HomeTech GuideHow is E-Commerce Changing the Buying Habits of Consumers in India?

How is E-Commerce Changing the Buying Habits of Consumers in India?

E-commerce or in general as most of us are familiar with; the shopping websites. This is not just a mere comfortable shopping phenomenon that everyone has adapted with, it’s far beyond and far more complex than what it looks like. There are so many ingenious people behind a simple e-commerce website, changing the way we perceive the traditional e-commerce trade. What is more exciting is not just the ability of such business to deliver a quality product at your doorstep without even setting a foot out but the vast psychological change it is making to the people’s mindset about online shopping.

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Just a decade ago when Flipkart was mere a name and another shopping website like eBay were fraudulent in the eyes of consumers. It was impossible for people to believe in such a concept, forget them even I was n’t ready to pay online. But now, technology has changed, a generation has evolved and we have apps for every petite thing on the internet and look at people going cashless every day.

Online retail has become a new phenomenon.” – Amit Agarwal, V.P. Amazon India

Let’s point key factors?

India has approx 450 million active internet users and around one-third of that active population is on at least on the top shopping website. The consumer finds the world wide web a great place for a bargain and their daily need, with most of the goods available in cheaper prices than offline market it’s hard to resist and garb that deal before anyone. And not just that, consumers find convenience while shopping online because most of the shopper find crowded high street a bit traumatic and the online shopping works like an escape mechanism for them. And then there is various offers, discounts and the new attraction; cashback. E-commerce has emerged as a powerful media for shoppers and shoppes, suggestions, review and customer support has created a new world of digital shopper.

Analysis of various studies


So, there have been various studies on this topic, some are accurate and some are just bogus but all that fact bloc together point to one concept that e-commerce has gradually increased in India. A ComScore Report suggests that India is now the second largest internet population, the study also suggests that online retail in Inda is on a big rise with about 60% of internet users visiting online shopping site every day. The major player in the list is Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Jabong. Around 25% users look for apparels, 15-16% look for computer shopping and 16% look for mobile devices.

A McKinsey (2012) reports suggests, 1.6% contribution of the Internet to India’s GDP worth 30 billion $ and a consumer surplus amounting 9 billion $. India added 15 million e-commerce users, and that happened in only 2012. So, we can assure you that e-commerce growth in India has been directly proportional to Internet penetration happening in India, and for that a huge credit goes to Reliance JIO, making India the fastest country to adopt 4G network.

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The Financial Express reported in 2014 that about 89% of the youth in India does online research before making any purchase and about 74% influence their friends and family in the purchase decisions. And not just that, around 90% consumers give a feedback after using the product, which helps other consumers a lot.

With $681 billion in online retail sales in 2016, China is the largest market for e-commerce globally, followed by the US, and the fastest growing one is India.”- Youtstory.com

A new study by Forrester Research also suggests that approximately a fifth of total retail sales will happen online by 2021 in the Asia Pacific and around 78% of them will happen from mobile devices, which is 63% higher than 2016. It also predicts that the online market will reach 1 trillion $ in 2020.

Buying Habit of Consumers

Okay, the first things about consumer behaviour are it’s unpredictable, no one can be accurate one which age group will purchase this specific product or not, but apparently, there are so many studies and data on this topic that one can actually target a specific set of the market if he wants to. Exempli gratia, Amazon India, when they launched in India, they didn’t have a single clue about the Indian market and its people, they were hugely relying on the data gathered from foreign countries such as the US and Europe. But it didn’t quite work, a market from far east is totally diverse from a market in the south-east. That’s why it was tough for the e-commerce company to even make a brand image in India when they already had that brand value in the world.

One can only argue on the certain habit of consumers but the way India adopted 4th generation internet and social media and e-commerce was a bit unpredictable, nobody could prognosticate the new wave of internet junkie leading the tech industries just like that. Apparel is the largest category of online shopping, then comes the electronics and computer hardware, groceries, beauty products etc. and the list goes on.

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Majority of the population was not ready for online payment back in 2013, apparently, Indian consumers don’t prefer to pay first and get product later. And in that time these e-commerce brand introduced COD (Cash on delivering) method, making the shopping industries more reliable and trustworthy for its consumers. Now those who use to only prefer the COD method are acclimating the online payment as well as; all thanks to demonetisation and digital India initiative.


The consumers base in India is not homogeneous, some of them are comfortable paying online and some of them are not, some are just exploring shopping website like social media and some are checking out various offers and cashback schemes. So, it will always be an intricate industry and the only one who seems to be doing well now is Amazon India, preliminary because it has data and a tremendous amount of customer data can make you forecast a lot. The e-commerce industry today is growing an inch every day, what started from a room by selling books is now a progressive market of individual swiping left and right for their daily need.

Kamlesh Ranjan
Kamlesh Ranjan
A computer graduate, an MBA dude, and a student of journalism from IIMC. Mix this three soluble up, and you'll get 'Sergeant Kamal' . I'm 10 billion % sure this will work. Get excited!

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