The E-retail market is growing at a tremendous speed. As a result more and more players are entering and giving the customers enough options to look out for. Increasing competition has triggered the evolution of this industry. The boom started with flipkart’s success but then the websites were just in the form of a product catalogue.
Brick and Mortar format of the retail stores, a decade back were nothing better than the warehouses. Today, these stores have transformed into experience zones. Following the same evolution story, the e-retail portals are changing to make the web-shopping a remarkable experience for the users. The websites are being designed with utmost sincerity to provide a better look and feel. Most of the web portals have developed applications which will try to engage and make e-shopping a fun experience.
No more a product catalogue
One big disadvantage e-retailers were facing was the absence of trial rooms. But it seems that the gap is briskly being bridged. Myntra.com has recently launched ‘Style Studio’. An in house developed application is like a virtual dressing room which allows the shopper can mix and match over 2000 products. The look can be saved and shared among friends using any of the social networking websites. Commenting on the launch Mukesh Bansal, Founder and CEO, Myntra said, “We realize that customers go to Myntra not only for the largest selection of brands, but they are also looking for advice on how to put products together to create a complete look. Moreover, it’s built on the HTML instead of flash to enhance the compatibility.”
Flip your style
The story of virtual trial room is not new and in a story done by Gunjan Piplani, that was done four months back, as many as seven e-retailers had adopted this model to woo the shoppers. Liemroad.com which is the youngest of all, launched on 18th of this month is not being called an e-commerce portal but in the words of Founder and CEO, Suchi Mukherjee, it’s the first lifestyle social platform ever. The website is designed in the eye-candy magazine format which lets you effortlessly flip the pages. The proprietary scrapbook not only enables you to organize, share and shop all the products you find on LimeRoad.com, it also lets you flip through and get inspired by what others have discovered. Most of us, while flipping through any magazine like certain page and want the same dress or home decor products, this impulse is what this website is trying to cash on.
‘Newcrorcsnewyou’ happens to be yet another website where the application will engage you for at least 10 minutes and in the course will showcase different situations with different pair of shoes. The idea is to introduce an interactive video with a possibility of winning a prize. Different real time situations like strolling in a park or grabbing some coffee at a local café, the video will make you imagine such scenario and decide your favoured shoe style for the occasion. The website has also hired Anusha Dandekar as the professional stylist for its shoppers. Roomstory.com which happens to be the online gifting solution has tried to be new by sending free samples before the bulk order is being placed.
The youth in India are mostly tech savvy, they spend a lot of time surfing and love shopping. The initiatives taken by the e-retailers are not only minimizing the gap between online and offline stores but also are also proving out to be the fun shopping destinations. The point is, whether the two formats will complement each other or the e-retailers will start cutting away the crowd from the brick and mortar stores. But at the moment it will be interesting to see how the shoppers respond to these virtual experience centers.