FOMO Drives Indians to Shop Online: The Festival Spree of 2023!

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FOMO Drives Indians to Shop Online: The Festival Spree of 2023!
14 Oct 2023
5 min read

Blog Post

Introduction: India, renowned for its diverse cultural heritage, finds its zenith in October and November. In the heart of these two months lies a plethora of festivals. From the rhythmic beats of Dandiya during Navaratri to the dazzling lights of Diwali, every festival has its shopping significance.
Traditional outfits, jewellery, decorations, and sweets, among others, top the shopping lists. But with the massive shift to online shopping, what are the expected trends for 2023?

Embracing the Digital Shift: India's Online Festival Shopping Bonanza 2023!

For starters, personalization is paramount.
E-commerce platforms are no longer just transactional spaces; they aim to recreate the offline shopping experience online. Interactive sessions, virtual try-ons, and chat bots guiding users are becoming ubiquitous. Then there's the trend of sustainable shopping. As environmental concerns loom large, eco-friendly products, be it clothes, decorations, or gifts, are witnessing a surge in demand.

Local artisans and businesses are also gaining a spotlight online. 'Vocal for Local', an initiative that emphasizes the promotion of indigenous products, has gained traction. As a result, handcrafted items, which encapsulate the true essence of Indian festivities, are much sought after.

In essence, the months of October and November in 2023 are not just about the festivals. They represent a blend of tradition and modernity, a fusion of offline and online, and most importantly, they symbolize the spirit of India, where the past coexists harmoniously with the present.

As we anticipate the festive season, one thing is clear- the heartbeats of celebration and shopping are ready to resonate in the digital realm!

India's Festive Vibrancy and E-Commerce Evolution

While the fragrance of festive delicacies wafts through the air, there's an unmistakable undertone of excitement from the buzzing shoppers.
This shopping spree, deeply rooted in traditions, is now witnessing an evolution.

As traditions meet modernity, the age-old fear of missing out (FOMO) has been amplified, now manifesting in the realm of online shopping. With e-commerce platforms launching exclusive festive collections, limited-time offers, and flash sales, the sense of urgency propels many to dive into the digital shopping realm lest they miss out on something special.

Eager to understand how 2023 shapes up in terms of festivals and online shopping trends that are anticipated, especially with FOMO acting as a driving force? 

Let's embark on an exploration of India's festive wave of 2023 narrating the tales of traditions, rituals, and unity.
Dive in…

FOMO, The Induced Digital Festival Wave- The fear of missing out, commonly known as FOMO, isn't just a modern-day social media phenomenon. It's a genuine human emotion, deeply rooted in our collective psyche. With the evolving digital landscape, businesses have tactfully harnessed this sentiment to boost their online sales, especially during the festive season.

Traditional vs. Modern: The Evolving Facets of Festive Shopping

The allure of traditional marketplaces during festivals is undeniable. The sights and sounds, the bustling crowd, the aroma of festive delicacies- they offer an experience. Yet, the convenience, variety, and sheer comfort of online shopping are swaying many.

As 2023 witnesses a blend of tradition and modernity, many e-commerce platforms are offering ‘Festival Experience Zones’. These are virtual spaces that not only allow users to shop but also experience the festival's essence digitally. From virtual Ramlila enactments for Dussehra to online Diwali Pujas, these platforms bridge the gap between tradition and technology.

“Due to this feature, along with attractive deals on high average selling price (ASP) items and easy financing options like No-Cost EMIs, consumers locked in their choices in advance to avoid FOMO on these deals later during the actual festive sale period,” said Redseer.

Accordingly, Day 0 or the Early Access Day, saw a 10 times increase in sales over the business as usual (BAU) for e-commerce websites running sales. The first day saw an over 7 times increase in sales over BAU.

He added, that the industry is expected to improve in business and consumer sentiment to last, resulting in "better and stable growth for e-commerce not only this festival season but in the next few years as well."

