Festive shopping? Log in to see, shop, support #local online

Every year, the festive season begins with much fervour and enthusiasm with shopping plans for first Durga Puja and Navratri, and later Dussehra and Diwali. This year, much has been changed due to Covid-19 pandemic. And to maintain social distancing and follow other necessary precautions, people are preferring to not to step out of their homes unless it’s absolute necessary. But shopping for festivals doesn’t stop, and in such a case online portals have turned out to be the most preferred options.

According to a survey by Local Circles, 41% Delhiites are expected to use e-commerce websites as their primary shopping channel. In an extensive study of 30 days, to understand how Indian consumers will spend during the festive season, online v/s offline channels, this survey was conducted at a national level and specifically in 50 top cities of India. “It received over 300,000 responses from consumers across 330 plus districts of India. In the Delhi polls, 19,028 responses were received. 41% chose e-commerce sites and apps while 29% said they will call local retail stores and get things home delivered. Only 16% said they will physically visit malls, markets and local retailers for the festive shopping. Overall, 79% e-commerce shoppers say they will consider buying festive items online supporting local artisan and business (#localforvocal),” says Sachin Taparia, founder of the community social media platform.

It’s interesting to note that many, during the time of Covid-19 lockdown, learnt to shop online so that they are self-reliant to buy whatever they need, without taking help from their family. Madhu Bansal, a resident of south Delhi, says, “Before Covid-19, I preferred to shop from my local market, after comparing the prices and different qualities of products available. But, now I’m left with no option… ever since the pandemic hit, my son isn’t letting me go out to shop. He actually gave me a tutorial on how to shop online while checking quality and comparing price range. Now I’ve mastered the art! I’ve been ordering online for a while. In fact, for Navratri, I prepared a list to compare the price range on various websites, and then ordered what I needed. I‘m excited to receive all the items before Navratri begins.”

Those buyers who are keen to support #LocalForVocal have decided to pay serious attention to where they are ordering their needs from. “I get confused while making the payments, so my husband asked me to make COD for most of the items, and I find it easy. My focus remains on buying from Indian karigars and companies. It does take some time to read about the company but I don’t mind putting that much of effort to support our economy. I would urge other shoppers also to support small-scale businesses and entrepreneurs,” says Manju Saraf, a resident of Bengali Market.

It’s also the season of sales, and some of the e-commerce websites have decided to enable local shops, kiranas and other neighbourhood stores this festive season. Working women, who are tied up due to their busy office schedule and household responsibilities, are elated to know this. “My husband has been telling me about how websites are supporting local kiranas since Modi ji spoke about it,” says Ekadshi Gupta from Gurugram, adding, “We’ve thus been purchasing clothes and most other products online, and ensure that whatever we buy is sourced from Indian craftspersons. Now, as local kirana stores are also becoming part of e-shopping, we can buy groceries from there, too.”

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271

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