Apart from a few established online stores, most of new entrants and the upcoming e-retail ventures are banking heavily on the rising popularity of social networking within the online shopping domain. There are a number of major international e-stores who initiated the coupling of online shopping with social networking. Online giants like e-bay started their buyers' "Community" which was then followed by arch-rival Amazon's popular "Daily Blog" section.
The e-community trend has now moved-in to the Indian shopping terrain as well. Most of the upcoming Indian online stores and the Indian counterparts of the already established inter-nation e-retail brands are reaping in the benefits of shoppers' community and the latest Web 2.0 technology to create a loyal consumer base out of their readily generated user traffic on the sites.
Some of the popular community-based Indian shopping portals for your reference include:
- ebay India:
The global retail giant's Indian venture has a shoppers' community dedicated to registered users willing to chat, discuss, ask questions, leave messages and even leave feedback for the portal.
This site is arguable India's first interactive store ever. If you have anything to share, discuss, ask or answer on any issue/subject including shopping, this site has it. It also has video conferencing, (or Video-Voice Text-Chat facility, as they term it) and is based on Web 2.0 technology.
A site where you can do a lot more than shopping, including activities like Forum discussions, Blogging and Questions-Answers section as well.
All in all, Indian shopping portals need to take a leaf out of their international counterparts' online strategies. After the emergence and expansion of global shopping portals like eBay, Kaboodle, Zebo etc., there many e-stores of Indian origin which need to incorporate the concept of social networking to add that 'zing' lacking in them. Until then, the aforesaid e-stores are there to bring in your friends and favorite brands while you choose to laze around at home!!! (no offense intended)
Why not to shop at the malls again!!
Before I start off with this lens, I would like to ask you as to when was the last time you went shopping to your nearest shopping mall? A week ago, a month back, and some would probably say that they have these virtual stores to shop for them and deliver goods like a trained pet, right? Hence, the question arises that with so much that an online store has to offer, do we really need shopping malls at all?
As the famous saying goes, "There is nothing permanent in this world except change", it can be easily applied to the ever-changing trends in the retail industry. The whole 'sale and purchase' idea got a new meaning with the advent of online version of shopping. Today, it would not be advisable for any educated online shopper to hop back to shopping at the malls.
The big players in the online retail scene in India are trying every trick in their bags to convert online users into traffic and then converting it into visitors, then into buyers and finally, into a loyal consumer base. For this, the focus has shifted from merely providing products online to social communities and special offers which can only be availed at these virtual stores.
With the prospects of becoming a long-term successful industry, major e-stores like Indiamart, Futurebazaar, Retailsdirect and Indiaplaza are relying heavily on the online retail boom. They are leaving no...