He also stated- "Premiumization as a theme is clearly being seen in this festive season as consumer discretionary spending in high ticket categories has done well. Further, the steady growth in overall sales and high ASP categories reinforces the belief in the strength of the Indian consumption story.” 

FOMO: The Underlying Force Driving Online Shopping Habits

The concept of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) isn't a novel one.
Yet, it has found a pronounced manifestation in the digital era. This psychological phenomenon taps into the inherent human desire to be part of trending actions, ensuring they're not left out of experiences, conversations, or, in this context, the best deals.

In the bustling festival season of 2023, retailers have cleverly utilized FOMO as a tactic.
Flash sales with a countdown timer, limited-edition festive items, and early-bird offers for the festival season are ubiquitous on online platforms. These create an urgency amongst shoppers, pressing them to make quick purchasing decisions.

Furthermore, personalized advertisements, using advanced AI algorithms, remind users of items left in their cart, enhancing the FOMO effect. These ads aren’t merely nudging consumers; they are echoing the sentiments of not missing out on a festive deal that's tailored just for them.

Exclusive Deals & Flash Sales: Tapping into Festive FOMO

One can't help but notice how e-commerce giants strategically play on the FOMO psyche.
Flash sales, exclusive deals, and limited-time offers have become synonymous with online festive shopping.
The thought of missing out on an exclusive Diwali deal or a limited-stock Navratri ensemble can drive traffic in droves to these platforms.

FOMO & The Desire for Digital Exclusivity

Today, FOMO is not just about missing out on discounts or deals. It's about missing out on exclusive, curated experiences. Brands no longer just sell products; they sell experiences. The special edition sarees, custom festive kits, or even festival-themed virtual events hosted by top brands- all induce a sense of urgency and exclusivity. The underlying message? "Be a part of this, or miss out."

Social Media: The Modern Pied Piper of Festive Shopping Trends

While online marketplaces have their strategies, it’s the social media platforms that play the contemporary pied piper. Influencers adorning ethnic wear, unboxing festive goodies, or decorating their spaces for Diwali- create an aspirational image, one that their followers yearn to emulate.

Instagram, with its visual aesthetics, has become the modern-day catalogue for festive shopping. From ornate lanterns for Diwali to vibrant ethnic wear for Durga Puja, the platform is awash with inspiration. When these posts come tagged with links or brand tags, it creates a seamless transition from aspiration to purchase, enhancing the shopping experience.

How Major E-commerce Players Harness FOMO

The likes of Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and Jio Mart have masterfully utilized FOMO- driven strategies. They not only announce mega sales but strategically leak 'sneak peeks' of their upcoming offers. This tactic builds anticipation and ensures their audience is glued to their platform, ready to grab the best deals before they vanish.

Limited-Time Festive Collections & Collaborations

Another rising trend is brands collaborating for exclusive festive collections. These limited-edition collaborations not only draw attention due to their exclusivity but also because consumers fear missing out on owning a unique piece that their peers might flaunt.

Empowering Rural India: The New Frontier for E-commerce Giants

A significant trend observed in 2023 is the outreach of e-commerce platforms to rural India.
With improved connectivity and payment infrastructures, rural areas are emerging as a lucrative market.
Festivals hold immense significance in these areas, and the demand for goods, both traditional and modern, is skyrocketing.

Platforms are now providing regional language support, ensuring that the shopping experience is smooth for everyone, irrespective of language barriers.
They're also partnering with local artisans, promoting indigenous crafts and products, thereby supporting the rural economy.

India's Grand Festive Season

A Blend of Tradition and Modernity October and November are perhaps the most celebrated months in India, graced with the sparkle of Diwali, the fervor of Navratri, and the splendor of Dussehra (Vijayadashami). These festivals are not just spiritual rendezvous but also socio-cultural gatherings, giving rise to family reunions, feasts, and of course, shopping sprees.

A Glimpse into India’s Grand Festive Line-Up

Navaratri

The Dance of Devotion Spanning nine nights, Navaratri venerates the divine feminine. The festival sees an explosion of colors, with dandiya and garba dances being the highlight. Shopping for vibrant chaniya cholis, jewelry, and dandiya sticks peaks during this time.

