Online shopping set to boom in India

New Delhi, August 21 :

E-commerce in India is set to jump by 95 per cent from Rs 11.8 billion Indian Currency (IC) to Rs 23 billion IC in 2006-07 on a whopping Rs 2.18 billion IC advertisement-spend, a new survey states.

This is largely because India’s current 38.5 million Internet users will shoot up to 100 million by 2007-08, states the study by the Mumbai-based Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). “Referrals by online shoppers work as they come from a trusted source. The consumer is more credible and trusted than the advertiser or marketer,” states the survey, which covered 1,240 online shoppers.

However, the report does not comment on the problems that such shoppers in India face due to the lack of a system allowing those who do not own credit cards to make online payments speedily and cheaply.

The survey found that 55 per cent of visitors to e-commerce sites ha-ve adopted it as a shopping medium. Forty-six per cent of the shoppers were from the 26-35 age gro-up, 25 per cent in the 18-25 bra-cket and 18 per cent in the 35-46 category. Th-ere is a gender bias in cyberspace, the survey found, as 85 per cent of the shoppers are male. Why do people shop online? Seventy per cent of online shoppers like the ‘home delivery’ aspect, 62 per cent like the ‘time-saving’, 60 per cent like the 24x7 nature, 45 per cent like the ‘ease of use’ and 39 per cent like product comparisons.

Some 38 per cent of online shoppers find online promotions important while 53 per cent believe that it is important to clearly state product availability.

Sixty per cent find that the variety of the offering is a significant criterion attracting them to online shopping.

More than half — 61 per cent — favoured the clarity in delivery schedules. Fifty-six per cent came to online shopping via a search engine, 54 per cent by online advertising, 38 per cent by typing in the site’s name directly, 31 per cent through word of mouth and 16 per cent via offline advertising.

Asked why they shop at a particular website, 62 per cent said they went by the reputation of the portal. Fifty-one per cent consider it a safe option of transaction, 46 per cent opted for a known brand, 44 per cent opted for better payment options, 42 per cent for better delivery options, 39 per cent for better variety, 36 per cent for its assurance of quality, 35 per cent for prompt customer service and 18 per cent due to word-of-mouth endorsement. Sixty-two per cent online shoppers surveyed believed that ‘close-up product images’ are an important feature, while a little over half stressed the need for consumer reviews and a good search function.

A huge 93 per cent of the respondents said they would recommend online shopping. Fifty-four per cent recommended that electronic gadgets be shopped online. Other recommended items include consumer electronics, books, apparel, railway and plane tickets, apparel accessories, gifts, home appliances, movies, hotel bookings and movie tickets.