ASTROLOGICAL calculations might have deemed this time of the year as auspicious for weddings, but they definitely did not factor in the government’s demonetisation move, which has put a dampener on wedding spirits.
But help is at hand through innovative offerings by several enterprises that are aiding cashless weddings. From digital shaguns to wedding shopping to honeymoon travel, several e-commerce and digital wallet companies have come up with special stores for weddings.
Fintech firm Paytm, now also an e-commerce major, has launched digital shaguns that are easing consumers’ woes on the money-gifting front. Users can buy these online from Paytm’s gift card store and get them delivered instantly as an e-mail. Paytm has already sold over 45,000 such digital shaguns over the past few days, and expects the growth figures to touch triple digits.
“We have witnessed unprecedented growth in our instant money-transfer facility, as relatives and family members across India sent gift money to each other on special occasions. We have also noted a surge in payment transactions from merchants in the wedding industry. With Paytm, all merchants, small or large, can now accept mobile payments at zero transaction fee,” said Kiran Vasireddy, senior vice-president, Paytm.
“The demonetisation drive has kicked off a golden age for fintech companies in India. As more Indians have started to realise the benefits of using Paytm, it has triggered a network effect that has led to massive adoption across categories. This move will not only help overcome the hassles of dealing in loose change, but also help India emerge as a cashless economy,” Vasireddy added.
Online marketplace Snapdeal, too, is providing its consumers an option to replace the old-fashioned shagun envelopes with its recently launched wedding e-gift cards, starting with a minimum R500.
Additionally, with an intent to provide customers the convenience and comfort of a one-stop destination to splurge this wedding season, Snapdeal has also launched a curated wedding store. This exclusively created store gives access to all-things wedding, starting from traditional wedding apparel to intricately designed footwear and accessories.
Interestingly, Snapdeal has witnessed an enhanced consumer interest and buying patterns across tier-1 and tier-2 cities. “While the tier-1 cities have showcased an interest towards the purchase of ethnic wear, footwear and gold this season, tier-2 cities have shown an upward trend towards purchase of customised jewellery and electronic appliances,” said a Snapdeal spokesperson.
To help users make wedding-related purchases, Gurgaon-based home appliances e-megastore HomePunch has started a mega sale across 500 brands and products, offering several discounts to users. The sale will go on till December 25. HomePunch also has combo deals, where customers can buy several products across categories, at highly competitive prices and with 100% brand warranty. “At the same time, the flexi-COD process continues for the maximum benefit of the consumer. We are giving EMI options to our customers to assist in the cash crunch; they can also pay through digital wallets,” said Sachin Goel, CEO, HomePunch.
For couples planning their honeymoon, Snapdeal has launched a specially curated honeymoon collection on its store, offering a range of apparel and accessories apt for holidaying — be it a glamourous city tour, a beach adventure, a mountain trek or a desert trail.
Aimed at honeymooners, Bengaluru-based bus ticketing portal Travelyaari has added attractive offers on tours packages. Some of the popular destinations for which it is offering deals are Goa, Udaipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jaipur, Puducherry and Kerala.
“Also, to help reduce customers’ woes, we recently tied up with Paytm and Reliance Jio for offline integration. People can now easily do cash bookings at the counters or through agents. This means that ticket counter staff will no longer have to face the hassles of dealing with loose change, and the payment process will speed up considerably,” said Aurvind Lama, co-founder and CEO, TravelYaari.
To further cater to wedding-related travel needs, ride-sharing app Uber has introduced a new service called UberWeddings. This feature allows users to purchase promo codes in advance to make Uber rides free for their family and guests. The feature will be available in 12 cities. UberWeddings will be available till February next year. For the service, Uber has tied up with wedding planning website WedMeGood and will also provide on-demand services for various pre-wedding functions like bachelor parties, dinners, etc.