Festivals offer opportunities for bumper shopping sprees. From clothes and accessories to gadgets, grocery and gifts — it’s the time when shoppers loosen their purse strings. But, with so much to buy and so little time, people increasingly seem to favour shopping online than stepping out
And with Deepavali just a couple of days away, the family made the best use of the numerous discounts being offered on various e-commerce sites. So naturally, their list of purchase extended well beyond the festival needs. Vidhya Srinivasan, who embraced online shopping even before it became a fad, said, “I don’t really restrict myself to a budget while I am shopping, but I specifically look forward to shopping from portals such as Amazon and Flipkart when they offer mega discounts.”
Apart from the slashed prices, the family also attributes their love for online shopping because of the convenience of having access to a plethora of options that are just a click away without having to travel or carry the goods back home.
Sharing details of their recent buys, R Srinivasan, an entrepreneur who runs a software testing company, said, “This year, we bought an iPhone X and MacBook Air from Amazon’s the Big Indian Sale and saved almost Rs 30,000.” He added that since he knew the specifications of the laptop he needed, it was easier for him to buy it online. “After all, I know that the laptop will be 13 inches and its features would have been the same irrespective of where I purchased it from. So, I chose to do it without having to step into a shop. Of course, a discount of Rs 30,000 on the website was a big incentive for me to go for it,” Srinivasan said.
Moving beyond taking advantage of rebates offered before and during festivals, the couple’s 12-year-old daughter Suman Gayathri, who is a student of Class 7, said that the family is accustomed to buying almost everything online, including Suman’s textbooks and her 16-year-old brother and Class 12 student Vasisht Balaji’s shoes. “We recently bought a pair of Adidas shoes that cost us half the original price,” said Srinivasan.
One exception, however, is certain clothes that the family chooses to inspect physically before buying because of a few instances in which they were not satisfied with the products that they received. “I had an issue with the colour of the clothes I had received on a couple of occasions so I have restricted my purchase to the other products,” said Vidhya.
The biggest convenience for the family, however, was using online sites to send across gifts to friends and relatives. This year, the family chose to gift plants from sites like Ferns and Petals and Aquaponics for hydroponic plants that can grow without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.
Vidhya said, “There is a wide variety for plants available online —ranging anywhere from Rs 300 to Rs 600 and Rs 799. I can buy creeper roses, bougainvillaea, bonsai plants and planting accessories like the cute and delicate coir baskets all at the click of a button from the comfort of my home.” She added that if she had to buy them physically from stores, it would have been an impossible task. “I don’t know shops that offer such gardening accessories and I didn’t even have to visit a nursery only to buy the gifts. Also, the products bought online turned out to be of really good quality,” said Vidhya.
In the end, if the family had to choose one reason why they can’t keep away from shopping online, it would be the discounts — from the big rebates of 53 per cent to saving a Rs 100.
“That is a big bonus. We saved automatically even when we weren’t not looking to,” said Srinivasan.