People still prefer brick-and-mortar stores for lifestyle products, electronic goods: CCI report

Online shopping may be keeping buyers hooked, but there are certain categories of products for which brick-and-mortar stores are still the favourites for transactions, according to a report by CCI.

The report titled “Market study on e-commerce in India”, points out that for electronic/electrical appliances and lifestyle related products including apparels, shoes, accessories and fashion products, the respondents considered online as more of a supplementary channel”.

The “online-offline split” of sales of products can be understood in light of factors such as the nature of goods and the extent of the price differential between the sales channels.

A similar trend is observed with respect to hotel bookings. Based on the response received from hotels, the report points out that bookings via offline travel agents, corporate tie-ups and walk-in customers continues to be significant. This, even as online hotel bookings as a proportion of total bookings has been witnessing a rise.

But, many large brick-and-mortar retailers have started their own websites in order to complement their physical sales, even though smaller retailers are still relying on third party market platforms in order to access online consumers. In fact, there has been an emergence of several sellers who exist exclusively online, with no physical presence whatsoever.

The report, however, does note that online trade or e-commerce has led to increased price transparency even as there has been an increase in intensity of price competition across categories of goods. Basically, e-commerce has given a push to the idea of dynamic pricing, transforming the way price information is disseminated.