Indian Consumers Now E-tail Before They Retail: Expert Opinion


Physical, Online or Multichannel, isn’t that something all startups, entrepreneurs and retail brands are considering today? In less than a decade rapid rise of the internet has led to a change in the way we shop, with more and more of us choosing to shop online. This was one of the major reasons for Jashn to be tied up with major e-commerce portals like Flipkart, Myntra and Jabong and to open their own portal for exclusive merchandise.

Having an online presence has become vital as more and more customers are turning towards “Showrooming”. What it means is that the knowledgeable customers see and feel the products in store, and then buy the products online. Though having a physical presence is not at all bad, as consumers prefer to touch and feel the product, especially garments. It also helps the merchant to build a rapport with local consumers and helps them develop their own personal local connections.

Indian consumers are becoming habituated to new trends in terms of products and retail both. Most consumers now e-tail before they retail, that means they research and compare the products online, seek reviews online before the actual purchase. But that is not the case for the ethnic segment; the consumer’s need to try the product physically does not get accomplished. They may hesitate to buy products online since it comes with a high price tag and does not have a touch-and-feel kind of element to it. That is why Jashn prefers to be a “Brick and Click” establishment. This means that they have an online presence as well have retail outlets to satisfy the needs of the e-tailers and the retailers.

If we decide to compare the two, there is no clear winner. E-tailers to some extent want to have a small physical space, where the consumers can feel the product. These physical formats can be through pop ups, shopping walls, etc. Most of the consumer’s shop online for convince, home delivery and round the clock access. But people who shop in-store also do it because they want instant delivery and personalized services.

With so many online sites trying to cater to various customer needs at one place, Jashn prides on it being a “Long Tail” establishment. Jashn prefers to cater to the Ethnic sector rather than to multiple needs.   Many customers today feel that it is necessary for retailers and e-tailers to use multi-channel means, as it gives more options to the consumers. And that is exactly what Jashn has done.

So where do you stand? It’s really not an ‘either’ or ‘or’ proposition. Choose what’s best for the customer and you can’t go wrong.

Insights shared by- 

Mr. Rahuul Jashnani (MD,Jashn)

Rahuul Jashnani, MD, Jashn

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