• Why shoppers are flocking to the internet this season

    It has been a few years since people started shopping online to make their big purchases for festive occasion. And this year is no different. Though not many have invested in jewellery, the sale of gadgets, clothes, holidays and daily utilities seems to have soared. And thanks to summer offers and Mother’s Day sales, they are making the most of all the discounts.

    Coupling offers
    An interesting trend this year is that though there are not many offers exclusive to Akshaya Tritiya, several sites have coupled Mother’s Day sales with it. Nitisha Retish, a market trend analyst, says, “Many jewellery sites are offering zero-making charges and cashback on certain products. Mother’s Day sale on major retail sites have great discounts on books, home decor, furniture and kitchen utilities.”

    What’s hot on the web
    Gold and other precious metals:
    Thanks to the increase in the price of gold, people are restraining from buying earrings, neck pieces and other accessories. However, many are investing in coins and other precious metals and stones like silver, sapphire and pearls. “The rate of the yellow metal has been fluctuating and I was not very sure if I will be incurring a loss if I buy online. Though I bought a beautiful kundan bangle last Akshaya Tritiya from a popular site, I’ve only booked a gold coin and idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi this time,” says Dhivya Raman, a homemaker.

    Youngsters and working women find this an apt opportunity to buy trendy accessories. Rohini Hari, a 28-year-old investment banker, says, “Several jewellery portals offer a minimum of 30 per cent off on latest designs in 18 K and 22 K gold and it’s a great bargain if you are not into traditional pieces.” She adds, “The sites are flooded with special Akshaya Tritiya collections that are not heavy on the pocket. My colleagues and I’ve bought trendy bracelets, elegant pendants and chic earrings for the festival. Apart from gold, there are navaratna collections, pieces that are traditionally edgy and some with birth stones that are meant to bring good luck.”

    Gadgets and utilities
    From smartphones and music docks to comfy bean bags and wardrobes, people are investing in things that are useful for them on an everyday basis. “Long-term investments are not only restricted to gold and properties. Many believe that buying items that they use every day or that add an aesthetic appeal are important as well,” points out Nitisha.

    Girish Kamat, a project manager with an IT firm, says, “I’ve placed order for a microwave oven, some new sofa covers and an attractive lampshade from the ongoing sale. It’s a belief that one must buy kitchen utensils on this day. So, we opted for a kitchen gadget that will come handy instead of utensils.”

    Clothes and accessories
    This year, splurging on fashion for Akshaya Tritiya seems to be the new trend. Several clothes and accessories portals have mega sales, though they are not specifically for the festive occasion. Neha Keshav, a dentist, says, “From ethnic kurtis and saris to LBDs and palazzos, there are a variety of options to choose from. Shoes, bags and scarves are also among the hot favourites. It felt weird in the beginning when I told my friends that I’m going to splurge on summer accessories and festive clothes this Akshaya Tritiya. Thanks to the variety of sales and discounts online, I couldn’t resist myself and now, all my friends have followed suit, too.”

    Corporate gifts
    Another interesting trend is the surge in corporate gifts. Nitisha adds, “Gold-plated pens, office sets, cabinets, retail and online gift vouchers, spa deals – these are in demand. Apart from reasons like the start of a new financial year to beating the summer, Akshaya Tritiya is just another excuse.” Mike Hilton Jersey

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