Over 120 million Indian consumers expected to shop online in 2018: Study

Over 120 million Indian consumers are expected to shop online, clocking annualised growth of 115 per cent in 2018.

Fast increasing data consumption, improvement in logistics and other attractive deals on a wide range of products from clothes, mobile phones, air-conditioners to a whole lot of consumer items are the major reasons for the change, according to ASSOCHAM-Resurgent joint study.

As many as 108 million consumers did online shopping in 2017 even as the mobile phones are becoming the preferred choice of device for the e-commerce sales.

Over 60-65 per cent of online shoppers would opt for placing their orders on mobile phones from the present 40-45 per cent, the study projected.

As many as 89 per cent of the consumers covered in the study are heavy users of the Internet. The respondents were across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune and others.

In 2017, popular categories accounted for higher consumer spend online.

The frequency of purchase was also higher for categories like apparels & accessories (54 per cent), beauty & personal care (43 per cent) products in comparison to electronics (33 per cent), adds the report.

“Since the base is still quite low, there is a huge scope for growth year on year for quite some time. With improvement in logistics and more and more delivery channels, the online shopping is bound to grow. No wonder, a huge amount of foreign investment is coming in the sector. It has become a multi-billion investment business. Investment in back end delivery channels, brand building, consumer research and building trade partners would be the key drivers,” said ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat.

Online ticket buyers were also seen to be more comfortable with the use of debit cards (23 per cent), credit card (17 per cent) and cash on delivery (58 per cent).

For regular internet users – cash on delivery was the most preferred mode of payment (74 per cent), followed by debit card (18 per cent) & credit card (5 per cent), noted the study.

In terms of motivators to shop online, the consumers highlighted cash back guarantee as the number one benefit, ability to give cash on delivery, fast delivery, great deals and access to branded products.

The consumers also highlighted some barriers that deter them from shopping online – the number one factor was inability to touch and try the goods before purchase, fear of faulty products, fear of posting their personal and financial details online and the inability to bargain were cited among the other reasons. Online apparel sales continue to capture a greater share of Indian retail e-commerce as a category along with the computer and consumer electronics sector, fuelling the overall market growth.

There is a surge in the number of people shopping on mobile across India with tier II and III cities displaying increased dominance.

In fact, 50 per cent of our traffic is coming from mobile and a majority of them are first time customers, adds the paper.

The year 2018 will see large scale growth in the Indian e-commerce sector with increased participation from people across the country.

This industry will continue to drive more employment opportunities and contribute towards creating more entrepreneurs through the e-commerce marketplace model, noted the study.


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