The internet base in India has been on a growth trajectory and as per the Digital 2021 Report in India, there were 624 million internet users in January 2021. The rise in internet users has had a direct impact on the growth of the e-commerce sector in India.
The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion as of 2017 and India's e-commerce order volume increased by 36 percent in the last quarter of the year 2020.
While the Indian economy has been struggling primarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic like the rest of the world, e-commerce has seen quite a success in 2020 and 2021. As the lockdowns became the new normal, consumers have changed their traditional shopping habits and have opted for online shopping through websites or applications.
Traditional businesses and shoppers increasingly ‘went digital’, providing the goods and services online and this has led to a surge in e-commerce and accelerated growth towards digital transformation. Now more than ever, consumers have been going online making all kinds of purchases. These days, the shopper can pretty much order anything online, from basic necessities to some really unimaginable things. At this stage, no one can undermine the role that e-commerce is playing to churn the wheels of businesses in India.
Well, various factors have contributed to this ever-increasing growth. Growing digital literacy, faster urbanization, steady rise in per capita income, hyper-local logistics, growing demand from rural areas, and most importantly 65 percent of India’s population under the age of 35 years have all driven this growth.
With rising internet users in India, where the internet penetration stood at 45.0 percent in January 2021, the e-commerce segment has seen a tremendous rise and many key factors have contributed to this growth.
Convenient and Safe - With curfews and lockdowns being imposed by the government to restrict social movements in a bid to curtail Covid-19 spread, more people have resorted to online shopping to buy goods. Considering the current scenario, it is the need of the hour to stay indoors, therefore online buying became a natural progression to things.
There were many people who were reluctant to shop online, but that’s not the case anymore. Consumers have an option to shop whenever and wherever they want without the hassles of safety concerns. The convenience and safety factor of online shopping has become one of the top reasons for the e-commerce boom.
Saves Time - With a click of a button, one can order anything at their doorsteps. In an era where most people are working from home, online shopping saves time for consumers. There is no need to head out, shop in-store, wait in line, and then journey back home when you can access different products at a lower price from the comfort of home.
Wide Range of Products - With apps and multiple websites offering unlimited options and product range, consumers have become more inclined to stay indoors and indulge in these offerings, and make a choice accordingly. E-commerce enables the customers to choose the product and services from any vendor anywhere in the world. In the internet marketplace, consumers have an option to buy and compare goods, services, price, quality, reviews, etc.
Wider Customer Base - Since there are no geographical boundaries associated with e-commerce, it provides a much wider base to the seller. Selling products online with e-commerce makes geographical boundaries insignificant. The vendor could sell the products to online shoppers across the country and even across the globe. Reach within a certain vicinity is no more a concern area as tactics via digital marketing can enable any seller to reach a larger target audience.
24 X 7 – E-commerce provides flexibility to the shoppers to buy products according to their convenience as the e-shop is open 24x7x365 days. Even though the customer support may be available at certain hours only, automation ensures that the rest of the sales process is always flowing and consumers can purchase on any day, at any time.
Pandemic has to an extent become a catalyst for the momentum created in the e-commerce sector in India and this momentum will continue to transform the business scenario in our country. With increasing investments, 100 percent FDI allowed in B2B e-commerce, strong demand from tier II cities, and increase in digital literacy, it won’t be long before India will become one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world.