The number of internet users in India is steadily growing. It is estimated that in 2011, around 121 million Indian users accessed the internet at least once in their life. Also around 97 million access the internet at least once a month. It is furthur estimated that app. 18 million urban users access the internet on a daily basis.
Available figuresreported by Technopak & Mckinsey, for 2010 indicate that on a comparative basis, as against 8 million internet users in India, there are 486 million users in China, around 250 million in USA and around 53 million users in UK.
As against 81%of US population using internet ,in India it is only 8% and in China and UK it is 36 and 85 % resp.
It can therefore be imagined how promising are the growth possibilities of internet penetration and based on it the immense potential of e-commerce in India. The potential of e-commerce in US is around $ 173 billion, in China $ 80 bn, in UK $ 61 bn and in India a measly $ 0.6 bn. However since last few years, a growing number of online e-commerce retail sites have emerged and they are gradually becoming popular day by day.However the share of these online retailers as share of total retail in India is at present only 0.3% as against 45% in USA, 7.7% in UK and 1.1 % in China. The Internet and Mobile Association of India estimates that the potental of e-commerce in India is Rs 45,000 crores of which the online retail business is around Rs 2700 crores per year.
Against app. 200 million credit and debit card holders it is estimated that anywhere between 10-30 million
The internet based e-commerce companies are heavily investing in advertising themselves in both print and electronic media. Similarly these companies are also increasingly investing in develoing technologies which wiil closely simulate the actual experience a buyer feels when he buys from a store. Also the introduction of pay on delivery model by some have boosted their sales.
Technopack a retail consultancy estimates that the e retail industry in India will grow to $ 70 bn by 2020.
Already certain travel and consumer electronic portals are doing good business. Available are books,watches, cameras,apparels,shoes, perfumes,music,mobile phones,flowers,gifts,discount coupons & deals,movie tickets, houses,vehicles,TV's,stock market services,etc. etc on the various e-commerce internet based businesses. It is a very different type of buying experience one gets while interacting with these portals.
Some of the popular sites are snapdeal.com,crazeal.com,sosasta.com,mydala.com,myntra.com ,ladybug.com,firstcry.com,
The coming days are going to see a high growth rate in the e-commerce industry as Indian customers also look out for different shopping experiences especially the younger generation.Soon
foreign e portals will also try toattract the Indian internet customer. However one has to wait and cautiously see
how fast the Indian e-commerce industry will in reality grow and reach its estimated potential.