Diwali

The Festival of Lights Perhaps the most iconic of all, Diwali illuminates India. Celebrating the return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya, people shop for diyas, rangoli, new outfits, and sweets, transforming homes into luminous wonderlands.

Other Indian Festivals and Their Essence

Beyond these, there are countless other festivals like Durga Puja, celebrating the goddess Durga's victory over the buffalo demon, and Bhai Dooj, celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters.

Exploring the Rise of Online Shopping Fever During India’s Festive Season 2023!

Arief Mohamad, VP – customer growth and loyalty, Flipkart, said, “Through innovative technology, diverse affordable payment options, and a truly accessible marketplace, we continue to redefine the shopping experience for millions of customers in India.”

The Allure of Online Shopping

A New Age Revolution With the dawn of the digital era, traditional shopping methods have seen a transformative shift. Online platforms, with their lucrative offers, variety of choices, and the comfort of shopping from home, have captivated the imagination of the Indian consumer. 

The convenience of browsing through a plethora of options, comparing prices at click, and having items delivered at one's doorstep is reshaping the shopping dynamics of the country.

The Digital Shift: E-commerce Taking the Festive Center Stage

“In just the first three days, we have seen customers spending more than 100 million hours shopping on Meesho, with categories such as footwear, fashion accessories as well as home & kitchen garnering more than 15 orders per second,” said a Meesho spokesperson.

Reinventing the Shopping Wheel

While traditional markets brimmed with people in yesteryears, the narrative is shifting.
E-commerce platforms are burgeoning, offering a plethora of choices without the need to jostle through crowds.

Personalization at its Best

2023 sees a trend where online platforms strive to emulate the tangible shopping experience. Features like virtual try-ons, interactive chat bots, and curated shopping lists aligned with festive needs are becoming prominent.

Sustainability

The New Shopping Mantra With global emphasis on sustainability, eco-friendly products are becoming the rage. Be it eco-conscious clothing or biodegradable decor, the Indian consumer is becoming increasingly aware and is actively making green choices.

'Vocal for Local'

Celebrating Homegrown Brands The push for indigenous products is gaining momentum. Handcrafted items, reflecting the authentic essence of Indian festivals, are witnessing a surge in demand. 

Local artisans and craftsmen are finally getting their well-deserved spotlight in the digital arena.

Harnessing FOMO

The Digital Catalyst One of the primary drivers behind this shift to online shopping is the crafty use of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) by e-commerce platforms.

Limited-time deals, exclusive launches, flash sales, and countdown timers - all these strategies create a sense of urgency, pushing consumers to grab the best deals before they're gone.

The festive season, coupled with FOMO, becomes a potent mix, compelling users to frequently check these platforms, lest they miss out on the best offers.

“Each year, festive season sales break new records in terms of order volumes. Even smaller sellers have embraced technology and increased their inventory to meet the growing consumer demand. As a technology provider to thousands of these companies, we are committed to offering them a robust tech platform that enables them to efficiently manage the surge in orders and improve order processing, to enhance customer experience,” said Kapil Makhija, CEO of Unicommerce.

Top Five Online Shopping Players in India (2023):

Flipkart

Speciality: Founded in 2007, Flipkart stands out with its extensive range of products and in-house brands. Their timely sales events, especially the "Big Billion Days," captivate a broad audience.

Product Offering: From electronics to fashion, home essentials to groceries, Flipkart offers a plethora of choices, ensuring there's something for every shopper.

Amazon India

Speciality: A global giant, Amazon India provides a seamless shopping experience with its Prime offerings which includes expedited shipping, exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and the festive time mega offering by the name of- Amazon Great Indian Festival

Product Offering: Known for its vast product categories, Amazon India particularly excels in electronic goods, books, and home appliances.

