I stopped receiving gifts from my family and friends on my birthdays – not because they all are adults and don’t believe in the custom of exchanging presents to reaffirm ones affection towards each other, but simply because I have failed to oblige to reciprocate their gesture. In simpler words: they stopped giving me gifts because I never gift them anything. I mean, why should I go to lengths of understanding their likes and dislikes, what they want, then look where to find it, how to get there, what to pay for it. All of this just to prove that they are important to me through a material means, which somehow holds more significance than my true feelings, feels so shallow. Also, I’m lazy to go out and buy something.
But this was before the concept of eCommerce erupted in Indian retailing scene. For those who don’t understand this word yet: eCommerce means electronic commerce or as you may know it, online shopping. The process of visiting a website or a mobile app and browsing through thousands and lakhs of options, where you end up buying more than you actually need is called eCommerce.
The online shopping scene in India has become such a tremendous success that this year, experts believe over 120 million of us will shop through Flipkart and Amazon (they ate up all the other players). One of the reasons why it is such a hit is you can stay lazy and still do the toughest chore of all times – shopping. It has also made my love life a lot smoother. Like, you know how girlfriends drop hints about the gifts they want in the most subtle way, as subtle as elephants walking. She sends me a picture of something she wants with a link accompanying it that goes directly to the shopping website. She would just say, ‘It’s so nice, no?’ Even before replying it to her, I go to the website and order it like a nice trained dog, I mean, a nice loving boyfriend. But then, this is far better than she sending some random shit and asking me to find what corner of the world it is available in and get it for her.
Even my family and friends are taking advantage of this eCommerce thing to make me gift them things. My sister would send me the title of a book she wants two days before her birthday – two days before because that’s how many days it would take for the delivery. All I have to do now is to check for the title and book it online, all this within the time of getting a reply from my girlfriend. See, how simple. But that’s just my story and that’s not the only reason for thriving online business.
Though we talk about diversified products from all over the country being available at one place, everyone knows that’s bullshit. The main factor that drives sales of these e-tailers is discounts. Yes, that mouthwatering eight-letter word! We Indians are suckers for anything that comes at a cheap price, absolutely anything. We don’t care if we really need it or not. ‘Discount hai toh khareedna maangta hai, boss’. It was only after buying a Multimedia Speaker System with Bluetooth USB SD FM Playback Support Feature Superior Sound Clarity I realized that my hall-cum-dining room-cum-bedroom doesn’t have any space for it or for anything. I bought it in the excitement of Rs 8,000 discount. It’s been two months and I didn’t even open the box and the only thing I do with it is move it from one corner to other to make room for something else. That’s how most shoppers are, in the rush of saving Rs 8000 they forget that they are wasting Rs 6000.
And then there are cash-backs! Let’s not embarrass ourselves by talking about it like we know it. Just let it go. Yes, yes, you’re benefitting from cash-backs. Just, let it go.