Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Home Shopping

They said that Internet penetration was not enough in India and people are afraid to pay online, so shopping from the net is not a viable option.
So now we have the concept of shopping channels pioneered by Network 18, Star etc. They are 24 hour channels which will have live feed and people can buy from their TV – No problem of penetration as all houses especially in tier 2, 3 cities(the primary target market as these cities don’t have the big brands which people aspire for) have TV’s and housewives don’t have to learn to operate it. Considering the size of modern retail being estimated at $200 bn by 2012, home shopping has tremendous potential.
But it will have to overcome some of the basic Indian buying behavior problems or in other words “educate the customer”

1. Establishing Trust
The problem with internet shopping has been establishing trust. No doubt with brand names like Star and Network 18, they have the brand image to push things.

2. Quality of ads on the channel
When you say home shopping or teleshopping, what comes to mind are those silly ads which has foreigners with 6 pack bodies, a ridiculous hindi voiceover (which has been a topic to mimic in Laughter Challenge), selling some health equipment. Who buys those products seeing those ads?

3. Buying Mentality
Even if we have to buy simple things like utensils, we have a habit of going to 3 – 4 shops, checking them out by touching and feeling, bargaining and then buying it. Nothing of that sort is possible while buying from a TV. And may be is the greatest challenge in e-commerce.

4. Early adopters
No doubt, just like any new technology, this channel needs to have its early adopters – who would adopt the channel and promote it by talking about it. Are these early adopters going to come in the form of tier-2, tier-3 housewives or youngsters from metro cities?

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