India’s e-commerce market was worth about $2.5 billion in 2009, went up to $6.3 billion in 2011, $16 billion in 2013 and is expected to touch $56 billion by 2023 which will be 6.5 percent of the total retail market, according to D S Rawat, Secretary General, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Factors like spiraling inflation and slower economic growth failed to dampen the online shopping trends of Indian consumers and have witnessed a significant change in 2013, recording 85 percent rise in online trends over the regular shopping than last year (65 percent), according to an ASSOCHAM paper on “Online Shopping – Review & Outlook in 2013.”
Rawat said: “The increasing Internet penetration and availability of more payment options boosted the e-commerce industry in 2013. Besides electronics gadgets, categories like apparel and jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, lifestyle accessories like watches, books, beauty products and perfumes, baby products have witnessed a significant upward movement in last one year. The coming year 2014, looks more promising for the online industry.”
According to the feedback received by 3,500 traders and organised retailers in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata, the buying trends during 2013 have witnessed a significant upward movement due to high online discounts, rising fuel price and wider and abundant choice.
The survey also revealed that Mumbai led other Indian cities in online shopping followed by Delhi and Kolkata in 2013. An increase in the number of online shoppers is because of factors such as home delivery and 24×7 hour shopping.
ASSOCHAM paper also revealed that many small companies have established online stores for group buying, which enable customers to obtain goods at a discount so long as a certain number of people make the purchases. It also pointed out that the 35 percent of shoppers are in the 18-25 age group, 55 percent in 26-35, 8 percent in 36-45, and 2 percent in the age group of 45-60. Almost 65 percent of online shoppers are male as against 35 percent females. The top five popular categories accessed online are social networking sites, portals, search, entertainment and news sites. Rawat added that shopping centers, wholesale markets and supermarkets should create their online stores to reduce costs and develop product-tracking systems.
Seeing the bold consumer behaviour, more companies are collaborating with daily deal and discount sites. Even traditional retailers like Shoppers Stop, Westside and Pantaloons are looking at the online shopping space for growth, the paper adds.
As per the survey, tech and fashion category products including mobile phones, ipad and accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others are the top sellers. Most products bought and sold-off online comprise gift articles (58 percent), books (42 percent), electronic gadgets (41 percent), apparel accessories (36 percent), apparel (36 percent), home appliances (16 percent), toys (16 percent), jewellery (15 percent), beauty products (12 percent), health and fitness products (12 percent), apparel gift certificates( 10 percent) and sporting goods (7 percent).