BENGALURU: You can tell a lot about a person through the shoes they wear. And in the case of a new-age pandemic-ridden world, there’s plenty one can tell from what people fill their virtual shopping carts with. With e-commerce sites having resumed delivery of non-essential items, things like phone chargers, data cables and laptop stands have seen a spike as people adjusted to their work-from-home lifestyle. Kitchen goods like blenders, ovens and baking supplies have also been in demand as people discovered their inner masterchef during the lockdown.
“Work-from-home (WFH) essentials are sold highest in Bengaluru. Products like adjustable laptop stands, foldable laptop tables, cooling pads, earphones and headphones, home printers, wi-fi routers, USB chargers, data cables and extension cords are in high demand in the city,” a Snapdeal spokesperson told CE.It was a similar need that drove Usha Rao to order an internet dongle from Amazon. This was one of the theatre practitioner’s first purchase online, besides groceries, since the lockdown was announced. “My husband has been working from home but now my 11-year-old daughter also has online classes to attend. The dongle has helped sort out the bandwidth issues,” she says, adding that her order also included a data card and some cables for a new laptop they purchased offline for their daughter.
Flipkart reported a similar trend of doubling in demand for mobiles, tablets, laptops and televisions. According to a spokesperson, “Considering more people are spending time with families who have different entertainment, professional and educational needs, there is a growing requirement for multiple screens in a single household.”But Bengalurueans don’t just work hard, they play hard too. With the amount of time people spent in their kitchens, it comes as no surprise that e-commerce firms also reported a surge in the sale of baking items. “We experienced an increase in searches for kitchen appliances including hand blenders, microwave ovens and induction cooktops. This demand is higher in Metro cities,” the Flipkart spokesperson said.
According to Snapdeal, people bought baking trays, cookie cutters, brushes, silicon spatula, and cupcake trays as “shoppers try their hands on more exotic cooking.” Case in point, Chinmay Manoj P, who had been waiting to place an order for a coffee frother. “With restaurants shut, I learned how to make my favourite dishes at home. The frother was just the thing I needed to make a cafe-perfect latte from the safety of my kitchen,” says the BA graduate.
For Ishwarya Kumar Ahmed and her husband, “lockdown boredom” prompted them to place an order for a barbecue grill, which they enjoyed over the weekend. But for the social entrepreneur, nothing bought more relief than receiving the toys – a rope ladder and a swing – that she ordered for her five-year-old son, who is on the autism spectrum. “During the initial days of the lockdown, we made do with DIY alternatives like visual cue cards for him. But since parks also are a no-go for children, toys like these can help bring back some sense of the old normalcy,” says Ahmed, who also ordered puzzles and other games for her eight-year-old daughter.
A few of the favourite things
Kitchen appliances Hand blenders, microwave ovens and induction cooktops
Gadgets Mobiles, tablets, laptops & televisions
Hobby purchases Gardening supplies, knitting accessories and painting items
Immunity boosters & herbal products Fish oil, moringa, amla juice, herbal teas, Brahmi tablets, karela and jamun juices, clove powder, and Ashwagandha
Apparel Inner-wear and lounge-wear