Indian online shoppers are getting more discerning

Growing smartphone usage has spurred the access to shopping websites for Indian consumers, according to the survey by MasterCard


Shoppers aged between 25-34 and 35-44 years are far more active Internet shoppers. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Shoppers aged between 25-34 and 35-44 years are far more active Internet shoppers. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Bengaluru: Financial services company MasterCard surveyed shopping behaviour of consumers across the country between October and December 2015 to check the frequency of goods bought over the Internet. Increased ownership of smartphones is helping more Indians access shopping websites easily, according to the survey released on Thursday.

Here are some excerpts from the survey:

1. More people visiting websites spent money buying air-tickets, that has traditionally been a high value, high spend category. Shoppers logged online to buy more home appliances, electronic products, clothing, accessories, hotels and travel trailing behind with a half or less spends. More Indians are spending more money to buy clothes and accessories online, where spends on the category moved up from 32% in Oct-Dec 2014 to 36% in 2015.

2. Shoppers aged between 25-34 and 35-44 years are far more active Internet shoppers.

3. Indian shoppers, when driven by impulse, buy more home appliances, electronic products, and clothing and accessories, followed by personal or beauty care products, cinema and coupons/deals. Compared to 2014, spends on restaurants and food delivery gained in 2015.

4. The incidence of online purchase in the last three months of 2015 as well as the average number of occasions show an upward trend since 2013. Respondents, when asked about the frequency of Internet usage to shop online went up from 81% (in 2014) to 86% (in 2015), implying more shoppers log on to the Internet to shop for goods now.

5. 75% of the respondents said they use smartphones to order goods online.

6. Half the shoppers surveyed search the Internet before buying online, more shoppers (46%) compared prices at a store with online merchants (up by 6.3% since 2014) and 36.9% conducted research online before buying offline (down by 5.8% since 2013).

7. More women in India view online shopping as convenient and fun, and believe that most people shop online a lot. Women also seem to be more concerned than men for most aspects like convenient payment methods, exchange or return policy and the price/value of the items.

8. Through their mobile phones, shoppers bought more clothing and accessories, followed by phone apps and cinema tickets. Other categories include home appliances and personal and beauty care brands.

9. Like most other shopping in India, the most important occasion for making online purchases is Diwali (23.4%). However, a higher proportion of people do not have any specific reason (30.7%) for making an online purchase.

10. Fewer shoppers think shopping online is not cost-effective, the number dropped from 27% in 2014 to 9.6% in 2015.