Home >Industry >Retail >100 million online shoppers in India by 2016: Report

New Delhi: The billions of dollars being shovelled into online businesses in India is not for nothing.

Online shopping in the country will touch $15 billion by 2016, with over 50 million new buyers emerging from tier 1 and tier 2 cities, finds a survey report from search giant Google and Forrester Consulting. The total number of online shoppers in India will nearly triple to 100 million by 2016, including 40 million women, the report added.

The confidence to shop online across tier 1 and tier 2 cities will surge, according to the survey which covered 6,859 respondents, both online buyers and non-buyers, in 50 cities/towns. Among non-buyers from these cities, 71% said they plan to shop online in the next 12 months.

“The consumer confidence to shop online has grown significantly in the last year and a half," said Nitin Bawankule, industry director for e-commerce, local and classifieds at Google India.

Bawankule added that the behaviour of Indian online buyers is fast mirroring that of buyers in more developed markets as more subjective product categories have started seeing significant growth.

The findings suggested that women buyers in tier 1 cities were more engaged in online shopping, and outspend men by nearly two times, splurging on categories such as apparel, beauty and skincare, home furnishing, baby products and jewellery.

“Women buyers are set to become the most significant contributor to the growth of online shopping and there is a huge opportunity waiting to be unlocked in this user segment," added Bawankule.

Mobile phones emerged as an important tool for online shoppers with one out of three online buyers transacting on their mobile phones, especially in tier 1 and tier 2 cities.

In tier 3 cities, one in two buyers said they use mobile phones to purchase products online, the report stated. Currently, over 50% of shopping queries were coming from mobile phones, up from 24% two years ago.

Two-third of shoppers surveyed for the report suggested that variety and convenience in online shopping was a major factor driving their purchase decisions.

The surge in e-commerce gives a boost to online retailers such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal who are flush with funds from private equity companies.

E-commerce companies on their part have been splurging cash to attract new set of shoppers by giving steep discounts and indulging in promotions.

On 6 October, Flipkart promoted its Big Billion Day sale, offering steep discounts of almost 90% on selected products. Amazon and Snapdeal ran prolonged offers, specially around the festive season of Diwali.

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