The supposed ‘dot-come bubble’ witnessed in India has now burst only to reveal an e-commerce industry growing by the minute. The Indian e-commerce industry witnessed a growth of 128 per cent in 2013, with electronics emerging as the largest product category (34 per cent) in terms of consumer interest on Google search.
Indian users, who are largely perceived to research online, purchase offline (ROPO) and look out for more tangible options, are now seen purchasing electronic items off the internet like never before. As opposed to the predictions of apparels and accessories taking over one of the earliest selling product categories on the internet in 2013, electronics continue to stand solid.
According to an info graphic published by Homeshop18, electronics are the fastest selling items – with a sale in every 13 seconds; while mobile and tablets are the fastest selling categories on Yebhi. Same goes with the purchase of used items - eBay consumers are also seen buying more gadgets, the category contributing to 48 per cent of all domestic transactions.
One of the major factors contributing to the sale of electronics on e-commerce is the guarantee offered by brands. Most of the electronic items have a brand guarantee which is one of the biggest motivator for e-commerce consumers.
“The top five cities across eBay where the purchase of gadgets are very high include Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad and the five most popular brands are Sony, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, Blackberry and iberry,” said Deepa Thomas, eCommerce Evangelist, eBay India.
To keep up with the ever dynamic target audience of e-commerce owners have now come up with the EMI service which has contributed immensely to the sale of electronics. “EMIs are popular payment options for electronic items because of the high price of electronic items. EMIs are easy on the consumers’ pocket and offer convenience and financial flexibility while buying electronics,” expressed Sundeep Malhotra, CEO and Founder, Homeshop18. He explained that from product point of view sales of heaters, coolers, ACs, electronic safes and refrigerators have gone up.
Another trend pushing the sales of electronics on e-commerce is the benefit of comparative analysis. These websites give not only the opportunity of researching about a particular product, but also helps in unbiased comparative analysis between two products which might not be possible offline. “Electronic products are displayed with clear description and product specification and customers can easily compare product features and make a purchase immediately,” added Malhotra.
Reviews and blogs are a very important part of the comparative analysis process, wherein users get a good view of the fact about certain product and also have a chance to state the same. “An interesting trend that has been observed amongst consumers is blogging. E-commerce blogs are very effective to reach out to the consumers, removing oneself from a website format to freely express the best and worst of a product,” said Nikhil Rungta, CBO, Yebhi.
Apart from the aforementioned factors, elements such as the huge variety, deals and the convenience of shopping from home also encourage a consumer to purchase online. Also, electronics get a major head start as they do not face the barrier of touch and feel as much as the other categories. While apparels and accessories closely follow electronics, it still does not beat electronics as predicted.