Online sales touch Rs 1.15 billion in festive season: IAMAI

MUMBAI: Festivals are almost synonymous with shopping and in the e-Age, more and more shoppers are doing that online.

According to a research undertaken by the The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the festival sales online jumped a whopping 117 per cent to Rs 1.15 billion this year from Rs 530 million in 2004-05.

Also, online sales clocked across 8,10,000+ transactions in three weeks delivered a 135 per cent increase in transactions as opposed to 3,45,000 transactions in 2004-05 during festival season.

The figures show that online shopping has truly come of age and consumers are keen to shop on the net. Festival Shopping is the prime time for multi-channel retailers to attract new shoppers.

What has also helped online marketers to seize a slice of the Rs 1.15 billion sales pie is effective customer communication on products coupled with reduced shipping costs and timely delivery.

According to IAMAI, these purchases accounted for 10+ per cent of total Indian online sales estimated at Rs 11.80 billion for this year sans travel categories over a three week festive period.


IAMAI president Preeti Desai said, "With e-commerce revenues to cross the Rs 11.80 billion for 2005-06 (IAMAI estimate) and a growing internet user base currently at 32+ million its been a sparkling Diwali and Eid in 2005-06 as e-commerce sales crossed to a whopping Rs 1.15 billion in three weeks period. Online retailers have consistently seen growing consumer interest in buying Diwali and Eid gifts online. Each festival season Indians seem to be leaving their shopping for the last minute and this year was no exception – as we sold 61 per cent of gifts in the two weeks prior to Diwali day, compared to 54 per cent last year."

"The key reasons we have been able to deliver strong growth in the last two years is because of a broad product selection and the ever-expanding range of unique and unusual gift ideas offered as well as increased consumer confidence in shopping on the Internet. We are fairly confident about the next wave of Ecommerce where the "Younger Super Internet Consumers" who use the Internet in almost every facet of their life will push Internet Sales to levels most people are not likely to believe," she further added.

Diwali and Eid 2005: Statistics on online sales

Revenues have risen by 117 per cent as sales increased from Rs 530 million in 2004-05 to Rs 1.15 billion in 2005-06 as consumers have become accustomed to purchasing online and look to the Internet to find comprehensive product information, competitive prices and easy gift delivery across geographies within India and outside India.

Approximately 4,15,000+ lakh Indians made purchases online this Diwali across more than 8,10,000 transactions. Average transaction value: Rs. 1420.

Shoppers were price and value conscious - Their Diwali shopping ranged from as little at Re 1 to as high as Rs 1,40,000. Consumers could choose from an online catalogue of more than 3,60,000 products. [Re 1 products refer to auctions]

In terms of products, different categories faced mixed fortunes. As last years, consumer electronics, such as digital cameras, mobile phones and accessories, DVD players and microwaves topped Diwali shopping list of consumers in most major cities. Followed by gifts (mithai, chocolates, dry fruit and flower hampers), apparel, jewellery and accessories (mainly watches). Crackers and educational toys also did well this Diwali.

Spurred by improved site usability, wider product assortment, better services and competitive prices consumers spent on multiple transactions online consumers had an appetite for higher-end products boosting numbers of products above Rs 7000. Gift certificates are still popular as sent instantly via email.

Across various member sites the most active online shopping days were typically five days before Diwali and Eid – 28 October – 3 November 2005 saw a dramatic surge in transactions. Dhanteras and Bhau Beej on 30 October and 3 November respectively saw a lift in silver and gold coins as well as jewellery.

Almost all websites offered 24 hour Express Delivery for 'last minute shoppers' on specific categories.

Shoppers spent more time in searching and comparing products with maximum shopping orders being placed between 6 - 10 pm. Interestingly consumers transacted from office, home and cybercafés.

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