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Interest in online shopping grew 128% in 2012: Google

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Interest in online shopping grew 128% in 2012: Google

With Indian users getting comfortable with the idea of buying products on the internet, online shopping in India has hit a tipping point and is expected to see exponential growth in 2013, says a report compiled by Google India, by combining consumer interest observed on Google search and online research conducted by TNS.

The report highlights the huge growth in interest in online shopping by Indians as per data recorded on Google Trends. Online shopping in India saw 128 per cent growth in interest from the consumers in the year 2011 to 2012 in comparison to only 40 per cent growth in 2010 to 2011.

In terms of product categories, consumer interest on Google search for apparels and accessories (30 per cent) emerged as the second biggest product category after consumer electronics (34 per cent) and is expected to become bigger than consumer electronics in 2013 in terms of absolute query volumes. Other categories that Indians searched for online were books (15 per cent), beauty and personal care (10 per cent), home and furnishing (6 per cent), baby products (2 per cent) and healthcare (3 per cent).

The report also highlighted massive growth in niche product categories in 2011-2012 on Google search, in comparison to electronics, baby products, home and furnishing, and healthcare saw over 2X growth and were also the fastest growing product category in terms of query volume on Google search.

Speaking about the insights and implications for the online shopping industry players in India, Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director, Google India said “With approximately eight million Indians shopping online in 2012, online shopping industry in India is growing rapidly and will continue to see exponential growth. By looking at the trends in 2012, we expect 2013 to be a strong growth year for players who are focussed on fast growing categories such as apparels and accessories and niche product categories such as baby products, home furnishings and health-nutrition.”

“We expect the growth to come from outside of top eight metros as was evident in our recently concluded ‘Great online shopping festival’ which saw over 51 per cent of traffic from non-metros,” he added.

As mobile internet user base grows in India, mobile phones are also becoming a contributor in the surge for online shopping with Google witnessing 2X growth in number of queries from mobile phones in the year 2011 to 2012. Currently, 30 per cent of all shopping queries in India come from mobile phones. These trends were also validated with the help of an online research conducted by TNS Australia of the internet users in the age group 18 to 50 from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune.

As per the research, 90 per cent of online shoppers are planning to buy more products online which reflects on the positive experience of the users. In terms of top product categories ever purchased online, apparels and accessories was among the top category (84 per cent), followed by electronics (71 per cent), beauty and personal care (64 per cent), books (62 per cent) and household products (61 per cent). The research also highlighted that baby products (39 per cent), health and nutrition (43 per cent) product category were also becoming popular with online buyers.

In terms of motivators to shop online, consumers highlighted cash back guarantee as the number one benefit, ability to give cash on delivery, fast delivery, great deals and access to branded products were highlighted amongst the other benefits of shopping online. The consumers also highlighted some barriers that deter them from shopping online – the number one factor was inability to touch and try the goods before purchase, fear of faulty products, fear of posting their personal and financial details online and the inability to bargain were cited among the other reasons.

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