder , why the sudden boom in the online retail space, here are some of the reasons.

Advantages of shopping for fashion products online:

  • Access to national brands :  Not all Tier 2 or Tier 3 cities would have showrooms . An online site on the other hand can deliver to any part of the country in a matter of days, irrespective of how remote it is. Imagine purchasing a GAP Jeans or a Mac Lipstick or Boots sitting out of a small village in India.

  • Price Difference : Due to the absence of physical stores and other infrastructure cost, the cost difference is passed on to the customer in terms of discounts, cashbacks etc.
  • Varieties : Most of the times when you shop in a physical store, you end up disappointed , not getting the right colour or size. In online, you can get almost every combination and even if out of stock, it sends you a reminder once its available.
  • Time saving :  More than anything, access to the products at the click of a button than being stuck in traffic, haggling for parking space and finally waiting in long queues to get your bill done. Compared to a one minute checkout with a cash on delivery option too.
  • Changed your mind? Return it !! :  We always tend to change our mind or opinion on everthing, including the things we bought. But unfortunately we cant return things we bought in physical stores unless its a big defective piece. But online we get to return it for so many reasons, sometimes you don’t even need a reason to exchange.

Customization & Personalization of Shopping Apps : was primarily the first guys to go for this approach in online shopping, the “App way”. A method by which they took their whole presence in an app than a standard website. The app offered customization of products as well as offered personalized offers based on user preferences and buying behaviour. The control of the shopping and buying experience could be fully monitored or controlled by Myntra which added as a great benefit too. However due to public demand to restore the website, they brought back the website and seem to do well now in all formats.

I myself have tried my luck in their Big Sale to buy items at 90% or 80% discount but most of time get to be a little late to the party

What is your biggest purchase this Big billion day / Diwali Sale? and where is your Diwali shopping going to be : Online or Offline?

Wish all my readers a Happy Diwali !!

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