Friday, October 17, 2014

Shopping !!


The advertisements on internet, newspapers, hoardings and too many SMSs promoted the Big Billion day by Flipkart.With Rs.1-Pen drive, Rs.600-Hard disk, Rs.1800-Tablet device etc on charts, everything seemed unreal. 06th October, 2014 saw a revolution in online shopping. With Flipkart and even Snapdeal declaring sales of over 600 crore in a day, it was marked as a red letter day in online selling. Among the billion hits that Flipkart site got, I contributed a few of them. But all I saw on it's site was "Out of Stock" "No Results Found". With manipulated discounts, cancellation of products after booking and false hype, Filpkart lost it's clean image. 

I'm neither a compulsive shopper nor hate shopping. I finish my shopping before it actually starts. I make my selections quicker and wiser. My shopping time has always been increased by my family and closest of my friends.So with all the limited experience and exposure on shopping and marketing, here goes my thoughts on this arena.

Long back, a petty shop in the street served all our needs. May it be a match box or sugar, coffee powder or a geometry box, vegetables or a tennis ball, we had it here. The shopkeeper charged us with an extra rupee or two. The perk of having a chocolate/eatable every time I had to buy something at the shop made me really happy.
If a washing soap cost Rs.15, essentially my mom would bribe me with one-rupee coin to buy the soap from the shop.
Though we bought essential household items from a wholesale retailer on a monthly-basis, we always had some need which was served by the shops near our homes. The wholesale retailer always had good discounts, sold the items on MRPs and had a reputation. We could return or replace items whenever we had an issue. Going to city market to buy vegetables, shopping for dresses before the festival-weekend was one of the delightful experiences. The act of bargaining from our parents was something to watch out for. Shopping was real fun.

Then came the era of super-stores, malls etc which gave us an unique experience of getting all the items in a single place. It almost became a weekend ritual to visit malls in big cities.The prices were high, but the shopping experience was good. The luxuries like centralized AC, posh infrastructure, and the elegant shopping experience made the customers pay a very high price for goods purchased. For me, who has always been in a sub-urban/rural setup, it seemed extravagant.Though, I visit malls very often, I am not used to purchasing here. Just like the majority of us, I prefer window-shopping inside a mall rather than lessening the weight of my wallet. There are no bargaining acts here. The price tags make us faint. Nevertheless, people adopted themselves to shopping at these Malls.

In the early days of this decade started a new trend in shopping called online retailing. The whole shopping mechanism based on internet, took some time to establish itself. It became popular and trust-worthy in the coming days. We could search for an item just from a device connected to internet. We had a mega store in our device offering items with the best prices. Though, people had insecurities with online payments, virtual-selection and other issues with this unconventional shopping, e-retailers made our shopping experience better. In the book, "One Click" by Jeff Bezos, the author explains the challenges faced in the starting days of online marketing. Even a single mistake would cost the e-retailer badly. The job done by Amazon, Flipkart, eBay and other companies in this field of online selling is truly commendable and inspiring. To a country which loves to bargain, the discounts offered here were satisfying. These companies are even having the best customer support. In case of replacement/returns the customers are taken care of. The human tendency to buy unwanted was a blessing for these stalwarts. To gaze at the new stuffs in market and to buy the needless gave a push to online selling. Big cities found this shopping a fine experience. Ordering a product and getting it delivered to your doorstep was the best thing that could have happened. 

Lately, Flipkart's Big Billion day was a debacle in itself. In an attempt to overshadow and emerge as the King of Online-selling, Flipkart lost it's esteem. I was an admirer of Flipkart's marketing, selling, delivery, customer support etc. But I was totally disappointed with the Big Billion day bait. If you aren't selling the product on such low prices, cancelling the ordered products and creating cheap publicity, I don't think you are creating a brand. The Brand Flipkart 's morale-less masquerade was hugely criticised. I agree, if Flipkart sells a product on a lesser amount than others in future, obviously customer will prefer Flipkart. Nonetheless, it's very important to have ethics in your business.

Few companies cancelled their deals with Flipkart for selling their goods on predatory prices. Indian Government has received so many complaints on Flipkart. Government is planning to formulate laws to manage online selling. They want to restrict online sellers offering items less than the cost price. I don't agree with this decision, to be very frank. I know, it creates unethical trades, wage and weird practices but as a customer I should be the one to make choices. I guess, the big-shots of retail industry, owners of big malls are stepping into the competition. Lets see how they influence Government in oppressing the online shopping. 

It's festive time and we are eagerly for a long-vacation. Time to go Shopping!! 

Thanks for your time. Drop a comment and let me know how you felt.
To get the update of my posts and to follow me, click on "Join this site" button on the top left corner of the page.


  1. nice reading ...prolific mass of words...:) reminds a flash on our past memories..

  2. Nice..You put a point about street shops..good..we can call dem as an emergency shops..:-D