The advent of Flipkart, Amazon, Bigbasket and other numerous online shopping portals in India has affected the shopping habits of the Indian consumer. Most of us have gradually reduced our trips to the mall to once in one or two months. However, some of us haven’t gone through that transition yet and still prefer the traditional way of shopping. Lets look at what influences the transition for most people. The first thing that comes to mind when you talk about choosing online or offline shopping, is the ease with which you can shop online. Take me for example; I know what groceries I want for the month. I login to my Bigbasket account and add the items to art, and I’m done in say 10-15 minutes. If I chose to go to the nearby supermarket, I would have spent all my time avoiding dashing my wheel cart into someone. When you visit a store to buy a pair of jeans or say a jacket, you might find the one that fits and Ticks off all the boxes in your mind. However, the price might not be right; or they may have a single piece of that apparel. You sometimes end up paying a higher price due to lack of will to go and check some other store nearby. Some customers have the time to visit the next store on the street for a better price but not all of us can afford to do that. When you shop online you can keep a few sites open and compare between the different options till you get the best deal. This has happened to me many a times. I go out so buy a shirt or a tee at a Wrangler or a Levi’s store and I might not find what I’m looking for. Most of the times they might not even have a different color for the Shirt that you finally liked. However, with online websites you get a multitude of options and you don’t have to stick to one brand. It has become a norm to check for reviews before buying a product. More importantly, we definitely check reviews for electronic products like washing machines, mobiles and so on. Consumer reviews are definitely a booster and gives you a push when you are looking for a particular product. Sometimes when you go into a mall, you don’t like to be bothered by the shop executive. You like to observe the collections and pick something you like. However the sales person comes to you no matter what, as that is his job. With Online shopping you can choose to have a more peaceful shopping experience. You can decide the amount of time you want to spend on your shopping session. You would have some trouble shopping for apparels online because you cannot get the right fit. Sites like Amazon do a good job in explaining the measurements, but not all sites are so info friendly. Sometimes, you have to be very sure about the size you want. If you are buying fruits online on Bigbasket, the picture and the actual fruits that are delivered may vary greatly. There is always someone to help you at the mall, but with online shopping you may either have to wait in line on the phone, or wait for the reply to your mail for at least 24 hours. Not all websites have a live chat feature. More than 50% of transactions on shopping websites occur via cash on delivery, Flipkart & Amazon have still been trying to push online transactions. Consumers in India have slowly transitioned to online shopping but many still prefer paying via cash. Most of us still feel unsafe about online transactions. These are some of the parameters resulting in shopping behavioural patterns. Online shopping has affected the market deeply, it is upto us as consumers on how we adapt to it.
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