The Indian B2C ecommerce market is moving at a scorching pace finally. The B2C spending is expected to reach Rs.238 crore clocking a growth rate of 88% in the year 2002. Music CDs, gift items, books and consumer electronics are the top items purchased on the Indian Net. These were the key finding of a study on Indian B2C market done by IDC, the leading international market research and consulting agency.
IDC forecasted that the B2C ecommerce spending will cross Rs. 2300 crore by the end of 2006 at a CAGR of 79%. The data was collected from the Internet shopping websites and the people who have actually bought on the Net. To get the true picture of the consumer spending on the web, data was analyzed from two perspectives. First, the analysis was done on the type of items purchased by Internet buyers and their frequency. The data showed that categories that were favoured by 'early adopters' have become staples of B2C environment. Music CDs, gift items, books and consumer electronics top the list of items purchased in terms of volume of transaction. However, quite a different picture emerges when the data is analyzed from a second perspective i.e in Rupees terms. Gifts and consumer electronics are at the top closely followed by travel.
"What is interesting is that travel has emerged as the fastest growing category for the B2C ecommerce segment. Currently, it is estimated to be contributing 23% to the B2C market and is expected to account for nearly 60% of the B2C market by 2006," said Munish Myer, Head-Internet, Communications & Convergence Research at IDC India. With Indian Railways and domestic airlines launching the online sale of tickets, this segment is expected to grow at a phenomenal rate of 140%. Mobile phone is the second fastest growing segment.
It is not just B2C ecommerce which is growing, but Internet assisted commerce has also grown by around 70% over 2001 and is estimated to be around Rs 210 crore for the year 2002. Financial services and home loans account for nearly 45% of this particular segment followed by auto and real estate.
The research also found that approximately 40% of the online buyers preferred shopping on the focused shopping sites. Interestingly, an equal number of people did not have any specific preference between a shopping site and large portals offering shopping amongst other things. Baazee.com appeared to be the favourite with nearly 35% of the online buyers contacted had transacted on this site.
While, convenience emerged as the single most important reason for buying on the Net, cash on delivery turned out to be the most preferred mode of payment, followed by credit card. More than 80% of net buyers termed their online experience as satisfactory or highly satisfactory. According to Dinesh Jindal, Sr. Analyst at ICCR, "This is very important because these people will act as referrals for these shopping sites and will be instrumental in getting more people to the net. Prompt customer service and ability to track the order is something that most of the buyers value a lot."