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News updated at 2:29 AM IST

Shopping websites witness gold rush

New Delhi, April 26, 2013, IANS: 2:19 IST
You know online shopping has come of age in India when gold prices dip and coins are immediately made available in virtual stores to target not just the hip and tech savvy but also the traditional, hidebound homemaker who would otherwise head for the trusted family jeweller.

The sudden dip in prices of gold has seen a rush of sorts for the yellow metal online. Websites like jabong.com and snapdeal.com have tied up with popular jewellery retail outlets to sell gold coins of different weights — as less as two grams and as much as 50 grams.

“Since gold prices witnessed a steep fall, both demand and sale have gone up significantly in the last week. As gold prices crash, it becomes a good investment opportunity,” Mukul Bafana, co-founder of jabong.com, said.

From gold and that “oh-so-beautiful dress” to the latest book just out in the US and even toiletries, this really is India’s virtual age. A barrage of portals have made life easier for online shoppers with virtual stores, try-and-buy deals, EMI schemes and fluid return policies.

So it is that popular sites like jabong.com, myntra.com, yebhi.com, snapdeal.com, flipkart.com and homeshop18.com are fast pulling shopaholics away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores and helping them order in: from home, from offices or even on the move.

It appears to be a win-win situation for all.

The online retail market in India is expected to grow to Rs 70 billion by 2015 from the Rs 20 billion in 2011 as internet access improves, according to an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) survey.

“I leave home at 9 am and reach back at 9 pm. Apart from the weekend, there’s no time to even buy any toiletries! So, I end up ordering online, and I even get good discounts which I don’t get at my kinara shops,” Anupama Thakur, a 24-year-old marketing trainee, said.

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