E-tailers woo customers with gifts this festive season


October 29, 2012

Raghavendra Kamath & Shivani Shinde, Business Standard
Mumbai, October 29, 2012

E-commerce sites are giving out home makeovers, wardrobe offers and free gift deliveries during the ongoing festive season to woo customers. Most of the sites offer additional products, other than discounts, to lure customers.

For instance, ‘members only’ site fashionandyou.com will launch a 15-day ‘home makeover’ campaign, wherein three highest shoppers will get home improvement products costing between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000.

The e-commerce site is running a month-long promotion called “Festival of indulgence” from October 16 to November 16, wherein the highest shopper can win a designer gold necklace worth over Rs 3 lakh.

Private label-focused site Zovi.com is running a ‘wardrobe offer’, wherein the buyer gets accessories worth Rs 399 for free on purchases worth Rs 1,500 and above.

“We do not believe in discounts. We thought by giving free accessories, we can engage with them better and strike a personal chord,” said Kavindra Mishra, founder-member and vice-president, sales at Zovi.com.

Zovi is also looking to launch the kidswear segment on its site and add a range of winterwear next month to its offering. Another site, Jabong.com, is launching exclusive international products on its site and has started free delivery of gifts.

“Free delivery of gifts requires a lot of effort and processes. We thought the festival period is ideal to launch this service,” said Praveen Sinha, co-founder and managing director at Jabong.com.

Online market place eBay, too, has been promising goodies during the festive period. For purchases made between October 5 and October 15 for up to and above Rs 5,000, gifts such as branded headphones, iPod shuffle, mobiles, iPads and laptops were given out. During October 16-31, buyers need to make purchases only for Rs 2,500 to get gifts.

Besides, eBay has come out with an offer for purchases worth Rs 20,000 to Rs 4 lakh between October 19 and 31. On such buys, customers get gifts such as LED televisions and laptops.

Another player, Snapdeal, is also offering special Diwali offers around home products, consumer durables and others. According to consultants, the strategy of e-commerce sites will not only push sales of products, but also increase margins and positioning in the minds of customers.

“There are two ways of giving offers. Either you can give a discount of 50 per cent on a Rs 500 product, or you can offer the product for Rs 400 and give an additional product,” says Devangshu Dutta, chief executive, Third Eyesight, a retail consultancy firm.

According to Dutta, this (the additional product) would push up the implied value of the product in the minds of customers.