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View Poll Results: What is your online vs offline shopping strategy?
No strategy. I'll buy wherever I get the lower price 200 52.36%
I buy cheaper items online, and expensive stuff offline 107 28.01%
I buy expensive stuff online, and cheaper items offline 4 1.05%
I buy everything online only 30 7.85%
I buy everything offline only 4 1.05%
Other (please specify in your post) 37 9.69%
Voters: 382. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th November 2018, 12:43   #31
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

Other Depends on product.

The online purchase is best relied on branded products and ratings/reviews from customers especially on non branded items.
Generally, It has been cheaper to buy stuff online but the experience of shopping offline is worth the extra.
Personally, I find product catalogue huge online. It's a good start in understanding them and setting preferences. Choosing either mode depends upon deal and peaceful ownership.
A tried and tested item bought online from renowned reseller with cheaper list price and doorstep delivery is a great deal.
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Old 30th November 2018, 12:46   #32
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

My vote: Other (& hence specifying in this post)

I do not have a set criterion.

- If it comes to something as shoes, I prefer the traditional brick & mortar stores any day. Why? Comfort is important and would always prefer try before buy. Use only card.

- If it comes to my daily needs of fruits & veg, love going to nearby malls/super stores but use only card. The only concern is the availability of parking space.

- When it is some rare/classy/branded stuff which qualifies a rare taste, Indian/global online portals makes sense. A typical example is T-BHP store to buy myself a hoodie. Will I find it anywhere else or will it be customized to my handle? No. Similarly, some time ago was looking for a Tesla keychain. Found one only on ebay.uk. Ordered it from UK, ended up paying more on shipping though. Same goes with the DRLs for my car, got them imported from Thai through ebay.uk.

- Yet for certain standard branded items(with make/model/part no.) which are needed urgently such as electronics, I prefer online provided I know its a genuine. Price is important but doesn't come first.

- Its only the non-urgent and un/important (can be deferred) that I can wait to see a deal or a price drop. A typical example is going in for an add-on 128GB memory card for my dashcam or a second Jopasu duster.

Cheers!

Last edited by Nohonking : 30th November 2018 at 12:49.
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Old 30th November 2018, 14:02   #33
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

I am probably among the few that buy almost exclusively online.. Electronics to Fashion to Daily use items.. Current crop of e-commerce giants are extremely particular about fakes / bad experiences and go the extra mile in making sure the buyer comes first.. We do see an occasional bad experience but there are ways to address and make it right as well.. I doubt if you will see the same focus on customer centricity in offline retail as in online retail. Agreed that penetration needs to improve but this is the way of the future . Almost all offline retailers are facing pressure in US with Sears recently filing for bankruptcy

Online commerce is an extremely efficient way to bridge supply gaps to end consumer across regions at right price. For example I can buy a certified watch from Amazon.com site from here, which is available at only inflated prices in India.. I have also seen and interacted with folks who have taken their local business global though e-commerce.

Also I stick to a few brands and know my sizes well so fit is not an issue as well, not to forget some brilliant bargains while shopping online..
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Old 30th November 2018, 14:25   #34
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

OTHER - as a thumb-rule, stuff that depends on a touch-feel factor preferred offline, else everything else is always online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Even if I do buy an expensive item online, it's directly from the manufacturer. E.g. I got my phone from Samsung.com and laptop from Dell.com.
Just so you know ... most of these are actually operated by an authorized seller / distributor appointed solely for running the online brand store. In that sense, you're not really buying directly from the MANUFACTURER, and it would matter little if you bought from the brand store or any of the reputed online sellers (eg. Appario on Amazon, WS Retail on Flipkart etc).

