US Holidays recorded a record sales in the holidays: a whooping $32.6 bn. It is a great news especially when the economy has been struggling a lot. So, it’s definitely a great news for the business.
I visited US in 2207 just after Thanksgiving and during the New Year. I must tell that the deals during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year were definitely very appealing. So, I almost returned from US in a bankrupt state. but I need to blame myself and that time. First I was fairly new in my job and had hardly any savings. But what is defining the sales today is ONLINE and that is what is more exciting than anything else. Consumers don’t fear to spend money online and trust the products deliver online. There are definitely few benefits of online buying: we save a lot of money by not driving to and fro to the store, we save a lot of time by not going on a shopping. Rather I feel it takes less time to buy something online. Moreover, it is easy to view the feedbacks and reviews of products online, which is easily searchable. So, with a right kind of research, one can almost snatch a great deal of his own and no other time can beat the price than the holiday season.
On the contrast, I feel that Indian consumers are yet to embrace the online buying system. There is still so much resistance among people to buy online. I don’t have the data but if anyone can start looking for it, I am quite confident that it would not much different. Why? First, Indian consumers don’t trust the online shopping. secondly, we are too emotional people that we believe that we do better deals when we are in front of another person. And by dealing I mean the power of bargaining. I will not be surprised if any survey could affirm this. We believe in relationships more. Third and most important thing, we believe in buying things at the cheapest price possible. I would really hope that some consultancy or some MBA students could do this study. Bring a same product (lets say a car) and show it to people in different countries. I cannot comment on the psychology of people of other countries but I can definitely say that the first question that an Indian might ask is: how much it would cost me? So, it is not surprising that why small cars are so popular in India. Basically, it is not that Indians are environment friendly, it is just that we are way too price-conscious. Therefore, one can see all products having small variants available in India: shampoo and soaps to cars and houses.
I believe that the future is going to belong to the online sales. There is no denying that companies like Google and Facebook (don’t forget speculations on recent Facebook’s valuation of $50 bn) are generating such huge revenues from online advertising only. But the question would be to build credibility and confidence in the minds of the consumer. And I also believe that there could not be any better medium to do so than social networking sites like twitter and Quora. Secondly, understanding the psychology of the consumer would go a long way in the pricing and positioning the product in the a country’s market.