49 percent Indian consumers say online sites and apps became the preferred mode of shopping for them in the last 12 months.
Safety from Covid-19 and convenience were cited as top reasons by consumers for using e-commerce. 69 percent of those who shop on e-commerce bought groceries/ essential supplies online, highlighted a survey by Local Circles.
Consumers used large e-commerce platforms as well as small verticals or local e-commerce sites to purchase groceries and essentials.
As per the survey, feedback indicates shopping via e-commerce sites and apps has become a habit for 33 percent e-commerce shoppers and their usage continues despite markets, retail stores and malls being fully functional and open.
The survey said consumers are using services like BigBasket, Amazon Fresh/ Pantry, JioMart, Flipkart, Grofers and a host of local e-commerce sites for essentials and groceries since March 20.
Consumers reported improvement in returns and refunds processing and ability to reach out to customer service of e-commerce sites and apps in the last 12 months
The highest number of consumer say free shipping for all orders and more effective and efficient returns and refunds process will make them use e-commerce sites and apps more for their purchases going forward.
The findings indicate that 49 percent of consumers e-commerce sites and apps for shopping in the last 12 months. 18 percent said they called local retail stores and got home delivery, 31 percent visited mall, local retailers, markets and shop there, while 2 percent couldn't say.
Among the reasons why consumers trusted e-commerce sites and apps in the last 12 months, more than before, 86 percent of the e-commerce shoppers said safe deliveries or no reason to step out, 50 percent said competitive prices, 48 percent said ease of return or return policy, 46 percent said expanded product selection, 45 percent said faster deliveries, and another 45 percent said increased product information and relatable reviews.
The findings indicate that safe or contactless deliveries and not wanting to step out was the top reason why consumers trusted e-commerce sites and apps in the last 12 months.
While consumers trusted e-commerce platform for reasons of safety, when asked about why they continued the use of the e-commerce sites and apps to regularly make their purchases in the last 12 months, 63 percent said personal safety or social distancing norms due to Covid-19, 61 percent said convenience, 45 percent said ease of return and refund, 44 percent said better value or price, 41 percent said fast delivery, and another 41 percent said product range. The findings indicated that personal safety and convenience, followed by ease of return or refund and better value were top reasons why consumers made their purchases on e-commerce sites and apps in the last 12 months.
2020 has been the transformative year in the history of Indian e-commerce because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Something that would have taken 3-5 years in terms of consumer acquisition and penetration happened in just one year as many preferred to order what they needed via e-commerce sites and apps. 49 percent consumers saying that it was the preferred mode of purchasing for them in the last 12 months is significant. As per the survey, for 33 percent of these consumers, e-commerce became a way of life or habit which is likely to continue into 2021.