Perfecting the art of gifting
Shaloo Reddi, MD, Giftcart.com
IF YOU are confused on what to gift those you love — because you don’t know for sure about their likes or dislikes — then having an online friend suggesting what to gift could be a sure-shot life saver.
Speaking to Tehelka, Shaloo Reddi, Managing Director of one such online shopping portal, Giftcart. com, tells us about her newest venture, explaining the market and how it will be different from the gamut of gifting websites that abound.
Tell us about your website. How is it different from other such portals?
Giftcart is an online shopping-gifting website. We have captured a whole new experience in our gifting site to offer products by using powerful gift-wizard and gift-registry functionalities. People can search products by gender, personality, occasion or choose gifts based on gift experts’ advice. We offer beauty products and fragrances, flowers, cakes, electronics, mobiles, computers, home appliances, watches and accessories, books/DVDs, experiential gifts to begin with. We will be working on expanding these categories and will introduce new categories such as art & crafts, ethnic & novelty gifts, home décor & furnishing, apparel, luggage & leather, jewellery, and more lifestyle products. We will be coming out with e-giftcards and gifting coupons to replace ‘cash’ gifting.
Gifting is an an art, and we offer specialised products and services to our customers — so they keep coming back for more.
How popular is e-commerce and gifting/ shopping in India?
One out of seven products sold online are for international gifting. Gifting combined with e-commerce has huge potential. The gifting market is about $500 million, and 98 percent of it is through retail and offline models. The e-commerce market as a whole is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2015. Gifting share in the e-commerce market will increase by many times due to our hectic lifestyle. Birthday parties, family reunion, festivals, various occasions drive online gifting market considerably. Also, an online/virtual store gives you a vast range of choices and there is no dearth of space. Almost everything can be accommodated and that is what a real offline store lacks, restricted by the shelf space only a selected range of products is available.
What is the market you are aiming at and the price range of products offered?
We are aiming at all the cities in India and consumers from the varied economic classes and backgrounds.
We have products that would suit every salary package and background, starting from Rs 200 onwards. Everything that is charged under Rs 300 has nominal shipping charges attached whereas anything above Rs 300 is shipped for free.
At times the products delivered are not like the online image. How do you ensure that the customer is not cheated?
Of course we cannot guarantee 100 percent that the images on the website are exactly as the products we are selling. But if our customer is not very happy with it, we can review the product that we sent. Customer trust has to be built, and for us, customer trust is very important, and we will build it.
Have you noticed any particular gifting trends?
Gifts are becoming fancier and more stylish. For instance, gifts at weddings are no longer about cash or gold — it’s iPads and Rolex watches. The young and socially interconnected consumers want to use gadgets such as iPad to consume content. New editions of watches, smartphones are some of the most appealing gifts. Weddings are losing the traditional touch.
What role will social media play in promoting this idea?
Nearly one billion registered users on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels will be our first target. Social media promotions have challenged the traditional word-of-mouth marketing media, print and other advertising channels. Consumers are spending more time on social channels, hence marketing on social channels can certainly not be ignored.
Building e-commerce platform around social network is paramount to the business. In a few months to a few years’ time, every person who accesses internet will have Facebook or some social network account, and entire spectrum of marketing will be revolving around these channels.