Thursday, December 11, 2014

The "Indrajaal" of Online Spree
Every other day I find the city covered with large hoardings to publicize a random festival which makes us lucky enough to save a lot of money by shopping through one of the many Online Retailers. New Gen buyers are now into even more love with their Smart Phones (smarter than the owners sometimes) which has a dedicated App (software application, to be precise) which lets them break free. The app comes with some additional discounts moreover. Is it the next level? Has our nation moved to the 3G of retail? Let us try to answer.
The second generation of Indian retail was the Brick-and-Mortar shopping malls which made the people buy their needs under almost every product category from grocery to durable under one roof. Commonly known as organized retail stores. The organized retail didn't even spread its wings over a considerable part of the Indian retail pie and co meth the Click Retail. The youngsters are the soft targets. The people you are tech savvy, give lesser worth to the traditional touch-and-feel buying and have a good purchasing power are the best suited segment for the 3G retail.
The delivery person has now become the new regular visitor to almost all offices where the average age of Human capital is between 25 to 35 years. Grabbing good deals in online sale is the new tatkal ticket booking. If you do not log in on the right time the best deals get sold out. We are given a lot of choices and a lot of discounts. The benign online sellers have successfully saved our lac of rupees, if we believe what they tell us.
Beneficiaries in disguise, we the people sitting with our hands on the keypad we actually are paying for the heavy publicity costs. Traditional retailers pay a hefty proportion of their costs for storage, handling and physical showroom upkeep but the online lords are immune to these hits. With zero warehousing and physical display requirements any name can easily become a brand. Fine prints are skipped for the fear of losing the deal. And now we have a young India that has a less idea of saving and investment and more idea of saving through spending.
If we look at the online shopping from a macroeconomic point of view a major part of spending is done through Credit Cards which further invites interest and other consequent charges. So did we actually save? The virtual discount that led to notional savings gets converted in actual spending and interest liabilities which are as high as 3 percent per month in some cases. On one hand we sacrifice the opportunity to touch, look, try and feel the products and we end up paying interest on the other.
So, just be a little more careful and a little less jittery when a pretty face says something about large savings on a huge billboard on your way. Calculate and think. about the pains you have been bearing to get your Plastic Money loaded.

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