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Scorching heat pushes online shopping: Survey
Thanks to scorching heat, shopping trends of Indian consumers have witnessed a significant change this ‘summer season’, a whopping 155% rise in online trends over the regular shopping compared to last year (85%), reveals a latest survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
“This summer season, there is a 155% more traffic on online retail websites and shopping on ground has taken a back seat due to rising heat. Apart from convenience, rising fuel price, online discounts and availability with abundance of choice keeping them indoors, said D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM while releasing the survey.

As per the ASSOCHAM findings, Delhiites have left behind all other cities in India shopping online. While Mumbaikars ranks second, Bangalore ranks third in their preference for online shopping in the survey, for which around 3,500 shoppers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahemdabad, Kolkata among other cities were interviewed.

As per the survey 78% of Delhiites prefer shopping online while 14% prefer to shop in traditional markets. Around 7% of respondents said they prefer to visit a mall for their shopping needs while 1% said they prefer shopping at specialty stores, the survey stated.

In other cities like Mumbai, 45% of its population chose to buy daily routine products through e-shopping in 2012-13, which will go to 68% in this summer season for apparel, gift articles, magazines, home tools, toys, jewelry, beauty products & sporting goods categories.

Likewise, Bangalore share was 35-40% in the last year, which might go up another 65% in this season for books, electronic gadgets, accessories, apparel, gifts, computer peripherals, movies, hotel booking, home appliances, movie tickets, health & fitness products and apparel gift certificates etc.

The survey further reveals that 35% of regular shoppers are in 18-25 age group, 55% in 26-35, 8% in 36-45 and 2% in the age group of 45-60. 85% of Online Shoppers are male as against 15% female.

Majority of the working respondents said, “Online retail industry’s business is quite good. Heading out to shop on day off in scorching heat, battling traffic, parking issues, and long lines for bill payment is quite a cumbersome process and this is the main reason for the shift in trend”.
As per the majority of respondents, the business module is cost effective, easily accessible and profitable in many functional areas. Consumers and retailers both desire safe, simple and comprehensive online shopping that will truly realize the range of power of the Internet", adds the ASSOCHAM survey.

According to the survey, India has more than 110 million Internet users, out of which around half opt for online purchases and the number is growing every year. With such a large market size, companies, right from retail shops to consumer goods, are entering the Web space to attract potential customers, adds the survey.

The online shopping industry in India is fast catching on, not just in the larger metros but also in the smaller cities. At present the market is estimated at Rs 92,000 crore and is growing at 100 per cent per year, adds the paper.

Mr. Rawat further said, “Customer behaviour is changing dramatically. People are not only using the Web to book air tickets and movie tickets but also do not hesitate in placing orders for apparel, cosmetic, mobiles, laptops and other consumer electronics and home appliances," adds the survey.
The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, which include mobile phones, ipad and accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others, said Mr. Rawat.

he reasons for e-shoppers number multiplying are because of factors such as home delivery which saves time, secondly, 24×7 hours shopping with ease and availability factors for product comparisons.

Most products bought & sold off through online comprise Gift articles (58%), books (42%), electronic gadgets (41%), railway tickets (39%), accessories apparel (36%), apparel (36%), computer and peripherals (33%), airline tickets (29%), music (24%), movies tickets (26%), hotel rooms (20%), magazine (19%), home tools and products (16%), home appliances (16%), toys (16%), jewelry (15%), beauty products (12%), health and fitness products (12%), apparel gift certificates( 10%) and sporting goods (7%), adds the survey.

Of those who are averse to shopping online cited various reasons like prefer to research products and services online and then actually buy them from a store (30 per cent), find delivery costs too high (20 per cent), don’t want to share personal financial information online (25 per cent), lack of trust on whether products would be delivered in good condition (15 per cent), don’t have a credit or debit card (10 per cent).

Top reasons given by shoppers in buying through Internet:

Safety Reasons
Saves time and efforts
Convenience of shopping at home
Wide variety and range of products are available
Good discounts, lower prices
Get detailed information of the product
You can compare various models, brands
An insight into some of the problems stated by customers

While buying through Internet:

Not sure of product quality
Cannot bargain or Negotiate
Not sure of security of transactions or Credit card misuse
Need to touch and feel the product
Significant discounts are not there
Have to wait for delivery

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