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India’s online retail trajectory

The online retail market in India will grow by 55.7 per cent annually from 2013 to 2018.

Research firm TechNavio identified factors including increased internet penetration and easier payment options as drivers of this growth.

“Internet access from cellphones has witnessed a quantum leap in India in the last few years. As of 2013, 81 per cent or 910 million of the Indian population use cellphones. Of these, 105 million use the internet on their phones,” says Faisal Ghaus, VP of TechNavio.

Numbers from Snapdeal, an online marketplace, support this perspective. In an official statement released by the company, out of every 10 orders it receives, three are lodged via cellphones.

With the increase in popularity of shopping through mobile devices, retail sales through these devices will account for a major chunk of total online retail sales over the projected period, says Ghaus.

Users spend more than 25 per cent of their total time on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Retailers are busy tracking social networks for product development and customer service, and social media will soon be a key marketing channel for online retailers to specifically connect with current customers and to attract new customers to their sites.

As of 2013, India had around 100 million Facebook users, and is poised to overtake the US in the near future. It is also expected that soon many retailers will use social networking sites as a tool to gain marketing and sales leverage.

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