Ever since the e-commerce category evolved as a potent shopping option, its consumers are stereotyped as upper class and high end people settled in posh metros of the country. However, trends witnessed in the last two years challenge practically every axiom that has been laid down while describing e-commerce consumers.
According to a report by combining consumer interest observed on Google search and online research conducted by TNS compiled by Google India, online shopping in India grew by 128 per cent in 2012 in comparison to only 40 per cent growth witnessed in 2011.
With the growth in the e-commerce space, new trends have emerged that are shaping the consumer dynamics. Some of the major trends witnessed are:
Video based marketing
Importance of video content has gone up immensely in the last few years. While Indian consumers are getting over the touch and feel barrier with the help of high quality pictures and advanced features such as 360 degree rotation, presenting them with a video footage of the product is the next likely trend. Consumers can get a more realistic view of the product through the video and e-commerce owners can also bank on shares to make the product popular.
Review based shopping
Word of mouth has been one the cheapest and the most reliable forms of marketing. In the ultra modern scenario, word of mouth is in the form of reviews across social media, blogs and feedback page of the websites. Referring to reviews is a very important part of a product or service research and thus, research based shopping will be one of the most important trends in 2013.
Advent of m-commerce
The radical growth witnessed in the consumption of data from mobile phones is known by all. To keep up with the increasingly fast and tech savvy consumer, m-commerce shall be at the doorstep in 2013. While a number of websites already have tailored mobile websites, there shall soon be a full-fledged m-commerce in industry in India.
Growing traction in Tier II and III cities
A consumer lavishly settled in an air-conditioned room, surfing the web on an expensive tab or a flat screen computer, scrolling through the fashionable and trendy products – finally selecting one and paying through the credit card – is what one imagines while picturing a e-commerce consumer.
It could be the lack of availability of brands or the simple lifestyle of non-metros that holds people back from going to shops and buying certain products that has given rise to this trend.
Data published by Homeshop18 for FY2012-13 revealed that Tier II and III cities and towns have been the ones that are consuming more of trendy, lavish and bold products online.
Guwahati, Jammu, Lucknow, Patna and Bhubaneshwar are amongst the top consuming non-metros at Homeshop18. Guwahati and Bhubaneshwar lead the sensual wear category amongst the Tier II towns, leaving behind some of the fastest growing cities such as Surat, Kochi and Coimbatore.
This trend was not restricted to apparel. Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra buy maximum mobile phones, contributing to 30 per cent of the mobile phones sold. Kanpur is the third largest city to buy mobile phones after Delhi and Mumbai at Homeshop18.
Apparel vs. Electronics
Electronics was one of the initial categories to make its way to e-commerce. However, apparel, healthcare and accessories soon joined the bandwagon, eventually posing a threat to the pioneer category. The apparel and accessories category witnessed the highest growth in 2012 and is predicted to surpass electronics in 2013.