The power of digital is everything business and marketers should have hoped for. There still remains this doubt about whether digital will make any difference to those that buy and sell at the Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Chickpet, Burma Bazaar, FC Road, Bapu Bazaar, Serenity Beach Bazaar, Jew Town and other such bustling marketplaces that are strewn across the vast country that is India.
Read our author Ray Titus’, experience to find the answer to this intriguing question.
At Jama Masjid, as I walk through the narrow lanes, everyone seems to be buying something or the other. Sellers on their part try and ward off any negotiations by putting up boards that say, ‘Fixed Prices’ but the buyers continue to try and drive prices down. My colleagues, when they spot a sought-after product, they stop to bargain. Plus they do something that opens up a window for me in my digital quest. They click pictures of the products they have zeroed in on and use WhatsApp to relay it back to their folks in Bengaluru. Soon they are on a video call discussing the merits of the product and the price being charged. They also do a quick check on various e-commerce sites to see if there are similar products available & prices being charged. Armed with such digital information, they restart the bargaining. They even pass their mobile phones on to the scarf seller to show him pictures and prices elsewhere, and online. The bargaining reaches a crescendo; the seller seems to be on the back foot. A deal is reached, and the price agreed on is a tad bit lower than before.
Even in such marketplaces. My further observations at Jama Masjid and studies elsewhere reinforce the fact that many more buyers in such marketplaces are using digital information to strike a hard bargain. The majority of people seem to be combining physical with digital in buying journeys.
-A case study from the book: Round the clock by Ray Titus