This Deepavali, these women are going online to boost their sales of festive goodies

Laveta Brigham

PETALING JAYA, Nov 11 ― Online marketing has become a trend among Indian sellers during the Deepavali festive season. They are using various online channels to reach out to more customers to purchase their products whether it be delicacies or fashionable clothes. Ipoh home-based baker Megala Chelliah or fondly known […]

PETALING JAYA, Nov 11 ― Online marketing has become a trend among Indian sellers during the Deepavali festive season.

They are using various online channels to reach out to more customers to purchase their products whether it be delicacies or fashionable clothes.

Ipoh home-based baker Megala Chelliah or fondly known as Meg who works from her humble kitchen told MalayMail that many people have been ordering her cookies and cakes since the beginning of this month.

Meg is a full-time educator and does baking on a part-time basis, and is helped by her mother to help sustain their finances especially since Meg’s salary was reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Whenever it’s closer to Deepavali, that’s when people would start ordering my cookies that I have in 10 different types together with my specially-made fruit cake.

“And I usually make the core ingredients from scratch such as the pineapple jam for my pineapple tarts and would even make sure that the flour, or margarine that I use are quality products.”

The 39-year-old who has been baking actively since seven years ago said that this year, many have also requested for her cookies to be delivered to other states.

Some of Meg’s signature cookies are her London Almond cookies, custard cookies and fruit cake. ― Picture courtesy of Megala Chelliah

“This is the first time in years that I’ve sent my cookies to other states such as Kajang, Petaling Jaya, Skudai and even one box of cookies to Sabah to meet the demands of my customers.

“Initially, I was hesitant to pack my containers of cookies in boxes as I wasn’t sure of the condition of the cookies that were sent to my customers home.

“Most of the reviews that I received were good as the cookies were well packed and there was no damage to any of the containers,” she said.

While Meg’s customers usually consist of her loyal customers who have been ordering from her for the past seven years, there are also new customers who have known about Meg’s business through her friends, and through online recommendation.

For this Deepavali season, her cookie business has seen an online spike of 50 per as compared to other years thanks to the recommendation and positive feedback she had received from her Instagram followers, friends and also loyal customers

“One thing that is really important to me is maintaining hygiene while baking and to never stinge on the ingredients so that my customers would keep coming back for my cookies and cakes.

“Home-based bakers are also thriving with many wanting to order food from them as compared to buying commercialised products because of the distinct taste.”

For Keshminder Kaur, 30, who lost her customer service job this year due to the pandemic, life had been tough for her until she decided to start her own food catering business.

“When I was laid-off from my job, I told myself that I wanted to venture into the food business due to my passion for cooking from a very young age.

“Hence, I mustered up the courage to learn the art of my newly-established business by experimenting on different food to appeal to my customers’ taste buds.”

The 30-year-old told Malay Mail that her orders for Deepavali have reached a number of people and many too have placed their orders for this year’s festive season.

“What makes me different as a full-time food business seller is that I have a variety of North Indian and South Indian food such as Chicken Karahi and Prawn Pepper Fry dish.

“Apart from that, I also offer recommendations to my customers based on their budget and how I can tweak the menu for them. Plus, I try to keep my menu flexible so that customers can choose what they want as compared to having a fixed menu.”

Keshminder said that she has been getting positive feedback and more orders from customers because she maintains the quality of her food since May this year.

Keshminder (left) has been getting positive feedback and orders for her Indian fusion meals during Deepavali. ― Picture by Keshminder Kaur

“There were many times where my friends or customers have recommended my meals online to customers who are searching for food caterers.

“And while there are times where I am tired from cooking the meals in my condominium in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, the best satisfaction comes when my customers are delighted with the meals.

“That really motivates me and warms my heart that what my cooked food has been received well by many,” she said.

Fashionable online store, established in 2017 has also been making its name for its chic work outfits and limited edition clothes for Deepavali.

Its founder Nithya Stevan said that the clothes sold on its social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and its official website has seen a demand for its clothes especially during the start of the month.

“We’ve recorded high sales this month with many buying our Kurtis, and punjabi suits to their unique style coupled with the varied discounts offered.

“Many customers too have ordered clothes from the online brand as its team is fast in responding to customers’ inquiries because they feel safe chatting and placing their payment to our social media sites where we would respond to them.”

Modern and stylish Kurtis are also up for grabs via social media pages. ― Picture by Nithya Stevan

Asked as to how the fashion business is coping with competition from other sellers who are also resorting to selling their items online, she said that one of the perks is that efficient distribution of the clothes either on that day or the day after that.

“We hope to also engage with influencers to market our products once the Deepavali season is over as sales during that time would be lower, “ she said.

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