Thursday, September 14, 2006

Social Shopping - Will India catch the craze?

Online Web 2.0 explosion sometimes gives me a sheer high. Every time, I think that technology has hit an upper limit, there it jumps a notch higher to scale never before heights, encompassing a new dimension of human life, promising yet more comforts and providing new highs.

I came across a very unique E-commerce website that was named Wists. The site was all about a concept that is termed "Social Shopping". Wow !! You had "social bookmarking" and "online shopping". Now you have the next big wave "Social Shopping" hitting World Wide Web. Social shopping sure is a fancy term for a genre of Web 2.0 sites that try to bring together online shoppers at a single point and allow them to bookmark their favorite shopping sites, shopping sites that they just stumbled upon, etc all for the benefit of the other social shoppers. Each one draws from the experiences of millions of others.

As I was researching more on sites like these, I happened to come across at least two others StyleHive and Kaboodle mentioned at Emergic.


How would such a model affect Indian online shoppers? With Indians taking up online shopping in a big way it won't be long before we see similar Indian clones coming up with a desi touch to them. I believe this model is going to be a big hit in India. Indians in general are quite averse to shopping at new places they haven't heard of from a people. They like to be trend adopters rather than trend makers. What would tip the balance in this case would be a site like Wists or a StyleHive that would help people to exchange, rate and recommend shopping sites to their friends and relatives. People would be more willing to make a purchase at a site that has been recommended by 20 people even if all of them are anonymous. The web brings us closer in ways we least expect and networking sites are a unique example.

The other strong reason that compels me to believe in the feasibility of such an idea in India is the rise of the Indian middle class. A huge market that comprises of 241 million people belonging to who make up for 23 per cent of total population and account for Rs. 3,02,534 crore (USD 64.37 billion) of total consumption (42 per cent) in the country. Shopping online for a majority of this section of the Indian community is becoming a habit rather than an exception. The non-availability of chain store unlike US in India also means that shopping online erases the distances involved between potential customers and shops that sell the items being demanded.

Social shopping is an idea just waiting to be unleashed on Indians and I would be surprised if Indians do not embrace it in a big way.


Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment:

Josh said...

Hi Vijay,
I am a product engineer at storrz.com
Yes, I totally agree with you on the fact that social shopping is the "Next Big Wave" thats going to hit the World Wide Web especially in India! In fact we at storrz.com are planning to release our own version of social shopping where members can post a review on various products!
Its was a nice article to read! Keep updating it with more information!

Popular Posts - Do not miss these...