Top trends in India’s e-ecommerce space this festive season

The year 2020 accelerated e-commerce players’ growth in India. As the 2021 festive season kicks in, here’s a look at emerging trends in the online shopping industry.
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India’s festive season is just around the corner. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s large-scale disruptions, the festive cheer and delight that comes with shopping from various stores haven’t faded away; it has simply shifted to another medium – e-commerce.

From a business standpoint, the festive season has always been the busiest time of the year. Each year, brands offer bumper discounts to drive sales while also efficiently tackling the increased demand .

The year 2020, although it limited physical celebrations, gave a massive boost to e-commerce as consumer demand skyrocketed. This year’s festive season won’t be too different from last year.

However, while the demand for e-commerce continues, the trends in the industry, much like consumer behaviour and preferences, evolve each year. As this year’s festive season approaches, let’s look at some key trends that are likely to gain traction.

Personalisation and thematic marketing

Over the years, consumer demand has changed drastically, but there is one aspect that consumers have been increasingly preferring across segments – personalisation. Since it offers a sense of emotional identity and ownership, i.e., the feeling of something being made just for them, personalisation has become one of the most favoured aspects of online shopping.

Today, brands are focussing primarily on personalising products through better technology integration to provide customers with an impeccable shopping experience.

Aside from the festivities, we certainly cannot miss out on the fact that it’s cricket season!

India’s cricket fever runs high, and with the IPL already happening and the T20 world cup approaching, e-commerce brands are looking to capitalise on this by introducing thematic marketing.

Since thematic marketing is a tactic that works well given the already increasing festive demand, it’s a trend that is increasingly being observed in the e-commerce space.

Besides, there is also a focus on contextual marketing concepts to capture sentiments such as ‘back to work’ or ‘back to traveling’ etc., as global economies gradually open up and return to a state of normalcy.

Higher marketing budget and increased focus on tier-II/tier-III cities

India’s festive season, while it brings increased sales, comes towards the end of the year. To meet their annual targets and focus primarily on online sales, brands allocate higher marketing budgets. However, since the festive demand skyrockets, this budget helps drive sales and increases profits.

Furthermore, the days when metro cities were the prime focus for e-commerce brands are long gone. Today, tier-II and t ier-III cities are emerging business hubs with consumer demand from these cities steadily growing as internet proliferation and smartphone usage increases.

This festive season, e-commerce brands need to be looking at tapping into the rising demand from non-metros to further drive business.

In fact, as per a report by RedSeer Consulting, t ier-II and t ier-III cities are expected to contribute a whopping $ 150 billion worth of e-commerce sales during the upcoming festive season.

Leveraging social commerce and riding the D2C wave

A subset of e-commerce that involves business done through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, social commerce has gained rapid traction in a short period.

Over the past 18 months, with most consumers spending a majority of their time scrolling through their social media feeds, e-commerce brands will aim to leverage social commerce by curating content and products as per the consumer’s preferences.

Moreover, there is a colossal D2C (direct to consumer) wave sweeping across the country with more and more brands adopting the D2C approach.

D2C has become one of the most preferred methods of online shopping and e-commerce enabler platforms are on a mission to expand their portfolio by onboarding more D2C brands. In addition, there is also expected to be an increase in the D2C brand store share over marketplaces.

Summing up

The remarkable growth trajectory that the e-commerce industry has achieved in a short period testifies how consumers are increasingly leaning towards online shopping and e-commerce making a stellar comeback after the disruptions at the outset of the pandemic.

This festive season, the aforementioned trends are likely to further drive the e-commerce industry’s growth, making India one of the biggest e-commerce markets in the world.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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