Indians are taking to using the Internet for purposes other than social media and how! A recent report released by digital market intelligence and analytics firm comScore says that one in every 10 Indians in connected online and that the overall Indian internet user base touched 124 million in July, 2012. These numbers are a clear indication of the immense growth prospect that e-commerce sites and online businesses have. The report also points out that travel-related e-commerce in India is higher than the global average; however, the retail e-commerce space is yet to have as many customers as global e-retailers do.
The big daddy of online retail, Amazon.com tops the retail e-commerce space in India too. However, one key thing to note here is that traffic is split between Amazon.com, the movie-information site IMDB and e-commerce search enabler Junglee.com.
The fact that Indians have to pay for purchasers in US dollars, pay extra for shipping and also shell out import tax is not deterring local customers from accessing this site. Then again, Amazon’s lead and popularity cannot be challenged (yet) and will perhaps only get strengthened thanks to the launch of Kindle HD and Paperwhite as well as the India-specific e-book site.
When it comes to local players Flipkart leads the charts (no surprises here) followed by Snapdeal, Jabong, Myntra and HomeShop18. Flipkart registered 7.4 million unique visitors a month whereas Snapdeal got 6.9 million unique visitors.
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These figures are clearly indicative of the growth these retail e-commerce sites are looking at and they also help understand customer willingness to make purchases online and to continue doing so.
As per the report, the apparel segment is the largest growing online retail sector as it shows a 362% YoY growth pattern. The overall penetration of the retail e-commerce segment has increased to 60% and has shown an overall growth of 43% YoY in July. Comparatively, global retail e-commerce has a penetration of 72% and has grown only 13% YoY in July.
The following statistics are going to give the government has some reason to rejoice. The Indian Railways site IRCTC retains its top position as the top travel e-commerce site on the country with 12 million unique visitors in a month. It is followed by MakeMyTrip and Yatra. Jet Airways in the only airline travel site to make the list which happens to be a mix of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), review sites and even a bus ticket booking site.
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The report, which was presented by Kedar Gavane, director at comScore India, suggests that there is a strong overlap among OTAs as people visit these sites to compare prices. The un-duplicated reach among the top three OTAs – MakeMyTrip, Yatra and Cleartrip – is 16.4% of total internet users.
The penetration of travel sites in Indian is 44% and the sector witnessed a 41% YoY growth in July. Comparatively, the global reach of this sector is pegged at 40% and the YoY growth as of July is only 12%.
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The Cash-on-Demand trend is also a popular payment mode for online purchase in India with its average transaction size pegged at $33 and it forms a steady 7% of the total transactions that happen online. The COD option is used by many e-tailers to push for trial among users. The fact that the customer can pay when the parcel arrives helps in building trust too.
The online e-commerce market is booming in India but the same cannot be said for International markets. It won’t be long before International players launch India specific operations before they launch any services elsewhere just so that they can cap in on the growth here.
On the home front, these numbers provide hope and opportunity to many entrepreneurs. However, the road is not all smooth as this study suggests.
Image Courtesy | comscore