Lower discounts, slowdown hit online shopping: Report

A dip in buying sentiment across sectors has hit online shopping, according to a report in The Economic Times.

Consumer spending on online shopping sites is expected to decline 21 percent in the first half of 2019, the newspapers said, citing a report by market research firm Kantar.

The average ticket size during the same six-month period had fallen 27 percent, it said.

But spending will see a “bounce back” in the second half, when most ecommerce marketplaces hold huge sales during the festival season.

“The overall economic slowdown is reflecting in consumer sentiment with respect to online shopping,” Hemant Mehta, MD (insights division) at Kantar told ET.

“Consumers seem to be cautious and taking their time before making purchases.”

The dip in buyers and sales is partly due to a cut in discounts, which nearly halved between 2018 and 2019, the report added.

The number of buyers in the mobile-phones category dropped 17 percent, while the fashion segment saw a decline of 16 percent compared with the same period last year, the report said.

The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space beat the trend, seeing a 17 percent jump in buyers.

A Flipkart spokesperson told The Economic Times that the company was seeing good growth.

The contribution of smartphones above Rs 15,000 had increased significantly in the past two quarters, an Amazon spokesperson told the publication.

Flipkart will hold its annual Big Billion Days Sale this year from September 29 to October 4. Amazon has not yet announced the dates for its Great Indian Festival sale.

The ecommerce majors have raised orders ahead of the Navratri-Diwali sale, according to a media report.