Last edited by //HB : 30th November 2018 at 14:28. Reason: updated the rationale for OTHER
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Old 30th November 2018, 14:49   #35
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

Almost entirely online for non food items- 80% -90% amazon, 5% other portals, 5% offline

70% online for food/perishable - split even between amazon pantry and bigbasket

Even withw wood furniture, my experience online with certain sellers on erstwhile ebay and now on pepperfry has been extremely positive (better quality at 30-40% lower prices)

For expensive items though, I stick to only Amazon fulfilled and trusted sellers like cloudtail and Appario..

of late, I don't even feel like going through the hassle of driving/parking to get to a store and face poorly trained or indifferent sales staff (folks in Pune will identify very well with this)

The only negative experience I have had was (and I blame myself for it) was on a outdoor wifi-access point that I was about to order on amazon but spotted the same item by the same seller cheaper on paytm
Received a clearly used item - in all likelihood a customer returned piece - didn't bother a return since the item was working and it was a 3-4K purchase

Last edited by abhi182 : 30th November 2018 at 14:52.
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Old 30th November 2018, 14:54   #36
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

Talking about some numbers here. Titan watches (Market share of 60% in watch industry) reported online sale of 5-7% out of their entire sales revenue.

The trend is, people prefer to buy the cheaper and fast moving variants online, however when it comes to high end and mid variants, brick and mortar get all the foot falls.

Even in the spectacle industry, people prefer to touch and feel the product before deciding. Proof? Lenskart offline stores!

P.S. I am a franchisee for Titan Eye Plus and World of Titan.
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Old 30th November 2018, 16:03   #37
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

Nice thread. For me purchases are mixed but more inclined towards online shopping. Reasons for online shopping being no heavy lifting of stuff, all cards (including Amex) accepted, multiple offers (website offer + card/wallet offer).
I do offline shopping when I need the product immediately, or due to knowing that a particular shop is selling a particular good quality stuff. Sometimes it is also a way of helping my neighbourhood store, e.g. I do buy clothes online, but I go to a local known small shop for undergarments, socks, etc and I see that my purchases help him.

No one has added a comment about their purchase of airline/train ticket, hotels or holidays purchase. I don't remember when was the last time I had called up a hotel to ask for an availability, and make a direct booking with them. Same goes for airlines and train tickets. Last I went to railway reservation counter was probably 10 years back. For holiday packages, I'd say its mixed, bulk of it happening off-line.
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Old 30th November 2018, 17:52   #38
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

For anything that is cheap and not going to make my life worse if not available, i prefer to buy online. For everything else, i prefer a brick and mortar shop. Nothing like the joy of haggling and getting some bit of the sticker price knocked off.
And as far as travel shopping goes, yes i buy train tickets and air tickets online as it is easier in big towns but i prefer the ticket counters in small stations/towns as it can lead to some interesting conversations with perfect strangers over chai and Marlboro. For hotels, i usually stay in places i know and so no online booking is required. For new places, the first time i will book online, once i get to know the place better then something can always be worked out.

Last edited by N33raj : 30th November 2018 at 17:58. Reason: The bit about travel.
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Old 1st December 2018, 11:27   #39
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

Even though I work in the retail industry (providing manpower, branding, visibility, consumer promotions, etc), I tend to shop online for a lot of things. For white/brown/grey goods, I'd say about 40 to 50% of of my shopping is online.

Reasons I love online:
  • Multiple options to shop around.
  • Can do it from the comfort of my home.
  • Great discounts and deals.

Reasons I love offline:
  • Touch and feel of goods.
  • Instant gratification/delivery.
  • No worries in terms of DoA (Dead or damaged on arrival).
  • F2F customer service.
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Old 1st December 2018, 11:51   #40
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

I am averse to online except when the items cant be got in a brick and mortar store.

The BHPians who have posted before me have already listed the reasons why brick and mortar is still 90% of retail (after 24 years of Amazon) and while online is growing much faster, there will always be some sectors that will be the domain of brick and mortar.
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Old 1st December 2018, 14:02   #41
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

Let me share some insights I received from an ‘expert’.

About 9 months back, I was in Chikpet area of Bangalore to procure some equipment for my restaurant. Now those familiar with Bangalore know that Chikpet, along with its neighbouring KR Market is the largest and oldest market area in the city, often referred to as simply the ‘market’ by us locals.

As I was also in need of a secondary phone, I browsed a few shops to check out the suitable models and would have continued to so, until I ran into one very frustrated shop owner. The Gujarati gentleman had been observing me haggling with his salesman for quite some time. My bargaining tool had been the flipkart app open on my primary phone, which I was using to show the salesman the lowest price of the model, and how he was stupid to expect anything more.

