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Online shopping hits record high in 2013
Factors like spiraling inflation and slower economic growth failed to dampen the online shopping trends of Indian consumers and have witnessed a significant change in 2013, recorded 85% rise in online trends over the regular shopping than last year (65%), reveals industry body Assocham's latest paper.

“The increasing Internet penetration and availability of more payment options boosted the e-commerce industry in 2013. Besides electronics gadgets, categories like apparel and jewellery, home and kitchen appliances, lifestyle accessories like watches, books, beauty products and perfumes, baby products have witnessed a significant upward movement in last one year”, said D S Rawat, Secretary General Assocham. The coming year 2014, looks more promising for the online industry, added Mr. Rawat

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While releasing the Assocham paper on “Online Shopping - Review & Outlook in 2013” Mr. Rawat said, India’s e-commerce market was worth about $2.5 billion in 2009, it went up to $6.3 billion in 2011 and to $16 billion in 2013 and is expected to touch whopping $56 billion by 2023 which will be 6.5 per cent of the total retail market.

As per feedback received by 3,500 traders and organized retailers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahemdabad, Kolkata etc in this regard, the buying trends during 2013 have witnessed a significant upward movement due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel price and wider and abundant choice etc.

The survey reveals Mumbaikars have left behind all other cities in India shopping online. While Delhiiets ranks second, Kolkata ranks third in their preference for online shopping in 2013, adds the survey,

The reasons for online shoppers number multiplying are because of factors such as home delivery which saves time, secondly, 24×7 shopping with ease and availability factors for product comparisons.

The survey further adds that many small companies have also established online stores for group buying, which enable customers to obtain goods at a discount so long as a certain number of people make the purchases. Mr. Rawat said, shopping centers, whole sale markets and supermarkets should create their online stores to reduce costs and develop product-tracking systems.

Among the above age segments, 18-25 years of age group has been the fastest growing age segment online with user growth being contributed by both male and female segments. The top 5 popular categories accessed online are social networking, portals, search, entertainment and news sites, adds the Assocham paper.

The survey highlights that 35% of regular shoppers are in 18-25 age group, 55% in 26-35, 8% in 36-45 and 2% in the age group of 45-60. 65% of Online Shoppers are male as against 35% female.

Seeing this bold consumer behavior, more companies are collaborating with such daily deal and discount sites. Even traditional retailers like Shoppers Stop, Westside and Pantaloons are looking at the online shopping space for growth, adds the paper.

With more India's online shopping registering a phenomenal 100 per cent annual growth, many retail chains and consumer durable companies are joining the Web bandwagon to tap the e-shopping market, adds the paper.

The products that are sold most are in the tech and fashion category, which include mobile phones, ipad and accessories, MP3 players, digital cameras and jewellery, among others, points out the paper.

Most products bought & sold off through online comprise Gift articles (58%), books (42%), electronic gadgets (41%), railway tickets (39%), accessories apparel (36%), apparel (36%), computer and peripherals (33%), airline tickets (29%), music (24%), movies tickets (26%), hotel rooms (20%), magazine (19%), home tools and products (16%), home appliances (16%), toys (16%), jewelry (15%), beauty products (12%), health and fitness products (12%), apparel gift certificates( 10%) and sporting goods (7%), adds the survey.

India has internet base of around 150 million as of August, 2013. Having close to 10% of internet penetration in India throws a very big opportunity for online retailers to grow and expand as future of internet seems very bright. Getting new users, more sales and making "million dollars story is not limited to US now”, added Mr. Rawat while releasing the paper.

This business module is cost effective, easily accessible and profitable in many functional areas. Consumers and retailers both desire safe, simple and comprehensive online shopping that will truly realize the range of power of the Internet", adds the majority of the respondents.

Of those who are reluctant to shopping online cited various reasons like prefer to research products and services online and then actually buy them from a store (30 per cent), find delivery costs too high (20 per cent), don’t want to share personal financial information online (25 per cent), lack of trust on whether products would be delivered in good condition (15 per cent), don’t have a credit/debit card (10 per cent).

Top reasons given by shoppers in buying through Internet:

- Safety Reasons

- Saves time and efforts

- Convenience of shopping at home

- Wide variety / range of products are available

- Good discounts / lower prices

- Get detailed information of the product

- You can compare various models / brands

- An insight into some of the problems stated by customers

While buying through Internet:

-Not sure of product quality

- Cannot bargain/Negotiate

- Not sure of security of transactions /Credit card misuse

- Need to touch and feel the product

- Significant discounts are not there

- Have to wait for delivery

The Top Ten Players in Indian E-commerce Market are:

    Flipkart

    eBay India

    Snapdeal

    Amazon India

    Myntra

    Shopclues

    Dominos

    freecharge

    Jabong

    Tradus

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