5 eCommerce Trends That Will Dominate India's Festive Season

By Puneet Sachdev | October 11th, 2017

With just about a week left for Diwali — not only India’s biggest festival but also the country’s largest shopping season — eCommerce players are rushing to hit gold and capture consumer’s attention. Much like the Black Friday frenzy and pre-Christmas shopping rush, for a majority of population in India, Diwali is the season when retailers see a huge spending opportunity in electronics and tech.

Until a couple of years ago, this shopping rush was limited to the big shopping streets and retail outlets, then came the online rush, and now what we are witnessing is a mobile revolution, where most of the user spending for the festive season is done via mobiles. India’s big duo of eCommerce — Amazon and Flipkart — reported a major chunk of their sales coming in via mobile.

It is no surprise, then, that this year too all major players are pushing the paddle to reactivate their audiences and acquire new users. With recent demonetization and the encouraging use of mobile payment apps, the stage is also set to see how players in that space leverage the opportunity.

Let’s weigh-in on a few major eCommerce trends that the industry is expected to witness this festive season.

1. Cashbacks are Here to Stay:

Cashbacks help any company at two levels. First is instant gratification for the user. The perceived cost of the goods is brought down as the customers assume that the cashback amount they are going to get is actually the absolute cost they save on a product. Though the customer doesn’t get any real money back in his bank account, but the perceived notion that they have their cashback safely lying in the merchant’s account is a good enough initiator for them to make a purchase.

Secondly, the cashback amounts usually have an expiry attached to them, through which a customer can be reactivated and made to purchase again on the same merchant as otherwise, the benefit they earned in the previous purchase will lapse. This can be a good incentive to bring back the users to the app and ensure conversions.

2. Short-Term Bonus Getting Added to Your Wallets:

Though at Fynd, we take pride in introducing this concept and still remember the time we were brainstorming over it, we now see a lot of players in the industry use this growth hacking tool to drive immediate conversions.

The concept is very simple, credit some amount in the customer’s account on merchant app which is supposed to expire soon (mostly within 24 hours). The customer, in such a situation, does not want to lose the extra cash they are seeing in their wallet already and end up making a purchase. As a customer, you are going to see a lot of such emails/SMS from e-commerce companies telling you “Rs. X has been credited to your account.” Ahead of the festive season, as competition gets fierce, we will continue to see use of such incentives and rewards to attract the users to convert.

Example of Fynd Credit History

3. Hit Gold with In-App Only Offers:

Yes, the season for app-only offers is back! eCommerce companies know that the user tendency to make a purchase is maximum at this point of time of the year as compared to any other. Then why not use it to get your app installed on the customer’s mobile phones? Take a leaf out of Flipkart that reportedly sees 75% of orders coming in via app. For app advertisers, this also means a great opportunity to retarget the customers through PN or basis the device level data of the customer.

4. Move Towards Mobile Wallets:

Post demonetization, mobile wallets have emerged as a preferred form of transactions for many active consumers. eCommerce has already seen almost 20% dip in Cash on Delivery (COD) orders post demonetization. Players such as MobiKiwk and PayTm are already rolling out offers to capitalize on the trend. It will be interesting to see how the spending trends pan out in the first festive season post demonetization!

5. Product Level Discounts Instead of Product Bundling:

Post the implementation of GST (a new taxation policy in India), there has been a lot of chaos in the market. Though a part of it seems to have settled down, but still there is a lot of confusion on the GST charges on offers like "Buy 1 Get 1 Free". All brands and eCommerce companies, as a result of this are staying away from the product bundling offers and hence a customer is going to see more of flat discounts on products rather than bundling.

Readers, which trends do you see taking off in this festive season? Let us know in the Comments section!

Puneet Sachdev
Puneet Sachdev looks after the growth marketing activities for Fynd, an omnichannel fashion marketplace, where is he is responsible for digital activations, offline activities and PR. A graduate in Brand Management from MICA Ahmedabad, Puneet has also been a part of the Premier 30 League Tree-Hindustan Unilever's Leadership Program for top 30 MBA students across the country. You can follow him on Twitter @sachdevpuneet

Puneet sachdev