January 20, 2022

#ECommerceBuildsEconomy : Shopping in pyjamas

 A week ago, I wanted to buy some art supplies. It was 10.00 pm when I remembered. It had been a long day. However, that did not stop me. All I had to do is flip open my phone, go to Amazon, and voila. Within minutes, the job was done. I quickly browsed through a few pages of options, made my choice, and ordered what I needed. 

For someone like me who usually goes the entire day twiddling her thumbs only to remember urgent shopping errands at odd hours in the night or wee hours in the morning, online shopping has indeed been a boon. 

And that got me thinking how much e-commerce has revolutionised our shopping today. Imagine a similar situation some years ago before the advent of the Internet. 

I’d have to wait until the next morning, probably knotting my handkerchief a few times to serve as a reminder, which of course would again inadvertently be drowned out in the numerous errands that spring throughout the day. And even when I did eventually remember by late evening and dragged my tired self out of my home, I’d have to scourge a few dozen shops to get the things I needed. Yeah, I’m also picky like that. 

Cut to present day , I can literally have everything delivered to my doorstep and all it takes is a few clicks. 

That, my friends, is the magic of e-commerce! 

A lot of people I know, however, still do not avail of the online shopping option. They’d rather prefer going to the local store and making their purchases. Their trust issue is mainly regarding the credit card details that needs to be entered while making an online purchase. Well, what can be said? There is always the ‘Cash On Delivery’ option for those nervous about the chances of phishing. 

If, however, one is careful in choosing trusted and reliable platforms (read Dr Roshan’s post here), then online shopping can be a breeze.

Here are a few advantages that makes e-commerce beneficial for our economy and also for the common man, the consumer.

  1. Easy accessibility and availability: Since the Internet is a global medium, e-commerce websites are available world wide and are widely accessible around the clock. This feature makes it convenient for consumers to shop at any time of the day or night and even during public holidays when offline shopping wouldn’t be possible. 
  2. Speed: E-commerce transactions are speedier to perform than offline shopping where one has to wait in long queues while billing etc. 
  3. Withers e-commerce policies being rather transparent and clearly laid out allow for good security. 
  4. E-commerce provides an one stop platform for all purchases thus reducing the demand on shopping time and energy to a minimum. 
  5. Simple and clean interfaces of the websites allow the customer to complete their shopping in a convenient and hassle free manner from the comfort of their own home. 
  6. Doorstep delivery and easy return: The items ordered online get delivered to the house well within the promised time period. If the delivered product/s is damaged or unsatisfactory, the consumer can ask for exchange or refund.
  7. Cheaper online: There is a considerable price difference between the market price and the price online, the latter being always lower than the former. In some cases, shipping charges may be applied but it usually totals to less than the time and travel expenditure it takes to buy it from the physical store. 
  8. The same product is sold by different online sellers and the consumer can compare the prices in a matter of seconds and proceed to purchase whichever he/she prefers. 
  9. Depending upon the customers search and purchase history, the e-commerce site will use the data to make useful recommendations.
  10. Convenience in payment: In addition to COD, other options like credit/debit card, UPI, Gpay, net banking, coupons etc  are available. 
  11. Last but not the least, online shopping platforms require limited interaction and maximum safety, a requisite especially in times of social distancing. Also convenient for senior citizens and those for whom stepping outdoors may not always be convenient. 

Going by the latest growth trends, e-commerce in India is expected to grow a solid trajectory in the years to come. 

2020, the year of the pandemic, with its multiple lockdowns and viral threats was a lesson of caution. It shocked us, scared us, tried to break us, but the resilient human spirit refused to give up. Health suffered, businesses suffered, lockdowns happened. People were starving, dying, hurting.  But the tiny flame of hope continued to shine. 

When the shortage of food and groceries in the local market seemed impossible to manage, the demand on online shopping platforms increased many fold. E-commerce found its way even into the kitchen, with people ordering basic food supplies online.  On the other side, micro and medium industry, home businesses marketed their products and regained their slipping foothold via e-commerce websites that tried its best to provide a seamless customer experience. 

Today, the human spirit is still fighting. Waiting for the pandemic to end. Waiting for life to return to what it once was. Knowing tans making peace with the fact that brick and mortar shops may become redundant. But digitisation is dependable and here to stay. 

E-commerce has changed the face of shopping for ever and for more. And for that we are thankful. 

After all, who doesn’t love shopping in pyjamas!


This post is written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceBuildsEconomy 

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