“Sir will you please come here?”, asked the shop owner, inviting me to the cash counter. I gladly obliged, expecting some good deal here.

“Sir aap meri tarah purani generation ke ho. Aap samajhdar aadmi lagte ho”.

I don’t know what qualifies as purani generation, but I am 40 years old so I didn’t mind much. But by calling me samajhdar, I knew he was implying “No discount mongering like college students here!!”

Then he proceeded (in Gujarati accented Hindi, but I am translating into English. All the passion of his speech is lost in translation)….

“Sir these days phones are smart but shoppers are stupid. Most of them don’t even know that when they buy online they might be getting a refurbished product. Everyone is offering XX days ‘return policy’. What happens to these returned products? They are back for sale online after correction of the defect (if any that is). You will never know the difference. The online platforms are hand in glove! There is an entire unorganised market who’s job is simply to put these products back into brand new like condition. I know many such people myself, right in this market! That h****** (abuses) across the road has not sold a single genuine product in his lifetime. The further away a product is from its offline price, the higher the chances that it is a refurbished product. If you have to buy online buy from a retailer selling closest to the offline price. Now you will ask me how you can believe that I am not in the same game. Then I will show you my authorized dealer license. How many of these online retailers display their authorizations online?”

He proceeded to show me (supposedly) original copies of letters from OEMs certifying him as an authorized dealer.

“Aap to samajhdar aadmi lagte ho.” He said again, trying to persuade me into making a ‘smart’ decision.

It was a budget smartphone and a secondary one. I did not want to spend too much time on it. I handed over my debit card to him and completed the deal with a small discount. I thought since I had no way of figuring out anything anyways, let me give my business to this passionate guy who bothered to offer his two cents.
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Old 1st December 2018, 16:55   #42
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

I voted for no strategy.
But for veggies I prefer offline for freshness.
Smartphones, smaller electronics, online usually.
Large appliances - mixed mode
Groceries - online , usually cheaper
Cloths - mixed mode
Shoes - offline now after few bad experiences buying online
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Old 1st December 2018, 20:00   #43
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

1) Groceries - 95% offline
2) Dress - 75% offline
3) Shoes etc. - 75% offline
4) Electronics - 90% online
5) Books - Mostly online - Except for kids


If I find an item at offline is costlier by only 10 - 15%, I will by offline. That is just to support the local economy. That is the same reason that we buy groceries also offline.
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Old 1st December 2018, 23:39   #44
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

I prefer near 100% online shopping. From groceries, milk, clothes, white goods, electronics, books, cosmetics, shoes etc I prefer buying them all online. Reasons include largely convenience, better price, easy returns, no hassle of driving, fuel and parking costs and issues, time saving, variety. Been buying online since 2008. My first ever online purchase was a Dell Vostro laptop in 2008 for 40k inr and there has been no looking back since then. My current Amazon orders page says 214 orders in the last six months which is more than 1 orders per day on avg. Ofcourse all in my family use the same account.

I buy on SuprDaily, Amazon, Grofers and Flipkart (only appliances).

Grofers stopped stocking veggies. Veggies, fruits, fresh meat and small things like pens and safety pins are the only things I buy offline.

Fed up of listening to BS by shop keepers where they try to outsmart you and try to sell what they want to sell. Online prices I find them cheaper always. Its useless trying to haggle with them to match the online price. I better put my time and efforts elsewhere. They don’t stock good products but low margin ones and push what makes them more money.

Last edited by bharatbits : 1st December 2018 at 23:50.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 07:31   #45
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Default Re: Your Online vs Offline shopping strategy

You did the right thing. When you enter a shop and see all those eager beaver sales guys, you know that they're salaried. They depend on commissions to feed their family and send their kids to school. Look at the numerous lights used to light up the showroom, the logistics, the taxes, everything adds up. At the same time, I won't be taken for a ride. If offline charges a decent percentage more (I do look at online pricing), I don't mind spending just for the peace of mind - and in few cases, the experience. Can't imagine what would happen after online stores force every offline guy to shut shop.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Malyaj View Post
I handed over my debit card to him and completed the deal with a small discount. I thought since I had no way of figuring out anything anyways, let me give my business to this passionate guy who bothered to offer his two cents.
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