As internet penetration increases rapidly and tier 2, 3 and 4 cities catch up with the metros, the number of online shoppers in India is expected to zoom. According to a joint report released on Tuesday by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and media agency GroupM India, the nation is set to see 500 million online shoppers by 2030.
The report, titled Modern Marketers’ Guide to Connected Consumer Journeys, said that consumers are going for digital transactions thanks to affordable data prices. Quoting the report, a Mint article said the online retail market is poised to multiply by three times over the next 4-5 years. Driving this trend will be currently under-penetrated categories such as health, grocery and education.
Key deciding factors
The report pointed to a shift in online retail, from electronics to grocery. About 73% of respondents have bought products from e-shopping platforms over the past year, it said. Product quality (63%), price and product information, return and cancellation policy, and product warranty (55%) are the key deciding factors, the Mint report quoted it as saying.
Products and services make up 60% and 40%, respectively, of India’s total online retail market. The highest e-commerce penetration is observed in the verticals of travel, transport and tourism and consumer appliances and electronics, which are estimated to contribute 50-60% to the business. Categories such as health, education, grocery and home & living account for $9-13 billion of the total online retail revenue, said Mint.
The report quoted Tushar Vyas, President, Growth and Transformation, GroupM South Asia, as saying: “The growth in internet users, reduction in data prices and changing consumer behaviour are the key growth drivers for the evolution of e-commerce in India. We understand the changing online retail market and how it is set to grow 3X in the next 4-5 years mainly driven by underpenetrated categories like grocery, education, health.”
Top 3 online platforms
Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra have emerged as the top three etailers over the past quarter, said the report. Among the most searched product categories were groceries, fashion and health, beauty and personal care. Interestingly, nearly two-thirds of urban users research products online before they make their purchases, which could be online or offline.
The direct-to-consumer (DTC) model, where a company sells products or services directly to the end-buyers, is seeing a meteoric rise in popularity. “Brands with a DTC model can leverage direct relationships through loyalty programmes, special discounting and promotions and unique and category-specific shopping experiences,” the Mint report said.
Conversational commerce, voice search, video streaming and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are enabling brands to spruce up their e-commerce strategies, it added.
Voice search is still at a nascent stage, but Indians are quickly going for it, and the market is expected to grow 40% by 2022, said the report.
It quoted Moneka Khurana, board member and country head at MMA, as saying: “Consistent digital exposure, combined with the presence of available omnichannel touchpoints, has resulted in the development of a new consumer purchasing process.”