Having access to online shopping has truly revolutionized and influenced our society as a whole. Use of internet technology in this manner has opened new vistas and has exposed shoppers to new opportunities that facilitate a far more convenient lifestyle in recent times.
A large variety of products, quicker services and discounted prices are some of the significant ways in which online shopping has influenced people in India, not to forget the world as a whole. However, on the flip side, the concept of online shopping has led to the possibilities of potential fraud and privacy conflicts. Sadly, some technologically savvy miscreants have known to manipulate the system to their own advantage and enabled themselves to access personal information.
However, with the latest features in encryption and safety technology, steps in the right direction are being taken in order to prevent hackers and criminals from hijacking private databases. With the help of a number of privacy and security policies, website designers are working overtime and doing their best to put an end to this unethical practice. This will help our society to continue to make the best of online shopping, which in turn will allow it to be a feature of extreme convenience for future generations.
Online Shopping in India
Online shopping in India is a continuously rising trend for business owners and online marketers to promote their merchandise at little or no cost across a wide geographical area using the internet and this trend is set to grow significantly over the coming decade.
India is the 5th ranked country in terms of world ecommerce and only the 2nd in Asia, after China. The Indian public have come to terms with grasping the ability to buy and sell merchandise over the internet. Interestingly, the advent of mobile internet technology has been noticed as being largely responsible for bringing the online world to the Indian consumers. In 2014, a whopping 300 million Indians had access to the internet via mobile phone technology and other platforms, about the same amount of people in USA to put that into context. This was a growth of epic proportions.
Recent reports have shown that out of the millions accessing the internet in India each day, over 8 million regularly shop through the internet. This figure is set to grow exponentially over the next few years. Not surprisingly, the Indians’ first chice among search engines is Google. Below is a breakdown of top 4 popular searches in 2012 in India with Google.
Books/educational material 15%
Beauty and personal care products 10%
Home products/furnishings 6%
The market share in India is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in Asia-Pacific and it is expected to grow to $8.8 billion by end of 2016.
India has witnessed a phenomenal increase in its online market transactions. The youth of India have contributed a lot to this increase, irrespective of geograpical restrictions . The young
Indian people of the age group 15-25 years tend to use the internet heavily. Purchasing items in just a few clicks has encouraged today’s youth to shop online without hesitation. This has not only saved time but also money. Online shopping is a far more convenient alternative to walking around malls and markets to shop for one’s requirements. It is also much faster.
Reports have shown that Indians, more than ever, are purchasing a variety of products through online shopping portals. Why, these days even new or used smartphones, laptops or desktop computers are being purchased online. In June 2012, India had a base of over 142 million internet users and their online activity has helped the online retail industry to reach a business volume of INR 7,500 crore by 2015. While at this moment, the penetration of online shopping and the amount of money spent in India is much lesser as when compared to the USA and UK, it is nevertheless growing at a much faster rate than expected, with more and more new users being added each day, in larger numbers.
Factors Encouraging Online Shopping in India
The growth of online shopping in India is phenomenal and is constantly increasing, by the day. Following are some of the prominent factors why online shopping is flourishing in India:
- High speed internet: Since 2005, a rapid growth has been seen in the number of people using the internet and currently there are more than 87 million people who log-in on to web. This is due to increased and efficient internet services and penetration of services like 3G that has allowed for faster internet access.
- Living standards: The increase in per capita income and the hikes in urban salaries has enhanced the living standards of the people and that in turn, has made online shopping a lot less restrictive and accessible.
- Wider range of products: The online market has a selection of a much wider range of products than any stand-alone retail shop. People have found their best suited products online from out of comparing amongst a much wider selection, something they could not have done at retail shops.
- Lifestyle: In today’s immensely busy times, lack of time for real world shopping and urban congestion of traffic has led the need that the online shopping market addresses, for the consumers, a much welcome alternative.
- Free classified sites: The large availability of quality online classifieds sites such as olx.in, 99clix.in and Quickr have been a boon for consumers to buy and sell new as well as used goods.
- Competition in the online market: Competition and variety among the online shopping websites too has attracted more customers to test the waters, compare, select and buy.
- Discounts and reduced rates: These sites are replete with offers and discounts and the end result is the happy consumer. Now, products can be purchased at lesser prices than offline markets without compromising on quality.
- Coupons: Availability of different discount codes & coupons on these sites provides a great shopping experience for the customers.
- Improved online banking services: With improved and safer online banking services people are now less skeptical abut making payments online which in turn encourages them to shop online.
- Cash on / home delivery: Cash on delivery along with timely home delivery options has played a great role in motivating people to shop online.
All these factors have brought in a sea change in the way people approach online shopping and have also indirectly helped shoppers to transform the overall online shopping experience.
Author’s Bio: Sridhar is blogger who writes on various topics that are of his interests. When he is not writing he likes travelling and playing football. He has more than 12 years of experience in blogging.