Significant changes in the consumer behaviour could be seen as the market turns bullish on the growth potential of eCommerce space in India. Sailing on the wave of greater disposable income, evolving lifestyle, augmented awareness, deeper Internet penetration and innovative marketing campaigns, the tide of eCommerce has changed the dynamics of Indian consumer behaviour.
The Indian retail industry has witnessed a remarkable shift in the paradigm with the advent of eCommerce. Besides, In the last 5 years, India's online retail industry has grown at a swift pace, from about Rs 15 billion revenues in 2007-08 to Rs 139 billion in 2012-13, translating into a CAGR of over 56 per cent, according to a study by CRISIL research.
As per the War of Clicks research by RNCOS, over the past few years, consumers have become more informed and conscious, thus seeking for value for money, better options, purchasing online, and seeing the shopping experience in an entirely new light.
Nowadays, consumers are moving towards new technology leaving behind the conventional ways of purchasing. Consumers now prefer doing their own online as well as offline research, rather than simply relying on promotions. Moreover, with social media creating inroads in the hinterland too, via smartphones and tabs, consumers now exchange product reviews before buying anything.
As the Indian retail industry is moving towards omni-channel retailing, this shift in paradigm has further impacted the consumer behaviour by empowering the consumer to choose their own way of shopping, through online as well as offline.
Further, the major trends that act as a tailwind for the eCommerce industry, includes the increase in the number of online buyers, increasing internet penetration, increase in mobile commerce, aspirations of tier-II/III cities, and the ever changing consumer buying behaviour. It can be expected that online buyers in India will cross 125 million mark by 2018 end, as per the RNCOS study.
Besides, online marketplaces like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and others has empowered consumers by giving them unlimited freedom for product and price comparison, getting coupons, buying best deals, time convenience, and easy payment options ranging from COD and credit cards to EMI.
Also, this trend has made it easy for the to place orders on the go, as smartphones and tabs provide ample scope and mobility.
As per the study, the surge in 'Mobile Commerce' or 'm-Commerce'. Because of the popularity of social networking sites and their apps on smartphones and apps, people are readily spending to possess one of these devices primarily because of the mobility factor.
Besides, more and more eCommerce sites are coming with their apps and personalised product suggestions, in a bid to attract more consumers. However, this emerging mobile commerce trend has further influenced the consumer behaviour by offering more convenience and ease of shopping to the consumer.
The RNCOS study, cited the example of Flipkart and Snapdeal, reported faster transactions uptakes from mobile devices. Snapdeal reported that nearly 70% of its orders are already coming from cell phones and tablets and this percentage is poised to take a steep jump. This is basically on account of 'mobile-only' web users.
Another factor luring the consumers to shop online includes the fast logistics and smooth return/exchange/refund policies. Easy payment options have been a major factor in bringing more consumers. All these facts are driving the impulsive purchases. The jaw dropping discounts and deals are further fuelling the behaviour.
The Indian online retail market has been striding leaps and bounds over the past few years on account of the digital revolution. The trend is expected to continue as the online retail market in India is estimated to touch the mark of US$ 14.5 Billion by 2018. Consumer behaviour and shopping-trends will help the Indian online retail industry to record a staggering growth in the near future.