In a time when online stores in India are gaining popularity there is good news for consumers as well. According to a study, consumers are saving 15-60 per cent on the purchase of mobile phones from e-commerce sites when compared to offline stores.
A study by Sulekha.com, an online listing and e-commerce site, has claimed that consumers who have bought feature phones in the month of August through the top 15 online stores in India have saved around 50-60 per cent on the actual MRP and, on the other hand, offline retailers offer only about 5-8 per cent discount on the actual MRP.
Reports further highlight that savings on smartphones are in the range of 15-20 per cent and over and above that consumers also look for bank-specific or product-specific coupon codes to save additional money while buying mobiles online.
Consumers of certain popular banks like Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, etc. get preferential treatment from several e-commerce sites.
Param Parameswaran, chairman of Sulekha.com, said, “Consumers in India are hugely benefiting from free shipping, no additional credit card costs (that are common in offline retailers), free 3-month EMIs and other facilities, besides the low prices offered by leading e-commerce players. I see this trend continuing for next 6 to 12 months.”
Though the study points to a trend which is very close to reality, our own estimates suggest that in metros the price difference between offline and online is not as stark as is pointed out. However, in tier three and below the report is very much on target, and the ground reality is that most online transactions are from metros currently, therefore the benefit might not really be huge. But there is no denying that the online space does offer an interesting and cost effective alternative to offline retail stores for gadget shopping.