There’s lot for the dotcoms to smile wide. The interest levels are high, business opportunities are increasing everyday and the figures look promising. The good news is that this year, corporate India has spent Rs 100 crore on online advertising – up by 75 per cent over last year’s 40 crore, as per figures provided by the IOA. Internet advertising has projected to grow to Rs 280 crore by 2007.
Adding impetus to this roller coaster growth is of course the magical October-November period that contributes in a big way to dotcom revenues. Considering the fact that the internet mart owes at least 20 per cent of its revenues in the previous year to the trade offs met on account of the festival season, it’s not surprising that major portals are going all out to help consumers celebrate.
Says Sundararaman (Head – Sales & Alliances, Sify.com), “Sify expects a 100 per cent increase in sale. Normally, the Diwali period records the highest sales during a year. This year too, with great bargains across a wide variety of products, we expect a near doubling of sales. We are the only e-commerce site to have a multimode 24×7 customer care. The customer can call, chat or write an email to address their queries any time of the day. We guarantee to deliver the orders before Diwali, if they are placed on time. In the unlikely event of the product not being delivered on time, we offer a money back guarantee.”
SifyMall, the online shopping store on Sify.com has launched a Diwali gift shop, which displays some great brands, in addition to some fascinating offers. The Khulja Sim Sim offers SifyMall customers the option to decide on five heavily discounted items. The 5 pm to 7 pm offer throws up special discounts on best selling items in apparels, electronics and mobile phones. The Special Diwali offer showcases branded products such as Philips, LG, Panasonic, Arrow, Lee, Excalibur etc at a discounted price of up to 30 per cent. The Offer of the Day displays an exclusive discount on up to three products in apparels, digital cameras and mobile phones. Mobile phones starting at Rs 2595, digital cameras Rs 999 onwards, Panasonic microwaves priced at Rs 4990 and Excalibur shirts at Rs 999 only. SifyMall has tied up with Standard fireworks for a wide range of crackers offered at 40 per cent discount.
Sundararaman adds, “Sify has the advantage of operating the largest chain of cyber cafés in the country with over 2000 iWays in 67 cities. The Diwali offers would be promoted in the IWays. We are also advertising in select vehicles for the overseas audience and entering into co-sponsorship for a major presence in large retail malls in metros.”
Meanwhile, Sanjay Verma, Spokesperson, Bazee.com asserts, “We have historically seen strong business growth during the festive season. This is the time when sellers on our site stock up their inventories and offer various deals targeted at the festive shopper. We are focusing all our marketing efforts on online media only. We shall be publicizing the festive offers across our various alliances such as MSN, Yahoo etc and also running contests online. Baazee stands out from other portals because of its unique business model, where buyers and sellers trade thousands of goods across hundreds of product categories. So the range of products that we offer is typically much more than that offered by any other single portal. Auctions of course will be in full flow, keeping the festival season in mind. To give you an example, sellers in jewellery are solitaire diamond of one carat, worth over Rs. 1.5 lakh, under auctions with no reserve price. This is an unbeatable value proposition for any buyer. Users can also bid on electronics, mobile phones, cameras, home decor items, car accessories and more on auctions, with prices starting as low as Re 1.”
Debasish Ghosh, Head of Corporate Affairs & Investor Relations, Rediff.com, asserts, “Rediff is undertaking some exciting promotions, for popular categories such as jewellery, apparel and electronics and we are publicising our efforts in our magazine for NRI’s, called India Abroad. We have organised something called the Express Gift facility, through which we target last-minute shoppers and make a delivery on an extremely short notice (48 hours). The facility extends to 25 cities in India. In addition, we have a facility called the Vendor rating system, wherein consumers can actually rate their experience online and reflect their satisfaction with their purchase. Either way, we expect to gain full mileage from the festive season.”
E-commerce is swooping in a big way within India. And portals like Sify and Rediff, or auction sites like Bazee, they are all enjoying the fruits of their labour. More so, when the Mogul of good times beckons them, in other words, the magical October-November period.