Thursday, June 07, 2012: 08:40:48 PM

Retail Guest Column

Online retailing of gifting items can be an enjoyable challenge - Suvir Khullar, Gifting Ideas

A company focusing on such a unique concept needs to plan a focussed marketing strategy to reach out to the target audience

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The concept of e-gifting is a rather new one. The idea behind online retailing of gifting items is to provide customers with unique and innovative products, which are sourced from across the world from various sources.

 
The potential in this space today is unlimited and growing with the growth of the online e-commerce industry. The ease that each consumer experiences or at least has come to expect in the buying process, due to the spurt in recent times of many online retailers, has given confidence to consumers to buy more and more online. They are now more comfortable with online purchasing. Our target audience is all the online buyers who are in search of innovative design based products for themselves or as gifts.
 
The main objective of such websites is to get people to visit the site. Any company focusing on such a unique concept needs to plan a focussed marketing strategy to reach out to the target audience by way of mailers, banners and alliances with relevant online and offline partners. Brand and product exposure is a key to their strategy and will lead to promotion by way of word of mouth. Social media is another important channel that any company plans to access in order to reach the design and quality conscious consumer.
 
Importance of online presence
 
With the consumer awareness regarding web having increasing exponentially, it is important for any organisation, especially retailers to have an online presence. The consumer behaviour is increasingly changing and people today not only use the web to book movie tickets or air tickets but spend time on buying products for themselves and gifts for their friends and family too. Also, with increased brand awareness, the online model provides better brand access to all, which physical retail can never achieve.
 
From industry experience one learns that it is important to create and maintain a good relationship with suppliers. As for example, the numerous alliances that players like Gifting Ideas have out of India and within helps them to gain exclusive access to a lot of innovative, thoughtful and interestingly designed products. Companies trying to focus on retailing of gifting items should first of all go with trends on how a product has done in other markets internationally and then get feedback locally on the collection being planned, the acceptability on pricing, before making a final decision on its inclusion in their range of products.
 
It is also important to have a proper supply chain installed in order to achieve success in the online retail world. Customers spend time and money buying from a faceless supplier. If their confidence and trust is broken, they are likely to never come back. On the other hand, if they were delivered their product promptly and in good condition, they are likely to do more and more of their purchases online, due to the sheer convenience and economies of online buying. Therefore, to get this right, one must have reliability in the stock quantities being offered for sale, an efficient back end and logistics set-up.
 
Suvir Khullar is the founder and director of Gifting Ideas

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