Online gifts sites are popular among internet users in India

MUMBAI: More and more consumers are increasingly turning online to shopping portals. Gifts were among the first products to be offered online by shopping sites. Gifts acting as impulse buys were the key drivers in the initial e-commence initiative and continue to bring buyers, sellers and distributors to transcend geographical boundaries.



Online stores promoting gift giving to family and friends in the festive season have a special appeal for the Internet-savvy Indian diaspora wanting to connect with family and friends. The Internet offers a convenient, transparent, automated and credible way to send gifts. These findings were revealed by a survey conducted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (earlier known as Internet & Online Association of India).



Gift sending is not limited to the Indian Diaspora but has been accepted by the Indian community with open arms as well. According to the survey, metros like Mumbai and Delhi account for 44 per cent of gift purchases, followed by Bangalore (8 per cent), Chennai (7 per cent) and Kolkata (4 per cent). But gifts know no boundaries and the 27 per cent of online shoppers who come from 'other cities and towns' are an opportunity for gift marketers to spread their net wider.



The online shoppers, most of those who bought/ sent gifts Online came from the 18-35 age group (77 per cent). This comes as no surprise, since younger people tend to do a lot of gifting. The festival season is when the action gets really going on online gift sites. It isn't just the young and romantically inclined that are going in for online gifts - 47 per cent of those who purchased gifts Online were in the 'Married with kids' category.

Shoppers who purchased gifts also purchased books (52 per cent) , accessories (47 per cent), railway tickets (47 per cent) and electronic gadgets (42 per cent) thus making a case for retailers in multi category e-shops to cross sell across categories and allows appropriate media buys.

Internet & Mobile Association Of India president Preeti Desai said, "Online gifting has become a popular phenomenon because it's so convenient. Rs 295 million worth of gifts were bought online for the year 2004-2005 with Rs 530 million expected for the year 2005-06."

"Many gift sites use technology to suggest additional products that were purchased by others, plus product bundling. This offers both value to the customer as well increases the order value for the gift shop. More than the range of gifts, the USP of the virtual shopping center lies in the services like 24/7 order tracking, pictures of delivery, the surprise element and sending gifts across boundaries to multiple locations which all facilitates the gifting experience," she added.

For gift retailers, selling unique products and offering consumers with 'honest-to-goodness' pricing along with prompt delivery has acquired many customers and has lead to strong word-of-mouth publicity, which in a lot of ways has been the trigger for e-commerce activity around the world.

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