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Baby care is a 24×7 job. Constant monitoring of your children’s needs and ensuring their healthy growth, timely stock-taking of their requirements and refilling the same is an arduous task. Today’s working or stay-at-home moms find it difficult to step out for their little one’s day-to-day needs. Time constraints, traffic and leaving the kid at home to stock up on the essentials, put more pressure on young mothers. However, things have changed for the better over the last few years, thanks to online shopping. We now get our products delivered at our doorstep.
Online shopping has gone to the next level with a wide range of discounts and offers and services such as next-day delivery and easy returns. Baby care and baby wear is slowly turning out to be a huge market in India. The last couple of years have seen a number of dedicated child-care websites blooming. Also, most of the key players in the online world, such as Flipkart and Amazon, are adding a ‘Baby Products’ department to their existing catalogue.
Supam Maheshwari, CEO & Founder, Firstcry.com, says, “Though the market is super big — almost 8 billion US dollars — there are lots of challenges selling kids clothing online. We are innovating several strategies to win the trust of mothers.” Firstcry.com has an inventory of more than 70,000 items from over 700 top Indian and international brands.
Most local pharmacies or kids’ stores would not be able to match up to this variety. Not just in clothing and toys, even specific items such as feeding bottle nipples or massage oils are offered by a wide range of brands. One no longer ‘buys what is available’.
Moreover, the ease of products being delivered to your doorstep is unparalleled. S. Chitra, a young stay-at-home mom, swears by online shopping, citing it as the practical solution for today’s busy moms. “Initially, I used online shopping to stock up on diapers and other essentials as they were offered at attractive prices. But now, I browse through toys and clothing sections as well — and I am pretty satisfied with the variety these sites offer,” she adds.
Hopscotch.in offers access to the most sought-after children’s brands from around the world. Rahul Anand, CEO and founder, says, “Every day, we launch new limited-time boutiques, which last for three-seven days, after which they are gone. Members receive a daily email revealing the latest boutiques and their collections as soon as they go live on the site.” He shares that his experience working with Diapers.com, New York, was where the idea to start Hopscotch.in, back home, was born. “I would receive long shopping lists from moms in India who needed better pricing and assortment than what was available here then.” Talking about unique marketing strategies and ideas to retain customers,Firstcry.com has come up with a novel Firstcry Box programme. As congratulations on the birth of their child, 60,000 parents across 6,000 hospitals now receive free gift boxes each month across the country.
Buying clothes for infants and kids can be quite exacting. Each brand’s sizing measurements differ from the other and it is quite difficult to visualise before buying him/her that lovely online dress. Luckily, most websites have an “easy returns” policy that saves the hassle. One would just have to read the conditions about returns and cancellations carefully before purchasing the product online.
The only hitch with these websites is the plethora of coupon codes that could be used to claim discounts or freebies. People buying in a hurry, or not-so-astute net-users, would probably find it confusing and complicated. “You need the right amount of patience and familiarity with the website to get the best deals out of your purchase,” advises Chitra.
www.firstcry.com – For a wide variety of offers throughout the year
www.hopscotch.in – For a boutique-style experience for kids shopping
www.babyoye.com – For many in-house brands for comfortable kidswear