With Indian people slowly becoming more comfortable with shopping over the internet, the market scene is gradually changing from offline to online. Though there’s still a fair share of apprehension towards online buying, many shoppers are beginning to embrace the whole idea of shopping online.
However the majority of buyers are still loyal to the conventional Brick and Mortar stores. The main reason being the fact that physical stores cater for the ‘touch and feel’ desire of shoppers.
Indian buyers want to not only see what they are buying but also get to touch and feel it, before deciding whether or not to make a purchase.
Their high preference to brick and mortar stores is further brought about by digital trial rooms available in these stores. Most if not all physical stores in India have trail rooms, where buyers can actually try the items they’d like to purchase before paying any money.
Until recently, online stores have not been meeting this ‘touch and feel’ need of Indian buyers. The experience has been just the opposite:
- Buyers can’t hold or feel what they are buying.
- There wasn’t a way to try on what they’d like to buy before paying for it.
- There were many cases of items being returned.
- This was making online shopping both a disappointing and time-wasting experience for buyers.
The end result was Indian people could not see the benefits of online shopping compared to shopping from offline retailers.
Recent Changes by Online Stores
After a long time of being the underdog to offline retailers, many online stores are starting to understand what Indian buyers want. A good number of Indian online stores have now come up with ways to give buyers a similar experience to offline stores, becoming more competitive.
Myntra is one of the largest online stores in India that sells clothing. Just this year, the company introduced a virtual dressing room called the ‘Style Studio’. Style Studio is meant to give buyers the opportunity of ‘trying on’ what they want to buy online and see how it looks on them, before going ahead with the transaction.
With this feature, you can dress an image of yourself with the product you want to buy. You only need to turn on your webcam; upload a photo, click on the product and you will get to see how the product will look like on you.
The feature additionally enables buyers to share their looks on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, so that their friends can comment and give their opinion on the best outfits and clothes for them. Friends can simply rate your looks, allowing you to get different opinions on what you should buy.
The site further provides helpful tips on the latest and most fashionable outfits on the market today.
Zovi is yet another online Indian store that has introduced a virtual trial room called the ‘Zovi Eye’. The feature works much the same as Myntra’s ‘Style Studio’, where you use your webcam to try t-shirts, trousers, jeans, dresses, pullovers, shoes and jackets on yourself, and therefore making a better decision on what to buy. Just like Myntra, you can also share the looks on social media sites and rate your friends looks, too.
Apparently since the company started using this feature, it has experienced over 20% sales increases. However, issuing regular zovi coupons to its customers have also contributed to this increase in sales.
Lenskart is one of the leading eyewear websites in India. Lenskart has introduced a ‘Virtual Mirror’ feature through which you can try on their glasses and contact lenses of different shapes, sizes and colors.
The company has voiced its intentions of extending the use of this feature to other product lines, such as watches and jewelry, in the near future.
Yebhi is known for its ‘Try and Buy’ feature. With this feature, the company allows buyers to try on their apparels and shoes at delivery and only pay for them if they meet their expectations. If the buyer is not satisfied with the item, he or she can simply return it and seek a replacement without incurring any additional fees or expenses.
The ‘Try and Buy’ feature, however, does not apply to all products offered by Yebhi, so it’s important that you check and confirm that the item you want is offered under the ‘Try and Buy’ policy.
Many of the Indian online stores that have come up with Virtual Trial Rooms are quickly drawing the attention of buyers as, with virtual trial rooms, the buyer can try on many clothes, apparels and shoes quickly at the comfort of their homes.
The incorporation of the social media feature has also made it possible for buyers to make good selections and decisions on what to spend their money on, through the help of their friends and family on social media sites.
Essentially, there have been evident advantages resulting from these major technological changes made by online Indian stores. Shoppers are starting to develop trust for online sellers and many Indian people are beginning to show willingness to take the risk of buying items online. Nonetheless most online stores are, in addition, offering coupons, huge discounts, 30 day return policies and Cash on Delivery payment option as ways of attracting more buyers.