The Dusshera festive season is just around the corner, and, like every year, people are bracing up for shopping.
However, things have changed a bit this year. Amid the imposed Covid restrictions by the government owing to the pandemic situation, nowadays, people are preferring for online shopping instead of conventional shopping.
COVID19 situation across the country played a spoilsport on the festivities last year which also continues this year. Though last year people were reeling under COVID fear, the scenario has altered this year. Moreover, digital boost has transformed the long-standing business practice. Instead of crowding at marketplaces, people are preferring for online shopping. Different mobile apps and e-commerce sites have effectively taken over the conventional mode of shopping. Through few clicks only, people are able to purchase anything which also gets delivered within a few days at their doorstep. This, of course, refrains many from unnecessarily crowding at public places and help prevent transmission of COVID.
It is not that people didn't opt for online shopping before the COVID situation, but the dependence of people over different e-commerce portals has grown massively amid COVID fear. Meanwhile, online shopping brands are throwing exciting offers amid the festivity to allure the 'new age' shoppers. The shoppers are also leaning towards the online shopping way with attractive discount coupons and more.
"Due to the COVID situation, we are unable to visit markets for shopping. The items purchased from e-commerce sites get delivered at the doorstep easily and we can count on the product quality also. We have a wide array of options to choose from the sites," said Mitali, an online shopper from Bhubaneswar.
"The products purchased online are a bit cheaper than the conventional stores. With the alluring festivity offers, we are able to purchase good products of high price range at a lower price. We don't even need to step out for shopping," said another online shopper from Cuttack.
While the e-commerce sites are getting crowded with the 'new age' shoppers, conventional stores at different marketplaces are looking deserted.
"People are now able to purchase goods from their homes through the e-commerce platforms. The shopping portals showcase a wide variety of options than we have at our conventional stores, for which the shoppers are leaning towards digital purchase," said Natasha Sahoo, a traditional store owner from Bhubaneswar.
Meanwhile, Kulmani Sahoo, manager of a shopping mall in Cuttack said, "COVID has ruined this Dusshera too. We were expecting a growth in sales amid the festive season. But, with the online option of shopping, people are splitting with their preferences."
The Twin City Cuttack-Bhubaneswar has witnessed a massive escalation in online shopping preferences amid the COVID scare. While earlier a delivery boy used to distribute 40-50 orders in a day, now the count has increased to over 100 orders.
Apart from this, experts have also ascertained that digital business is booming across the country.
As per business expert analyst Trinath Lenka, while the digital business stood at USD 14 billion in 2014, which increased to 64 billion USD in 2020, before it further has increased to ISD 80 billion by 2021 October. Considering the current growth, it can be stated that the figures may reach USD 184 billion by 2025 and by 2027 it may exceed USD 200 billion.
As many people are yet to straighten their backbone financially amid the COVID situation, enthusiasm for the festive season is lacking among all.