Online shopping to get a boost during festival season in India - GulfToday

Online shopping to get a boost during festival season in India


Online shopping is likely to get a new boost in the coming festival season.

Online shopping is likely to get a new boost in the coming festival season, as around 51 per cent consumers are likely to shop online during the period, according to a recent survey.

Traditionally, the festive period is regarded as the prime sales season in India with brands focusing on new launches and shoring up promotions.

However, COVID-19’s impact is expected to diminish some of the vigour during this season.

Nevertheless, low base, rising rural consumption and somewhat urban demand shoots are expected to drive growth.

Customers began trickling into jewellery stores in India last week as domestic gold prices slipped, with dealers hoping for a further rebound in demand going into a busy festival season.

Indians celebrate the festivals of Dussehra in late October and Diwali and Dhanteras in November, when buying gold is considered auspicious.

India also further eased restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has hammered consumer sentiment, even as infections soared.

In the 2019 survey of ‘LocalCircles’, only 27 per cent of those planning festive spending had indicated using ecommerce sites as their primary channel for shopping.

“This shows that 51 per cent of those doing festive shopping this year will use ecommerce sites and apps as their primary channel, a sizable change from previous years,” said the 2020 survey for festival season by LocalCircles.

Further, on the question of willingness to buy from MSMEs, small businesses, emerging brands, weavers and artisans, around 80 per cent said a definite ‘yes’ while only 10 per cent said ‘no’. Around 10 per cent were unsure.

The survey received over three lakh responses from over 330 districts of India. In the survey, 61 per cent consumers have indicated that they will engage in festive spending this year, a reduction from 2019 when 78 per cent consumers had indicated that they will shop during the festival season.

“When consumers in the 2020 survey were asked about the primary channel they would use for their festive shopping, in response, 26 per cent said e-commerce sites and apps, 11 per cent said they will call local retail stores and get home delivery, 25 per cent said local stores and ecommerce sites, while 24 per cent said they will visit malls, local retailers, and markets. Only 14 per cent were unsure about it,” said a statement by LocalCircles.

Meanwhile, in a major turn of events in the buyout of the businesses of the debt laden Future Group by Reliance Retail, e-commerce giant has stepped in and said that Future Group violated a contract with it by entering into the sale agreement with the Mukesh Ambani-led retail major.

“We have initiated steps to enforce our contractual rights. As the matter is sub judice, we can’t provide details,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an e-mail response to IANS.

Last year, Amazon acquired a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, a Future group entity.

In August, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), a subsidiary of RIL announced that it is acquiring the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing business from the Future Group as going concerns on a slump sale basis for lump sum aggregate consideration of Rs 24,713 crore, subject to adjustments as set out in the composite scheme of arrangement.

The acquisition is part of the scheme in which the Future Group is merging certain companies carrying on the aforesaid businesses into Future Enterprises Limited (FEL).  Separately, automobile major Maruti Suzuki is still cautiously optimistic about offtake prospects during the upcoming festive season.

“We are optimistic about the festive season sales,” Maruti Suzuki India’s Executive Director for Marketing and Sales Shashank Srivastava told IANS. “A caveat here is that this time there could be headwinds because of the Covid sentiment downside. So our optimism is muted a bit because of this.”

Lately, a sustained trend in pent-up demand along with slow-but-sure acceleration in economic activity has led to higher automobile sales in India on a sequential basis.

Last month, the auto major posted a rise of over 30 per cent in its total sales.

Accordingly, the company’s total sales rose to 160,442 units in September 2020 from 122,640 units sold during the corresponding month of last year.

Similarly, in August, the auto major had reported a year-on-year rise in total sales.

Its overall offtake in August had risen by 17.1 per cent in total sales to 124,624 units from 106,413 units sold during the corresponding period of 2019.

Indo-Asian News Service

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