Indian e-commerce market to touch the $38-bn mark in 2016

RetailME Bureau

The Indian e-commerce market is expected to touch the $38 billion-mark this year, a huge 67% surge over the $23 billion revenues in 2015, states an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) report.

“The e-commerce market in India was worth about $3.8 billion in 2009, going up to $17 billion in 2014, jumped to $23 billion last year and is expected to touch the $38 billion-mark this year,” observes ASSOCHAM secretary general DS Rawat.

The industry witnessed an unprecedented 52% growth over 2015 and has emerged as one of India’s fastest growing sectors. Some of the driving factors behind such rapid growth of the Indian e-commerce market are increasing internet and mobile penetration, growing acceptability of online payments and favourable demographics.

In fact, mobile commerce or m-commerce is also growing rapidly as a stable and secure supplement to the e-commerce industry. “Today customers are connected 24×7 through their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices leading to a gradual evolution of e-commerce into m-commerce. In addition, the convenience factor also leads to impulsive buying,” believes Rawat.

“Given the browsing trends, which have broadly shifted from the desktop to mobile devices in India, online shopping is also expected to follow suit, as one out of three customers currently makes transactions through mobiles in tier I and II cities. In 2015, 78% of shopping queries were made through mobile devices, compared to 46% in 2013,” he adds.

According to the ASSOCHAM report, in 2015, the highest growth rate was seen in the apparel segment almost 69.5% over 2014, followed by electronic items by 62%, baby care products at 53%, beauty and personal care products at 52% and home furnishings at 49%. Some of the best-selling product categories in 2015 were mobile phones, iPad and accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others.

The report also highlighted that, almost 45% of online shoppers reportedly preferred cash-on-delivery mode of payment over credit cards (16%) and debit cards (21%). Only 10% opted for internet banking and a scanty 7% preferred cash cards, mobile wallets and other such modes of payment.

In terms of the Indian states, people from Mumbai led the online shopping shift in 2015, while Delhi ranked second, Ahmedabad third, followed by Bengaluru and Kolkata.