With faster internet access through broadband and Wi-Fi (wirless fidelity) and increasing use of smartphones and other handheld devices like tablets and i-Pads, browsing e-commerce web sites and placing orders have become a growing trend in cities and towns across the country.
"Internet penetration through mobiles and access to a variety of brands and products at affordable prices has made 2015 a year of e-commerce, with electronics and mobiles emerging as top performers," Nagori asserted.
According to a survey (FlipTrends2015) Flipkart conducted from January 1-December 14, Delhi NCR (National Capital Region), emerged as the most online shopping-savvy area, followed by Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. "E-commerce business has grown to $23 billion in 2015 from $13.6 billion in 2014, registering a whopping 70 percent annual growth, with e-tail contributing $12 billion this year as against $4.5 billion last year in gross merchandise value," Rajat Wahi, partner and head, consumer markets, KPMG in India told IANS. Among tier-1 cities, Pune emerged on top followed by Coimbatore, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. Bhubaneswar is the only city from the eastern region to figure in the study.
Mangaluru in Karnataka emerged the top tier-two city of digital shoppers, followed by Mysuru, while hill town Dehradun in Uttarakhand came third, with Salem in Tamil Nadu and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh closely behind. "The e-tail space is dominated by consumers between the 25-34 years age group. More than half of them are office goers, followed by students," the survey noted, adding that 69 percent of them were males. Changes in lifestyle and shopping choices saw buyers preferring online channels over physical channels to save time and seek a wider range of variety. "E-commerce has seen unprecedented growth in 2015, aided by rising online consumers, affordable smart-phones and improvements in network infrastructure," PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India partner Sandeep Ladda told IANS from Delhi. Though diverse factors are fuelling e-commerce growth, huge price difference on products or goods such as groceries, fruits and vegetables offered online vis-a-vis retail sellers offline, is drawing even well-paid buyers to them, as they don't want to be short-changed of their hard-earned money.