India's e-commerce market expanded at blistering 88 per cent in 2013 to $16 billion, boosted by online retail trends and defying slower economic growth and surging inflation, a survey by industry body Assocham revealed.
According to Assocham secretary general DS Rawat, the increasing internet penetration and availability of more payment options boosted the e-commerce industry in 2013.
In addition to electronics gadgets, apparel and jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, lifestyle accessories like watches, books, beauty products and perfumes, baby products saw surge last year, he added.
The survey showed, India's e-commerce market, which stood at $2.5 billion in 2009, was up at $8.5 billion in 2012 and increased 88 per cent to touch $16 billion in 2013.
The survey projects India's e-commerce market would touch $56 billion by 2023, driven by rising online retail.
An analysis of responses from 3,500 traders and organised retailers across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Kolkata who participated in the survey showed online shopping grew at a rapid pace in 2013 thanks to aggressive online discounts, increasing fuel prices and availability of abundant online options.
Increasing internet penetration and increased access to internet banking, mobile and smartpones or ipads equipped with internet facilities was the major factor contributing to the sharp jump in online shopping.
According to Rawat, spiraling inflation and slower economic growth had failed to dampen the online shopping trends.
Mumbai took the top slot in online shopping followed by Delhi and Kolkata as those living in metros were attracted by factors like home delivery which saved time as also 24X7 shopping, according to the survey.
The age-wise analysis revealed that 35 per cent of online shoppers were aged between 18 years and 25 years, 55 per cent between 26 years and 35 years, 8 per cent in the age group of36-45 years, with only 2 per cent in the age group of 45-60 years.
Further, 65 per cent of online shoppers were male while 35 per cent were female.
According to the survey, to make the most of online shopping trends, more companies were collaborating with daily deal and discount sites.
The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, including mobile phones, tablets, accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others, the survey found.
Most products bought and sold through online comprise gift articles (58 per cent), books (42 per cent), electronic gadgets (41 per cent), railway tickets (39 per cent), accessories apparel (36 per cent), apparel (36 per cent), computer and peripherals (33 per cent), airline tickets (29 per cent), music (24 per cent), movies tickets (26 per cent), hotel rooms (20 per cent), magazine (19 per cent), home tools and products (16 per cent), home appliances (16 per cent), toys (16 per cent), jewellery (15 per cent), beauty products (12 per cent), health and fitness products (12 per cent), apparel gift certificates (10 per cent) and sporting goods (7 per cent), according to the survey.
"Besides electronics gadgets, apparel and jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, lifestyle accessories like watches, books, beauty products and perfumes, baby products witnessed significant upward movement in last one year," Rawat said.
The number of companies collaborating with daily deal and discount sites are also on the increase with the expansion in online shopping trends, the survey pointed out. Even traditional retailers like Shoppers Stop, Westside and Pantaloons are looking at the online shopping space for growth, adds the paper.
India has an internet base of around 150 million as of August 2013, the survey pointed out.
"Having close to 10 per cent of internet penetration in India throws a very big opportunity for online retailers to grow and expand as future of Internet seems very bright," Rawat said.
Those who are reluctant to shop online cited reasons like preference to research products and services online (30 per cent), finding delivery costs too high (20 per cent), fear of sharing personal financial information online (25 per cent) and lack of trust on whether products would be delivered in good condition (15 per cent), while 10 per cent said they did not have a credit or debit card.
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