Online Shopping In India Is A New Dimension For E-CommerceBy
India has a thriving e-commerce industry, where the competition is fierce and there’s no room for the weak. Online shopping in India is growing at a rapid clip. It has certainly helped a large section of India’s population now who has access to fast broadband internet and smartphones.
Indeed, there’s been a major surge in the use of internet in India over the last 4-5 years, which has led to millions of people changing the way they shop – shopping online at sites such as Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Jabong and more, is today an integral part of Indian culture.
There is an estimated 464 million internet users in India as of September 2016 and an increase of over 100 million in just 12 months. The population using internet is expected to grow by at least 50 million yearly till 2020. This means the internet penetration in India is 34.8%. An estimated 14% of the nation’s population shops online regularly. 14% of India’s population of 1.3 billion is not a number to be scoffed at!
Top online shopping sites in India
There are three big online shopping sites in India today that dominate e-commerce in the country. Flipkart and Snapdeal are 100% Indian companies, started by young Indian entrepreneurs. Amazon India is, of course, a part of the global giant, Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos. The competition between Flipkart, Amazon India and Snapdeal is intense, to say the least, and has been the subject of much discussion. They are the market leaders and regularly churn out sales in billions of dollars, year after year.
Flipkart (www.flipkart.com) was founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. The company is registered in Singapore, but has its headquarters in Bangalore. Flipkart allows payment methods such as cash on delivery, credit or debit card transactions, net banking, e-gift voucher and card swipe on delivery. Flipkart has the advantage of a strong logistics infrastructure that they have developed in-house.
Amazon India ( www.amazon.in)is making waves in the e-commerce market due the variety of its products available online. With 80 million products for sale, 120,000-plus merchants and more than two dozen warehouses, Bezos’s protégé Amit Agarwal is aiming to make Amazon the country’s top online store by sales ahead of the Diwali shopping season 2016. They have initiated services like Amazon Tatkla, which allows merchants to on-board in under an hour.
Snapdeal (www.snapdeal.com) is based in New Delhi and was started in 2010 by KunalBahl. Snapdeal currently has 275,000 sellers, over 30 million products and a reach of 6,000 towns and cities across the country. Snapdeal is credited with the biggest acquisition ever in the Indian startup space—mobile payments startup, Freecharge, for around $450 million.
But there’s a lot more to India’s e-commerce industry than just these companies. There are other very popular online shopping sites in India as well:
- Myntra (www.myntra.com)
- Jabong (www.jabong.com)
- Shopclues (www.shopclues.com)
- Infibeam (www.infibeam.com)
- eBay India (www.ebay.in)
- Zivame (www.zivame.com)
- Yepme (www.yepme.com)
- Bigbasket (www.bigbasket.com)
Online shopping and online grocery shopping in India is doing a reasonable business in the e-coomerce industry. There are dozens more of online grocery that start every month. ZopNow.com, Omart.in, AaramShop.com, BigBasket.com, EkStop.com, AtMyDoorSteps.com, MyGrahak.com, LocalBanya.com and SeaToHome.com are just a few of the many online grocery stores in India.
So why do people shop online in India? Let’s look at the advantages of shopping online to understand why.
Advantages of online shopping
- Saves time– Online shopping, more than anything else, saves time. It spares you from having to go to the shopping mall after spending hours in the traffic. It spares you from having to spend at least 30 minutes finding a parking space for your car, or more, waiting in line at the checkout. Online shopping is a time saver. You can shop when you want and from wherever you are, whether you’re at a coffee shop or at home. Plus, with options such as cash on delivery, you don’t even have to spend time entering your credit card information.
- Saves money – Shopping online saves money. Most online shopping sites offer discounts on every purchase, largely because of the competition between them. Amazon cannot afford to sell a shirt for Rs. 350, if Flipkart is selling it for Rs. 330. So, every online store keeps prices at a minimum to attract customers. Also, many stores offer coupons, vouchers and cashback and other excellent offers, so that you can get a discount every time you buy something online.
- User reviews and easy price comparison – When it comes to online shopping, nothing is hidden. There are a number of price comparison sites where you can compare the best offers from various retailers and choose the one that offers the best prices and discounts. Also, the reviews from other users give you a good idea of which products are worth your money and which are not. User reviews serve as a valuable guide while shopping online.
- Home delivery – The #1 reason to shop online is, of course, home delivery. Anything you buy will be delivered at your doorsteps. So you don’t have to worry about making arrangements for the delivery if you buy furniture, washing machine, or even groceries online, for example. It is delivered at your doorstep, no matter where you are in India. Shipping is free, more often than not.
Final thoughts – future of online shopping in India
A study by Assocham-Pricewaterhouse Coopers says that e-commerce in India is expected to register a compounded annual growth rate of 35% and is expected to cross the $100 billion mark by 2020.
With shopping online being preferred to shopping at malls by a large chunk of the urban population, there is today a vacancy rate of 25% in shopping malls in India, with rentals dropping by 30% over the last 12 months.
As per D S Rawatthe Assocham Secretary General, “Online shopping has shown a handsome growth while brick-and-mortar malls are witnessing a slowdown. The growth in e-commerce looks impressive because of a low base and rising penetration of the Internet.”
So the future of online shopping in India is very bright indeed – more reason for you to shop online. India’s ecommerce industry is the nation’s pride and very much the cornerstone of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Digital India” and “Make in India” policies.