Myntra

Speciality: Myntra, an offshoot of Flipkart, specializes in fashion. Their intuitive user interface and style recommendations based on user preferences make it a go-to for fashion enthusiasts.

Product Offering: Focused primarily on apparel, footwear, and accessories, Myntra offers both international and homegrown brands.

JioMart

Speciality: Emerging as a fierce competitor, JioMart's integration with local kiranas (small retail stores) enables it to deliver groceries swiftly, thus revolutionizing grocery shopping in India.

Product Offering: While they began with groceries, JioMart is gradually expanding its portfolio to include electronics, fashion, and more.

Tata CLiQ

Speciality: As part of the Tata Group, Tata CLiQ merges the trustworthiness of the Tata brand with the convenience of online shopping. Their "CLiQ and PiQ" service allows customers to order online and pick up from the store.

Product Offering: Spanning across categories like electronics, fashion, and home appliances, Tata CLiQ offers a curated range of products emphasizing quality and trust.

By blending technology with market insights, these platforms not only cater to the diverse needs of the Indian consumer but also shape the trajectory of online shopping in the country.

Each platform, with its unique offerings and specialties, ensures that the Indian e-commerce landscape remains vibrant, competitive, and customer-centric.

“More than 30,000 sellers saw over 2X growth in orders during the onset of the sale. Top selling products included sarees, watches, bluetooth headphones and toys,” said Meesho spokesperson.

The FOMO-Induced Trends for 2023

As online platforms continue to evolve, there are a few trends shaping the 2023 festive season:

Personalized Shopping Experiences

Platforms are now offering tailored shopping suggestions based on users' browsing history and preferences, ensuring that shoppers are presented with what they're most likely to purchase.

Augmented Reality (AR) Try-Ons

Especially in the fashion and accessory sectors, AR is allowing consumers to 'try on' products virtually, enhancing the shopping experience and reducing the chances of product returns.

Environmentally Conscious Shopping

With rising awareness about sustainability, many consumers are leaning towards eco-friendly products. Platforms highlighting 'green' products are likely to see a surge in sales.

Cross-platform Shopping

The seamless integration of social media with e-commerce platforms means consumers can now shop directly through their favorite social media apps. This intertwining has made impulse purchases more frequent, with FOMO acting as a significant catalyst.

As October and November roll in, India becomes a land of colors, lights, and festivity. And as the streets light up with traditional lamps and lanterns, the digital world too illuminates with offers, sales, and shopping carts waiting to be filled. 

FOMO, the modern-day emotion, ensures that the Indian consumer is always on the lookout, ready to snag the best deals and make the most of the digital shopping spree of 2023.

“On the opening day, categories like beauty and personal care and jewellery recorded over 100 per cent growth in demand during the same period last year. Our much-loved Gen Z proposition, FWD, also saw an uptick in demand of 3X over business as usual (BAU) with consumers across metros and non-metros alike,” said Neha Wali, head of revenue and growth, Myntra.

Concluding on the Rise of Online Shopping FOMO for India’s Festive Season 2023!

As we close the curtains on our festive expedition, one cannot help but marvel at the interplay of tradition, modernity, and psychology in shaping our shopping behaviours.
The FOMO phenomenon, though not new, has found a robust expression in the digital age.

With e-commerce platforms leveraging this sentiment, consumers are urged to make quicker purchase decisions, fearing they might miss out on exclusive products or deals. The digital festival spree of 2023 bears testament to this trend, witnessing record-breaking sales, innovative shopping features, and a blend of traditions preserved and reimagined.

As India marches ahead, embracing technological advancements, one thing remains constant: the nation's zeal to celebrate and the underlying FOMO ensuring everyone remains a part of the festivities, even if it's from behind a screen.

“Over the years, this annual event has not only transformed the way Indians shop, but has also embodied our resolve to make e-commerce accessible and affordable for the entire ecosystem. This 10-year milestone reflects our relentless pursuit of innovation and our commitment to the larger economy,” said Arief Mohamad, Vice President- Customer Growth and Loyalty, Flipkart.

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