Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Safety concerns, ease of online buying to keep Mumbai shoppers away from stores in festive season

E-commerce platforms have said that they have already reached pre-COVID levels in terms of the number of orders.

Concerns about safety amidst the Covid-19 pandemic along with better pricing and ease of return and refund on buying online may keep a majority of shoppers in the financial capital away from physical stores, markets and malls in the festive season, as per a survey by online platform LocalCircles. About 42% of consumers in Mumbai are expected to use e-commerce portals and mobile apps as their primary shopping channel, according to the survey carried out over the last 30 days.

Besides, as many as 72% of e-commerce shoppers said they will consider buying festive items online from small businesses, artisans, weavers, among others, if they are listed, LocalCircles said in a release. LocalCircles said its findings are based on the responses received from 10,462 consumers in Mumbai. The survey was part of a pan-India exercise, specifically from 50 top cities.

Overall, more than 3-lakh responses were received from consumers from over 330 districts, it said. “In the Mumbai Survey, 10,462 responses were received from the residents in the city. People were asked what the primary channel for their festive season shopping this year will be. In response, 42% said e-commerce sites and apps, while 29% said they will call local retail stores and get things home delivered. Only 16% said they will physically visit malls, markets, and local retailers for the festive shopping,” LocalCircles said. 

Responding to a question on the reason for shopping online, 13% of consumers cited safety, while 12% mentioned convenience.

Another 13% said better value or price will make them go for online purchases and 4% cited ease of return and refund, LocalCircles said. As many as 45% of consumers in their responses cited safety, convenience, better value or price, selection, as well as ease of return and refund as the factors for online/app-based shopping, it added.

October and November are considered festive months in the country and people usually spend on major purchases during this period. New vehicles, consumer electronics, white goods, new apparel, and gifts for family, long-pending home furnishing upgrades, among others, are some of the areas where Indians spend during the festive season, LocalCircles said.

Over the last few months, more and more consumers have been shopping online to get things delivered at home. The primary reason for this is to reduce their exposure to crowded markets and protect themselves and their family from coronavirus, it added. Various e-commerce platforms have said that they have already reached pre-Covid levels in terms of the number of orders and expect the numbers to substantially rise in the next couple of months.

SourceCNBC TV18
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