online shopping

Tiring day at college, I couldn’t handle six hours of economics, all that I wanted to do was to get home and crash. As any other day, I did the same, but what happened then is magical and that’s what makes this day an experience that I shall recall any day. 11th February, 2013 after a busy day at school, I drove home amidst the chaotic traffic in OMR, my watchman’s sulky wave didn’t bring any cheer after all. Not noticing the scheduled two-hour power shut down I frantically kept pressing the button waiting for the rusty doors of my elevator to open, ten minutes of wasted waiting I realized it was never going to come, then I took the stairs fairly the longest journey it seemed.

The third floor never would come, how much ever I climbed, it never came, after an irritated climb 5 minutes later, I finally arrived at my door. Such a relief when I saw my bedroom with all the dry clothes as a pile and the coffee mug by the corner of the table, my socks on the floor, I just realized that I was HOME. Next thing I knew I was on the bed, THAT IS EXACTLY WHEN my mother came in and said she wanted to go shopping. I try hard to postpone but ultimately you cannot afford to go hungry after a tiring day and hence I agree. The point is when we Indians need something, we first aren’t sure about what we actually need and when we do, we do not know where to get it from and when we know the place, we have second thoughts about buying the item and when you are completely sure about what we need we have second thoughts about the price and when all of this works out you are too tired to buy and use the item and ultimately end up with a cheap and a low quality substitute of what you wanted, in the end aren’t we the land of arranged marriages.

I reluctantly get out of my bed and try to put my things together, change my uniform and me and my mom catch an auto rickshaw. Four rejections later we finally get an auto who doesn’t get down to our price but anyway you cannot have the cake and eat it too. When I try to fall asleep in the auto, HONK!! I am again woken up by the endless honking of some random uncle on an Enfield, maybe he bought it to fight his feelings of mid-life crisis. Anyway after two hours, we reach the store only to see the store manager’s sorry face saying they just ran out of stock. How could I ever forget that day it was like the best, it just left me tired and annoyed to such a level that I slept for nearly ten hours after reaching home.

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That was the time when online shopping was on catching up in India. And in our country when Sharmaji’s son does something we do the same be it engineering or online shopping. But in this case Sharmaji’s son did something really good to me. The next day he just ordered what my mom wanted through his laptop which he had recently won at a quiz competition, back to the matter anyway that day I actually was not annoyed by the fact that my mom had asked me to learn something from him.

Online shopping is like the first time experience of eating a vada pav, everybody praises it to an extent where you feel that one bite of vada pav will take you to the moon. But when you try vada pav, all you do is ask the shopkeeper the price of it and when he says its only 15 bucks you ask him to pack three more.

The big question here is that whether the consumer would ever attain the point of satiety where all the marginal utility added to the experience goes into negative. Online shopping in India started off somewhere around 2011 and 5 years down the lane, we have now reached a point where we are now ready to buy even jewelry online. As we know everything is a big bubble and each bubble has a set of pros and cons which it has to balance and when the balance is gone the bubble bursts. Compared to the United States, online shopping in our country is still in its infancy but considering big players like Amazon, Ebay and Flipkart are playing their games it is a little skeptic on our part to think of the flip-side.

The online shopping fad has just caught our attention and we Indians follow the English in things like these, we do not easily take our hands off anything until we have completely exhausted all of its benefits and then leave it off completely. So we Indians have explored less than one percent of the possibilities of such an amazing concept. Hence we can expect this trend to reach its heights in the next five to ten years until we find a suitable replacement for such a concept.

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Any service like this goes through three stages in a country like hours. The first stage is where only the elite and the upper-middle class people would experiment with it and reap its benefits and with the passage of time the next section of the strata get to try their hands on it and finally everybody in the society uses it, at this stage the service is at its maximum heights and finally there is another suitable replacement which is then followed by everybody and ultimately an era ends. Ultimately all good things have to end and even this would pass.

So my personal concluding remarks on the online shopping fad is that it would last for another eight to ten years and till then we can completely reap the benefits of it as we the consumers require maximum satisfaction and the producer requires maximum profits. But in the pursuit of satisfaction, we cannot afford to lose even if we do not gain from it. With that being said, I an avid user of online shopping sites sign off.


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