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Click or pick – What’s your choice?

With a lot of online shopping sites and apps available on the internet many users accessing these for many reasons including convenience, variety and wider choice, lower prices, cash on delivery, easy returns and replacement etc. Curious to know what’s the shopping trend in Goa NT BUZZ spoke to a few people to find out if they prefer conventional or online shopping

VENITA GOMES| NT BUZZ

“Wow! The blouse you been searching for is available on the internet and it is half the price and has six different shades. Also, you can get the size you are looking for. You got to check this site,” says Anisha Cardozo. “But what if it does not fit me and what if it’s tight or loose and what if the piece is defecated,” replies Alisha Dias. You might have come across many such Anisha-and-Alisha conversations among your friends, colleagues, classmates or relatives or maybe you have had such queries with regards to online shopping.

People earlier would often go to the market to purchase whatever they were looking for but in recent times with the emergence of several online shopping sites many consumers have shifted to shopping online. Today, with the online revolution clothes, groceries, personal care and electronic products, food items and various others things are available online. Several stores and brands also have their products being marketed online. People earlier were not aware of the safety of these online purchases but with cash-on-delivery, easy returns and replacements policies people have began getting more comfortable with this medium.

Get. Set. Shop

There are several reasons and benefits of e-commerce like wide selection of products, competitive prices, discounts, easy returns and convenience.

For a resident of Varca, Shaniella Dias online shopping is slowly capturing the market. “I have around 6 shopping apps on my phone; mostly fashion and lifestyle shopping sites. The moment I run out of trendy clothes for college like jeans, tops and shirts, I check the online options. They have wide range of design collections not available in the market here and hence I opt for the online option,” she says.

While a home-maker, Ria Silveira feels that it’s better to shop online as it gives you ample of time and space to choose what you are looking for rather than going to the market. She says: “When you go out shopping, half the day goes by looking for what you want in the scorching heat. Firstly, you have to shop for groceries and then look for clothes for the specific occasion. You don’t get the time to choose and also the same pattern that you liked is picked up by the lady next to you. If this is the case what is the point in purchasing and spending so much time and effort in choosing an exclusive piece from the collection that is available in the market,” adds Ria.

Because of the numerous advantages and benefits, people are choosing online shopping over conventional shopping these days. Therefore, e-commerce sites are trying to understand the psyche of online shopper and strategising their tactics in a way they can attract more consumers. “I chose online as it is very convenient for me. Where else can you do shopping, even at midnight? You don’t have to wait in a line or wait till the shop assistant helps you with your purchases. You can do your shopping in minutes even if you are busy, apart from saving time and avoiding crowds. Online shops give you the opportunity to shop 24×7,” says Margao-based, Clair Mendes.

The crazy deals

You might have also come across the pop-up notifications which keep flashing on your mobile phone or computer screens regarding the latest offers or the offer of the seasons, or the hour of the respective app. “Every time I put on my internet I get a list of notifications. They are like the deals of the hour or if I checked a particular product for quite some time I get notification about that. In a way it is good but at times it’s annoying. They force you to buy something that you don’t need badly. The notifications are like ‘There are a couple of things pending in your cart for quite long’ and the reason you added it in your cart is probably because you like it and they keep reminding you to purchase it,” says Nagao-based Nigel Vaz, who confesses that he has fallen prey of such offers and pop-up notification and has ended up buying a couple of products which he did not need urgently.

It is also interesting to watch the festive sale offer gimmicks by online retailers like Flipkart, Snapdeal who have yearly sales that start from midnight and run over for five days while e-commerce retailer Amazon also started the preview of ‘Great Indian Festival’ sale exclusively for its Prime users.

Edward Pereira from Mapusa was happy about the fact that offers like these are always good for him. He says: “I am lucky every time. I mostly purchase electronics online. They give discounted rate plus offers on many of them. I especially wait for the ‘Big day’ and festive offers sale.”

Visiting the market isn’t an issue

Despite technological and digital spaces advancing with features that suit the needs of the customers there are many who still prefer to walk to market and purchase what they are looking for. They still feel it’s more of a convenience to physically monitor and check the product, also compare its prices and features rather than purchasing online. Freda D’souza from Nuvem prefers to stay away from the online market as she feels that it is not feasible for her. She says: “I prefer to go market; there are things what I want there. Online I have no much knowledge about. What if the item I purchase does not come the way I am want it. There are various occasions where sites have shown a particular picture but when the product comes it’s completely opposite than what we have seen.”

She also speaks about how some of her friends are addicts of online shopping. “Some friends for any occasion they keep ordering gifts from various sites. If they do not have a reason also they purchase something or other and it’s pretty cheap there. Yet I like to check the product before purchasing it,” she says.

Public Relations associate, Ericka Sequeira feels that it is hard for her to believe what she is looking for online. “If I want to buy sunglasses or watches I would go to the market rather than buying it online. Firstly, I do not like shopping online and secondly I cannot rely on the product that is delivered to me. Whereas, if I go to the market I can try out all the shades and also see what suits me whereas trying options are minimal online. You can also bargain and get the best price for it,” She adds.

In this virtual world it is difficult for many to trust what they will get online and to overcome this hurdle, websites have also allocated a review and ratings space where customers give their feedbacks. Another worrying aspect of shopping online is security. To make a purchase online, you’re going to have to surrender some of your details be it your bank details, contact number and your home address. This could be a bit scary and therefore you need to check for privacy statement that every e-commerce website has. However, it is a tedious task of reading through the wall of text. The easier way of knowing that the information you’re putting through is secure, is by checking the presence of https:// before its URL. This ensures that your data is sent through encrypted packets and safe from prying eyes. It also ensures that it is not a phishing website that you’re giving out your data to.

Trying to keep up with the customer

As the online market is gaining popularity shops and retailers are trying to please their customers with the best services they can afford. Many brands have started putting up their products online while plans of some are underway.

Shweta Sequeira from Anjuna who recently opened her ‘Red Carpet -The Heritage Boutique’ feels that it is important to have an online e-commerce site to sell her designer collection. “Today, though there are store visits there is no harm in having an online site where people can access sitting at home and choose the kind of design they are looking for. Online is a fast growing market. There are many customers out there who you can target at one time. So, in future we are planning to think about the online venture too,” Shweta mentions.

But retailer Amit Kumar (name changed) from Calangute feels that though the online sites are gaining popularity but it is not affecting his business much. “Online platforms have not affected us much. We get our customers regularly and it’s quite okay for us to manage. During the season time in this area there are many tourists and customers. So, the sales are balanced,” concludes Amit.

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