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article imageIndian online stores see sales spurt thanks to festive season

By Sravanth Verma     Oct 9, 2014 in Business
Indian online stores have been enjoying a windfall of sorts thanks to a spike in online shopping for items in the religion and spirituality category, during the festive season over the past 45 days.
The period beginning with the festival of Janmashtami in August, which celebrates the birth of the Hindu god Krishna, to the 10-day Dussehra festival that concluded on October, which celebrates the worship of the goddess, has seen sales across a diverse spectrum of retailers. The idea of what spirituality and religion is, is quite diverse in India, and accordingly, sales spikes are being seen in stores dedicated to the niche, as well more general product stores such as clothing and furniture.
Sales of prasad, religious edible offerings from temples, have tripled for retailer OnlinePrasad. Founder Goonjan Mall expects revenues to triple by end of October, as compared to August. "Consumers are opting for combo offers (with a minimum of three prasad offerings), which is four times the ticket value of a single prasad order," says Mall.
Shopclues, an online marketplace of 25,000 merchants, is seeing sales of 400 yantras a day. Yantras are auspicious geometric designs that are thought to support and individual in various endeavors. Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, co-founder and CMO of shopclues.com says that their most popular yantra is the Mahalakshmi yantra, which is supposed to bring wealth and happiness. Ghai claims that the store is experiencing a seven-fold rise in revenues since last year.
New Delhi-based furniture and home decor online store FabFurnish is also seeing a rise in revenue thanks to its newly opened sprituality category. Their top selling products in this category include idols and prayer accessories. "Last year we were caught unawares by the demand for products related to spirituality, which is why we took a conscious decision to establish a dedicated category this year. The results have been good, with average per person spend in the category having doubled to around Rs 1,800," says Vikram Chopra, founder and CEO, fabfurnish.com. Chopra also says that there is a rising trend of making purchases to give gifts.
The religion and spirituality market in India is estimated at 30 billion dollars, and the retailers expect to see a sustained rise in sales in the future. Mall, for example, says, "India is a country of festivals. There are at least two to three festivals per month."
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