JuxtConsult, a Delhi-based online research firm, is out with its annual study on the Indian Internet space – India Online 2007. The study reveals some interesting facts about the Internet shopping scenario in India.
As per research findings, eBay (excluding online travel websites) is the most preferred site for online shopping followed by Rediff, Google and Yahoo. eBay leads with 34 per cent online shoppers still preferring to visit it the most. Rediff follows at the second spot with 25 per cent online shoppers preferring to visit it. However, both eBay and Rediff have lost usage share on preferred basis in the last one year, while new entrant Futurebazaar along with Google have been the biggest gainers.
The research also discloses that growth in online buying is largely driven by the growth in online travel booking. A substantial 84 per cent of all online buyers have bought a travel product online (air and train tickets, hotels or tour packages). In comparison, only 56 per cent of all online buyers have bought a non-travel product online (books, CDs, clothes, electronic gadgets, computer software, hardware and consumer durables). The top two of the top 10 products bought on the Net by online buyers are train tickets (53 per cent) and air tickets (45 per cent).
The research also shows that three-fourth of all regular online Indians (76 per cent) search for products and services online. This has shown a 60 per cent growth in the base of online shoppers in last one year, making it 19.1 million strong.
When it comes to the base of actual online buyers, 43 per cent of all regular online urban Indians have bought online. This means a growth of 76 per cent over the last year, making the online buyer base reach a healthy 10.8 million mark. Despite such tremendous growth in the number of online buyers overall, the base of really ‘active’ online buyers (those who buy online at least once a month) is almost stagnant at 2.2 million (same as last year).
Against 73 per cent of online buyers coming from the SEC ‘A’ and ‘B’ last years, a noticeably fewer 67 per cent come from these two SEC groups now. However, the fact that online buying is penetrating among the smaller towns and lower SEC groups do not necessarily mean that the economic profile of the online buyers is lowering.
The biggest ‘qualitative gain’ about online shopping is its improved perception on highly important and hardcore ‘market place’ factors like ‘wider choice and availability of products’ and ‘better prices and bargains’, and not just on the ‘convenience’ factors like saving of time and efforts, home delivery and flexibility of buying anytime. Yet ‘product quality’ and ‘delivery’ concerns may be negating some of the gains made. Though ‘misuse of a credit card’ is a non-issue among online buyers, the research reveals that ‘lack of a credit card’ is still a strongly perceived roadblock to growth of online buying.
The methodology used for the research was land survey undertaken in April 2007. It sampled 10,000 households in 31 cities (of population sizes 20,000 plus) across all the four regions to estimate Internet user-ship and derive appropriate ‘weights’ to make online survey data representative of the entire online urban population.