Cybercafés are fast becoming popular access points for e-commerce, a latest survey by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has revealed. From online banking to buying train tickets, electronic gadgets, beauty products and toys, Cybercafés in India are fast becoming crucial access points for a regular online shopper.
The report, titled ‘Online Activities and Ecommerce from Cybercafés’, aims to understand the shopping habits of cybercafé users and confirms that cybercafés have fast evolved into a popular access point for e-commerce across India, delivering an important contribution towards this year’s e-commerce estimate of Rs 1,180 crore.
According to IMRB, the cybercafé market had grown at high rates, averaging a YoY growth of 45 per cent over the last five years. Currently, there are over 1.05 lakh cybercafés in India, and the number is expected to grow to 2.62 lakh by 2010 (Source: IMRB-CII report on broadband).
The survey, which was conducted online (October 2005), comprised Internet users (sample size of 882 respondents), who frequented and accessed the Internet from cybercafés in a primary or an allied capacity of which 47 per cent shopped online.
The respondents’ data was collected and analysed by Cross Tab Marketing Services along with IAMAI. The survey solicited information on users who accessed the Internet via cybercafés, their profile, Internet usage, products purchased online, their future propensity to buy and their level of satisfaction associated with online shopping.
According to Preeti Desai, President, IAMAI, “The number of Internet users has grown at a whopping rate of 54 per cent and currently stands at 38.5 million users. The figure is likely to go up to 100 million users by 2007-08. The cybercafé is instrumental in integrating the Internet with the Indian social fabric, bringing the future of Internet technology to Indian citizens at a cost effective and an affordable price. Though it’s a well known fact that the savvy net citizens are in the young age group – it’s heartening to acknowledge that different generations, the youth of the country and senior citizens are using the Internet for diverse purposes such as gaming and Internet telephony assisting each other in top cities as well as in Tier-II cities and towns. Cybercafés, being community access points, coupled with e-commerce activities, are key drivers in India’s e-volution.”
The products bought by shoppers from cybercafés include books to beauty products. 37 per cent of shoppers from cybercafés bought books, 41 per cent bought electronic gadgets, 37 per cent bought railway tickets, 36 per cent bought apparel – accessories, 38 per cent bought apparel, 29 per cent bought gifts, 30 per cent bought consumer electronics, 23 per cent bought airline tickets, 25 per cent bought music, 15 per cent did hotel bookings, 16 per cent bought magazine subscriptions, 12 per cent bought home tools and products, 13 per cent bought home appliances, 10 per cent bought toys, 14 per cent bought jewellery, 14 per cent bought movie tickets, 10 per cent bought beauty products, 11 per cent bought health and fitness products, and 7 per cent bought sporting goods online.
When it comes to paying online, cash on delivery ruled with 80 per cent finding it ‘very secure’ and 17 per cent finding it ‘secure’. 10 per cent of shoppers from cybercafés found using credit cards online to be ‘very secure’, while 38 per cent found it ‘secure’. Credit card companies might want to make a note of that.
Mumbai (24 per cent), Delhi (14 per cent), Bangalore (9 per cent) and Chennai (8 per cent) lead the way of shoppers from cybercafés.