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How virtual sales across categories improved during Covid-2019

Integrating shopping channels has helped brands improve customer experience.

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NEW DELHI: The online sales of jewellery, used cars, and furniture segment witnessed a huge spike in terms of traffic and sales during the lockdown period, representatives from some of the most popular brands claimed in a recent panel discussion on enhancing the virtual shopping experience in the new normal, organised by AnimationXpress.com. They are also hyped about the festive season improving their sales further. 

Godrej Interio SVP (B2C) Subodh Mehta said that after a slow first quarter, the brand observed an unexpected surge in virtual footfall. “In earlier days, we saw five times the demand for work-from-home furniture. People have started visiting the online stores much more and I am expecting it will only grow in the festive season. There already has been a 20 per cent uptick in sales and I am hoping November will be even better.”

He added that all retailers are now trying to improve the experience on their online platforms and promotions for Godrej Interio have mostly moved to digital. “We relied on a lot of local-digital content. We have generated a tremendous amount of leads from local geo-targeting.”

Hometown CMO Medha Tawde also agreed with Mehta and claimed that integrating their shopping channels has helped the company improve its sales. “Categories like work-from-home and storage did pretty well during the lockdown period. We grew 2-3 times in the former category. Additionally, our online ticket size has increased, clocking a 5x increase in online sales.”

De Beers India MD Sachin Jain, however, noted while there was a “dramatic dip” in diamond sales in the tier-1 markets, they saw a jump in the tier-2 and tier-3 sectors. 

The speakers attributed this growth to the merging of their virtual and physical shopping experiences. Tools like video calling, virtual store walk-ins, etc have made customer conversions easier. 

Carwale SVP (used cars) Abhishek Patodia highlighted that most consumers today do their research online, and when they walk into the store, they know exactly what they want. 

He said, “People want to know everything about a car before they buy it and therefore the video option on our platforms is a big hit. We have witnessed a 50-70 per cent growth in our traffic in the past three months, as compared to the same period last year. Also, as the category requires a lot of involved purchases with several people having a say in the decision, the digital presence augments the shopping experience.”

Caratlane co-founder and online head Avnish Anand shared a similar view, noting that 90 per cent of the purchases in the jewellery segment still remain assisted and that’s why providing experience through technology helps the sector grow. 

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