It is raining discounts for consumers this festive season as e-commerce players are offering deep discounts not just on mobile phones and apparels, but even on categories such as gold jewellery. The e-commerce giants have clocked billions of dollars worth sales and have also attracted consumers from the small towns. In fact, a bulk of the shoppers on these platforms this year came from tier 2 and 3 markets.
However, as the ecommerce companies have established themselves as discount shopping destinations during festivals, the shopping malls once known for their festival discounts are now changing their positioning. They now prefer to call themselves as experiential destinations. It is no longer about offering the cheapest, but it is all about offering the best.
"The Indian shoppers, especially during festivals want the best and not the cheapest," points out Anupam T, Vice-President, Oberoi Mall. Instead of offering extended festival discounts, Oberoi Mall in Mumbai, is running contests to incentivise shoppers to shop more. It also ensures that it has best of class, new generation retailers in its mall. Last year, it actually cut down the space of the Future Group-owned Central, and brought in Spanish fashion brand, Zara into its mall. It replaces 5 per cent of its retail brands with new brands every year.
"We are not discounting and we have not been losing market share," says Anupam.
Nexus Malls which has malls mostly in tier 2-3 cities, for this festival season, is running a promo called Happiness Wali Diwali, where it is calling out to mothers, children as well as neighbours to spend some quality time with each other at their mall. The focus clearly is to create an emotional connect with the consumers, which e-commerce platforms can never create, says Nishank Joshi, Chief Marketing Officer, Nexus Malls. The mall company, had earlier organised grandparents day wherein the elderly were offered gifts and discounts.
"Earlier, during the festival season we did cookie-cutting events, but today we have market research company, Nielsen, which gives us researched ideas as to what the consumers like and what they want us to do," says Joshi.
Nexus, claims Joshi, has witnessed a 15-20 per cent growth in footfalls and 12 per cent growth sales. "Indian shoppers want to hang out in malls during the festival season, unlike the West, where malls shut during festivals."