It’s past midnight. Rick and Nina sit glued to their laptops, waiting to hit the ‘Buy Now’ button. The online Pre-Christmas sale will start any minute and they are hoping to buy their favourite gadgets at less than half the price.
Rick and Nina are not alone. In fact they are a part of a current clan of over 1.5 billion online shoppers across the globe (per latest Greyhound Research estimates). As steep discounting online sales, especially around the holidays and festivals, continue to become a global trend this number is expected to cross 2 billion by 2020.
In all likeliness most of us are a part of this growing clan and have been on a shopping spree in some (or all) of these festivals. Take for instance Cyber Monday sales which happen on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States or Singles Day sales celebrated on November 11 by young Chinese people for being single. These have come to be some of the largest online shopping festivals in the world. India hasn’t been far behind. Google’s India online shopping event called The Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), is one example. Other eCommerce vendors have been quick on their heels to launch their own versions for India like Flipkart’s Big Billion Day (BBD), Amazon’s Great Indian Sale, Snapdeal’s Unbox Diwali Sales among others.
One common theme across all these online shopping festivals is steep (sometimes unbelievable) discounts. A recent Greyhound Research study titled, Global Retail Index 2016 concurs the same. Per the study which surveyed over 14,000 consumers in 23 countries, 85% of online shoppers consider discounts as one of the primary reasons for choosing to shop online. Other prominent reasons include convenience, better experience, more services and the ability to compare real-time.
Clearly, consumers have more to gain from these online shopping festivals than just discounts. Greyhound Research believes by carefully managing your interaction with eCommerce vendors across all 5 stages of the shopping journey, you can walk away with not just great deals but also an enhanced shopping experience. Here are some tips and tricks:
Stage 1: Explore
- If you are a first time shopper, look for special deals or discounts offered on first purchase
- Consider signing up for newsletters to get discount coupons as online stores often give coupon codes in exchange for newsletter registrations
- Look out for Facebook, Twitter or similar special campaigns
- Watch out for exclusive brand tie-ups and brand specific promotions for deals on your favourite brand(s)
- Some eCommerce portals run dedicated category campaigns per day. Follow their online channels, newsletters, adverts and print ads to know what is going on sale when
- Opting for previous year models from older inventory can get you bigger discounts and yet own designs/specs which are still in vogue
- Look for exclusive sale previews which you can share with friends and family and earn special rewards
Stage 2: Evaluate
- Check for Return /Refund/Exchange policies
- Check for offered Warranty and Guarantee, especially for electronic goods. It is important to know if these are from the online seller or from the brand
- Read product and seller reviews before hand
- Check brand guidelines for verified sellers
- Check colour specifications. Sometimes the colour shown in product picture may be different from colour of the specific piece you buy
Stage 3: Shortlist
- Create a shopping cart prior to the sale going live. A word of caution, watch out for price changes at the time of payment
- If available as an option, create your ‘wish list’. Some eCommerce vendors offer a ‘wish list’ where you can choose products which you would like to buy if and when they go on sale
- Use ‘Notify me’ option for alerts when out of stock products become available in stock
Stage 4: Purchase
- Check country specific regulation to be able to avail true zero-cost EMIs on credit card spends. For example, in India, per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulation, consumers don’t have to pay any interest, processing fee or convenience charges on converting to EMI. Local retailers like Flipkart and the Future Group are offering this zero-cost EMI scheme in association with State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Citibank and HSBC
- Look for cash backs in addition to discounts and consider using coupons
Stage 5: Receive
- Choose delivery options and times carefully. Sometimes choosing a specific time slot for delivery or selecting a next-day, weekend or evening delivery may add on quite a bit to the cost of your purchase
- Lookout for quality and service assurance like Amazon Prime
Do remember that it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of discounts and deals. While you shop to your heart’s content, at Greyhound Research we want you to also remain alert. Do watch out for spoof websites and ensure your laptop is running the latest operating system and a robust antivirus.
Here’s Greyhound Research wishing you a happier, richer and safer shopping experience this festive season!
Do chime in to share your experiences and any other tips and tricks that you may have.
Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research, an Award-Winning, Global, Independent Digital Transformation Research & Advisory firm. He also serves as Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global, Multi-Disciplinary Research & Advisory firm. Given his expertise and passion for Technology, Sanchit also doubles up as the CIO for Greyhound Knowledge Group companies and is building a technology-led Research & Advisory business. In his another avatar, Sanchit is an Advisor To The Board (for IT & Business decisions) of a US$100 Million+ organisation in the Metal Industry. To read more about him, click here.
Anshoo Nandwaani: Anshoo serves as a VP and Principal Analyst with Greyhound Research, an Award-Winning, Global, Independent Digital Transformation Research & Advisory firm. She also serves as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global, Award-Winning, Multi-Disciplinary Research & Advisory Group.In her current role, Anshoo leads the research agenda for Digital Transformation Experience & Engagement Outcomes. As part of this, she researches how Digital Transformation can help organisations enhance Experience & Engagement with their stakeholders spanning Customers, Workforce, Partners, Investors and Influencers. More specifically she studies the impact of vertical-specific processes and people-centric technologies on stakeholder Experience & Engagement.To read more about her, click here.
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