- 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
Friday, December 14, 2012
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:
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? :))