Aadi Thallupaddi — the month-long discount sale during the Tamil month of Aadi (July 16 to August 15) — is the most anticipated annual shopping time at Chennai’s famous T Nagar market. However, with Covid-19 acting as a spoiler this year, some of the retailers are using ‘video shopping’ as a tool to allow shoppers enjoy the shopping from their home. This year, the Aadi Thallupaddi starts on Thursday, the first day of the Tamil month of Aadi.
Sujatha Ram, a housewife, goes on a shopping spree during Aadi Thallupaddi every year. However, this year she will miss the physical shopping but will use ‘video shopping’ to do her purchase. ‘Video shopping’ may not be as satisfying as physical shopping but is a good alternative in the present situation, she says.
And, textile store Pothys has made life simple for Sujatha this year. She just needs to give a missed call to a toll-free number. An executive from Pothys will call her on a video call to give her the best shopping experience while staying at home.
An exclusive salesman assigned for Sujatha will show her the range of sarees that she wants to have a look at. Once she selects the saree/s, payment is made online and the saree/s will be delivered at her doorstep, says an advertisement by Pothys in the social media. It is a new experiment for the company and new experience for the consumer, said an official at Pothys.
GRT Jewellers also offers such ‘video shopping’ experience. A customer can see the collection of jewellery at the showroom, compare and shortlist; ask questions and make the choice through a live video chat. On making the payment, the customer can collect the jewellery from the showroom or at their homes, according to information on the GRT website.
So, are tools like ‘video shopping’ the future of shopping? ‘Video shopping’ is just another window of opportunity for customers but there is a long way to go. People would love to wear, feel and admire the jewellery before buying it, said N Anantha Padmanaban, Chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council, and Managing Director of NAC Jewellers.
Agreeing with Padmanaban, Pankaj Kamal Chetan, Founder & CEO, iLoveDiamonds.com, Chennai, and Managing Director of Khwaahish Diamonds, said when it comes to jewellery and textile, people prefer buying physically not virtually. However, the retail landscape has changed and ‘video shopping’ will become a necessity for consumer segments that need personal engagement.
Retailers have to adapt to this change or perish. Retailers who are ignoring digitalisation, should realise that their consumers are becoming tech savvy. The jewellery industry has slowly woken up to the needs of consumers to get digital post the Covid pandemic. Digitisation is the most sought solution for retailers today, he said.
But, for Saroja Narasimhan, a housewife, shopping is all about feeling the product and buying it. She has decided to keep off from Aadi Thallupadi shopping this year.
For others who want to try, a whole new experience awaits them this Aadi.