In 2021, the value of Diwali sales crossed INR 1.25 lakh crore (nearly 1 trillion) in India, which is considered a record figure in over a decade. eCommerce firms experienced a growth of 23% in sales and sold products worth $4.6 billion online. This year, too, the value of Diwali buys is expected to grow, with a definitive rise in the number of shoppers making purchases online.
Since the value of products purchased online is expected to rise, eCommerce merchants must be prepared for the influx of traffic. They will also need to step up their game to keep up with the competition. Here’s a snapshot of upcoming festive season trends and how eCommerce merchants can gear up to meet the needs of consumers.
4 online trends for this festive season
With every festive season, eCommerce merchants must be prepared to serve their customers based on upcoming needs. Festivals are expensive occasions, and with advances in technology, shoppers are inclined to adopt various options that help them optimize their shopping experiences and budgets. Here’s a rundown of upcoming trends for this year:
1. Consumers to embrace shopping via affordable payment options
The festive season is an expensive time because consumers have extensive shopping lists for friends, colleagues, and family. It is a time when eCommerce merchants offer a wide range of products at attractive prices. The market is also flooded with new products that are on millions of shopping wishlists.
Hence, smart shoppers will prioritize shopping from marketplaces and eCommerce businesses that offer access to credit options. Plural’s Affordability Suite comprises of various payment options available in the market for businesses to be able to make products/services affordable to customers. These include payment methods like EMI, Pay Later, and offers such as No-Cost EMI and discounts and cashbacks. Using credit options, shoppers can seamlessly turn big ticket purchases into equated monthly instalments, which they can pay off at leisure while being able to afford their guilt-free Diwali buys.
2. Increased shopping across multiple channels
Today, shoppers want the option of being able to make online purchases from any channel of their preference. They don’t need to visit an eCommerce merchant’s website or app, to browse and purchase products.
A growing number of online shoppers do the bulk of their shopping via messaging apps like WhatsApp and social media platforms such as Instagram because these are the places where they hang out. This festive season, the number of shoppers making purchases via multiple channels is expected to grow.
Hence, eCommerce businesses that enable shopping and payments via multiple channels will have a competitive edge. Being set up to accept payments from any channel, they have the potential to drive up revenues faster than competitors. It is advisable for eCommerce merchants to spruce up their multi-channel marketing strategies in time for the festive season. Remember, the more channels, the merrier.
3. Increased adoption of buy now, pay later
Access to credit, in the form of credit cards, has been closed off to millions of consumers. The rigidity of credit card companies in terms of consumer eligibility has given rise to an alternative form of credit known as Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). A major benefit of BNPL is that consumers make a percentage of the payment for their purchases upfront.
On the other hand, if they took a personal loan to fund their Diwali buys, they would need to pay interest, which is not the case with BNPL. A study released by UK-based market research firm YouGov earlier this year predicted a bright future for BNPL in India, with as many as 22% of Indian consumers using it from January 2022 to April 2022.
This festive season, the adoption of the BNPL is thus expected to rise. India is also projected to lead the way in the global adoption of BNPL, which is expected to close the credit gap for short-term purchases. Hence, it is critical for online businesses to ensure that BNPL is one of the payment options accessible to their customers.
4. Consumer preference for retailers with multiple payment options
Different consumers are comfortable with diverse payment options. For instance, some consumers prefer using a credit card. Others feel most comfortable with net banking. Some may prioritize mobile wallets, UPI platforms, or cash on delivery.
Most customers are very specific about the payment options they are most comfortable with, and it isn’t easy to convince them otherwise. Hence, it is in an eCommerce merchant’s best interest to offer multiple payment options.
According to a recent study by Baymard, 18% of shoppers abandoned their carts because they did not trust the site with credit card information, 9% did so as the site did not offer enough payment options, and 4% because their credit card was declined.
Hence, any marketplace or eCommerce merchant needs to offer as many payment options as possible. The last thing you want is for consumers to stash up their shopping carts with Diwali buys only to log out because their payment option of choice was missing. It is time to give consumers the power of choice unconditionally.
To keep pace with rising customer demands this festive season, eCommerce businesses must evaluate their payment gateway on its affordability quotient. The affordability suite enables customers to access several credit options, such as turning big purchases into EMIs with credit cards, cardless EMIs, and BNPL. They should also be able to run multiple offers without writing code.
Plural’s comprehensive Affordability Suite enables eCommerce businesses to offer their customers a wide range of payment options. Our superior UPI payment gateway comes enhanced with affordability suite features such as BNPL, EMI options, running offers, multiple payment avenues, custom branded pages, and easy integrations with key social media and messaging app platforms.
By making early investments in the affordability suite, businesses can capitalize on the retail rush during the festive season and optimize revenue growth.
Write to us at email@example.com to learn more about our Affordability Suite.
Amrita Konaiagari is a Marketing Manager at Plural by Pine Labs and Editor of the Plural blog. She has over 10 years of marketing experience across Media & Tech industries and holds a Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. She has a passion for home décor and is most definitely a dog person.