eBay India recently revealed the findings of their third annual buying census, where they analyse the shopping trends of people who have shopped using their online store. Delhi remains the largest e-commerce hub in the country for the third year in a row, ahead of Mumbai. Interestingly, Jaipur is the third biggest hub, ahead of Chennai and Bangalore, and the most traded item was, tellingly, mobile phones.
The biggest sellers were Mumbai, and sold the most technology related products, and were also highly successful in the lifestyle area, particularly in wristwatches. The city also imports more music CDs from global sellers than anywhere else in the country.
According to eBay India Country Manager Ambareesh Murthy, “The census is a reflection of how people shop online. Delhi remains the top e-commerce hub, but people from smaller towns have also started transacting on the website, showing that broadband penetration is increasing and that people are becoming more comfortable shopping online.”
Speaking at a conference earlier in Delhi, this view was repeated by the heads of various e-commerce leaders. The consensus amongst the industry is that the growth of the online sector is going to continue as access to the Internet and broadband penetration improves in the country, and this view is also supported by the TRAI. As per TRAI Chairman JS Sharma, the overall GDP of a state has been proven to improve by 1 per cent for every 10 per cent improvement in broadband penetration, and this relation is going to improve as we get nearer to a tipping point in broadband access.
In the recently declared National Broadband Plan, it has been outlined that the country aims to bring fiber optic lines to every village with over 500 residents by 2013. [Every village will have broadband access by 2012: TRAI Chairman
Transactions between July 2009 and June 2010, however, remain predominantly in the more urban parts of the country, and technology makes up for 48 per cent of the transactions, while lifestyle constitutes 34 per cent. Some of the major categories for Indian sellers were Indian stamps, herbal skincare products, designer sarees, and ethnic jewellery.