Something about me

Friday, December 14, 2012

Online shopping

I've always been a savvy online shopper. I'm not savvy anything else in the technology domain though! But right from the time it was possible to shop online, I have. Here's why I love online shopping.
1. I dislike malls and large-format retail stores. They give me a headache. I dislike salespeople hovering nearby. I've never needed a personal shopping assistant and to my knowledge have never asked salespeople for any help at all except to request for a certain size. In any case, atleast in India, my experience is that retail staff is poorly-trained and informed.
2. While I love local markets, I don't particularly like bargaining. The latter is a critical skill unless you are shopping for groceries or medicines or something like that.
3. I'm very hung-up on productivity. Getting into a car, battling traffic, parking, jostling with crowds and finally standing in line at the cash counter - it's all too much of a waste of time according to me :) I'd rather have 10 windows open on my browser and shop to my heart's content.
 
When we lived in the US, I shopped for clothes, shoes, air tickets and hotels, anound consumer electronics on the web. It was super-convenient, saving me the trouble of dragging one toddler (and later, two) all over the city.
But it's only after we moved to India that our online and phone transactions have sky-rocketed. Soon I won't need to step out to shop for anything other than sarees, expensive clothes, high-ticket home-appliances and a house! In short, anything that needs to be seen, felt and experienced.
 
Here's a sample of what gets bought over the great worldwide web:
  • Books/movies/music/DVDs - flipkart, amazon/junglee, pratham, tulika
  • Movie tickets/shows - bookmyshow, PVR, DT cinemas etc
  • Clothes and shoes - jabong/myntra
  • Home decor and accessories - shopo/mirraw. This does not even include the several small businesses that market exclusively through facebook and through whom I've ordered custom jewellery and gifts.
  • Home essentials and grocery - foodmandi in Gurgaon. The rest, I do over the phone with our friendly neighbourhood kirana store.
  • Travel bookings - makemytrip, IRCTC, various company websites
  • Payments - All utilities are on auto-debit mode through the bank. School fees, daycare fees, fees for kids' classes, cable get paid through online banking. 
  • Library - My library accepts quarterly membership fees through their website.
  • Electronics - bestbuy
My local pharmacy accepts orders through the web and home-delivers as well. My fruit and veg vendor does likewise but I don't trust him to send me the best produce, so I'm staying in the physical world for now :) When it come to shopping in the US, I have a field day trawling all the drugstores, amazon, bestbuy, oldnavy, REI, crate and barrel (who now ship internationally - woo-hoo!)......and yet I feel India is far more advanced technologically in this space.
This post was prompted by two emails that landed in my inbox today. One was from jabong, reminding me that I have a pair of kids' jeans in my shopping cart. The other one was from homeshop18, asking me when am I going to buy the pressure cooker that I selected many moons ago? :))
 

9 comments:

  1. Interesting post! :)

    I am not much of an online shopper. I agree, battling traffic to go to a mall or a market, finding parking space, bargaining, and jostling amidst crowds to find and buy what you want is a challenge, but it is something I cherish. I love going out to shop, even if it is only for groceries. :)

    Also, I need to touch and feel everything before I buy it. :) The only things we consume online are books (that too, only the ones we cannot find in bookstores), train and flight tickets, and the payment of electricity bills.

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    1. Ah..thats where we are so different...I hate grocery shopping. My husband doesn't mind it so a lot of times I ask him to do it for me.

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  2. Till a couple of months back I could swear I hated to shop online. I need my senses involved in the shopping experience - touch, feel, try, buy. WOuldn't trust the online sites even to pick up a cheap t shirt. Even, electronics for that matter. But thanks to my lack of energy in the last few months of pregnancy, forced home arrest due to a new born and my inherent distrust in asking anybody else to buy for me (:D :D), I am a convert now - have bought most of the baby stuff, furniture, even UGs for myself (that wud have been a sacrilege till not so long ago) online. But, I must admit, I still wouldn't buy clothes or shoes for myself online. Oh, and I am rearing to go shopping with my daughter in tow - waiting till her first few vaccinations are done L)
    (Oh, btw, u brother and sister are the same on this one!)

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    1. I'm not suprised that ash feels the same way. See, I even hate going shopping with my kids.....though I'm sure it'll be a lot more fun when yukta grows up (its not too bad even now with her, though with Ads its a complete nightmare).

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  3. Online shopping is surely convenient and is on the upward rise! A nice post:)

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  4. When you move here, I will recommend an online grocer who delivers the most amazing quality veggies too :). I love the convenience of online shopping too.. but once in a while I need the "feel" and go and torture myself in one of the stores.

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    1. Ok this is town essentials right? I saw them deliver when I was staying at suchi's place. Veggies too - that does it for me!!!

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  5. I booked a rail ticket for me using irctc vide PNR no. 2562870011 (Transaction ID: 0480387060) for journey from DMO-LTT on September 2, 2012 for the journey on September 22, 2012 in Train No. 11072, the only train plying to Mumbai from nearest station from my home town. Unfortunately, I could not travel and i had to file TDR on 16/09/2012. I was informed by irctc that refund will come within 90 days.

    After 4 months of follow up, the status of TDR is showing as regretted. Please hold to get the refund.
    I filed the complaint in Consumer Court also but. Still not got any response. Please help me to get some solution.

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I would love to hear your thoughts :)