The incredible Growth of the Online Business in India
E-commerce in India has grown by 68% during the last three years, while in China and the United States it has only grown by 23% and 12% respectively.
Currently, it is impossible not to think of online presence when starting a new business. Priorities have changed and having a physical store is the second step after creating a website. But why? Why is Internet changing the way we make money? Easy: Internet can connect things that nothing else can connect. The relationship customer-supplier is not personal anymore; most of the times in the online market customers and suppliers don’t know each other, they never talk, as long as each party gets whatever they want, they both are happy.
India is not the exception. As one the most populated countries in the world, India is home of one of the most important online markets worldwide. There are currently more than 50 million online shoppers in India and this number is growing exponentially. There is a new Internet user every 3 seconds, that means that every month nearly 1 million Indians use internet for the very first time in their lives somehow. It is a fact that Indian online shoppers spent an average of $288 every year, so it is not a coincidence that the E-Commerce in India is worth more than $22 Billion and it is expected to be worth over $100 Billion by 2020.
It all started 21 years ago when free internet was released in India on August 15, 1995. Before then, only educational and research communities had access to Internet. Since day one, Indians embraced internet and made it part of their lives. Indians have worked hard to make Internet better not only within their boundaries but also out of India. A great example of this is Mr. Srinivasan Ramani, he is the only Indian inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for his contribution to bringing internet to life.
Thank to researchers like Mr. Ramani, E-Commerce and internet in general has become a hot topic in India. One of the main reasons for the fast growth of E-Commerce is that online stores are “open” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also online business owners can reach niche markets through personalized advertisement all over the web. In addition, the availability of worldwide delivery makes it easy for customers to prefer online shopping over physical stores.
Websites for Every Service
In India, goods and services are just a click away from Indian customers. Now, who is leading the E-Commerce Industry in India? The retailing market is leading the Indian E-commerce industry. Amazon.in is on the top of the list of online retailers. Amazon.in was born after the huge success of Amazon.com in America. Amazon India was launched in 2013 and it reported a Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) of ₹168Cr. With more than 198 million visitors in the first semester of 2016, 23% of monthly active users, and around 35 million items listed, it is the most visited website in the country.
The second place goes to Flipkart. Flipkart is the competitor number one of Amazon. It is an online superstore with more than 40 million items listed on their website; however, it reached only 114 million visitors during the first semester of 2016. Snapdeal takes the third place. It is also a superstore for the Indian market with more than 120 visitors every year and it has a GVM of ₹154Cr.
A successful E-Commerce Business
India is a leader in online marketing and web-based businesses. So, what are Indians doing in order to engage so many customers? The secrets are:
Target audience: Indians know their customers very well, they know exactly what they want and what they are willing to pay for.
Visual Content: Investing on a professional team to create a website for your business is 100% worth it. Colors, fonts and headers are only examples of details that make a website clean and user-friendly.
Payment Options: It does not matter how they pay, as long as they pay.
Self-promotion and advertisement: If you don’t show it, you won’t sell it.
M-commerce in India
Fintech companies in India are making big investments on enabling cashless payment methods from cellphones and other mobile devices. Over 60% of Internet users in India are mobile only while 40% of all the E-Commerce sales in India in 2014 were made through mobile devices. India’s market for mobile commerce is expected to be worth over $19 Billion by 2019. With over 100 million app downloads per month, India is in the top 5 regions for the Google Play Store and this number is increasing exponentially.
Who is going mobile in India? Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon India, Paytm, Jabong, ShopClues, Voonik and Myntra are on the top 10 of best and most downloaded apps in India, but it is not all about retailing. The times of India attributes 60% of its business to mobile transactions, in comparison to 5% in 2015.
Weirdest Things You Can Buy Online in India
Yes, you read that well. Even though we are used to buying shoes and cell phones online, with more than 40 million items listed on amazon, few strange products show up here and there.
Grow a boyfriend: Add water and grow a boyfriend that does not fall asleep or play video games all day long. Listed on Amazon.In for ₹1200.
Instant Underpants: A pill that becomes underwear: Just add water and there you have it: a comfortable pair of underwear. Listed on Amazon India for ₹1045.
Canned Unicorn Meat: A dismembered stuffed unicorn meat in a can. Listen on Amazon India for ₹2600.
E-commerce remains a challenging market in India. E-Commerce in India has been evolving during the last 21 year. However, even though India is one of the biggest countries in the world, there are other countries with way more developed technology and digital marketing strategies. In order to improve the E-Commerce in India, it is very important to find solutions to typical problems such as low-speed internet or lack of technology but also think about bigger issues like lack of skilled manpower, electronic fraud and even poor infrastructure, that makes shipping and delivery much harder in rural areas. One thing is for sure: India is a leader in technology and E-Commerce in India is an example for online businesses worldwide.
Javier Eduardo Sánchez