Online or internet-based shopping basically means that instead of going to the physical outlets’ people buy products & services online using the internet. eCommerce in India has been growing at a rapid pace ever since the internet was introduced in the country in 1995 by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited. There are various websites and apps where shopaholics can go and order products of their choice, preference, and need. The youth brigade of India forms the core of the customer base when it comes to online shopping in India! B2B online shopping is done mainly during the daytime while the B2C shopping orders are placed mainly in the evenings when people reach their homes after a stressful day at work.
There are several reasons why online shopping in India has grown at such a fast rate in the last 2 decades. Some of these are:
1) Huge Private Investments: Both international and domestic e-commerce firms have invested big in the eCommerce sector in India in the recent past. This has generated huge demand for their products on the internet hence giving a big push to this kind of shopping in India. Many small and big businesses entered into e-commerce space in recent years. To start an e-commerce market place you just need to search for an efficient e-commerce website development company that can design and develop your website and make your business online.
2) Digital India Program: The Government of India has been promoting digitization and digital literacy in the country in a big way. This has given a big boost to shopping online in India. As internet penetration and digitally literate people are growing in the country and India is getting a better and a bigger fillip!
3) Beneficial to Buyers: There are many benefits for the buyers which includes some of the best online deals & discounts. Such offers among other benefits prompt the buyer to buy products & services online instead of buying them from physical stores near them!
4) Large Online Consumer Base/Market Potential: India has the second-largest population in the world which makes it a perfect market for online shopping! A large and ready market for selling products through a website is a big reason for the success of online shopping in India.
5) Multiple options easy, safe & secure payments: Since gateway payment options are better than payments in cash, both consumers and sellers prefer online shopping instead of the traditional ways of shopping which has promoted online shopping in India in a big way. Most of the e-commerce websites use SSL services in India to make their website secure.
This list of reasons explaining the fast growth of eCommerce in India is incomplete until we specifically look at the reasons why online buyers prefer online shopping to physical shopping.
The advantages of online shopping for buyers include the following:
1) Saves Time: Time is not money today, it is life! this kind of shopping saves precious time of buyers which they can invest elsewhere into something more important.
2) More Choices: Buyers get the luxury of choosing from a vast number of products from different brands according to their choice and preference. This is another reason why buyers prefer internet shopping in India.
3) Bigger Deals and Discounts: Buyers get the best online deals and discounts while shopping via the internet. Deals like BOGO (Buy One Get One), 100%cash-backs, deep discounts, and free home-delivery are availed only through online shopping in India!
4) Search Cost Reduction: Buyers can look for and find the product of their choice within seconds while shopping online against the long & tedious searches during physical shopping.
5) Better Customer Service: Buyers get better customer services like guaranteed product replacement/return, quick grievance redressal, free installation of equipment, online wallet service, etc.
However, online buyers have to face some difficulties as well while shopping. Some of the challenges faced by buyers while shopping online are:
1) High probability of fraud: Since there is no face-to-face meeting between the buyer and the seller, buyers are duped by fake sellers who promise to give the best online deals and discounts but run away with the buyers’ hard-earned money.
2) No physical access to the product before buying: The buyer might misunderstand the features and/or qualities of the product while buying them online as there is no physical access to the product before buying it.
3) Confusion & chaos: Since there are too many products to choose from, the buyer more often gets confused regarding which product to buy!
But these challenges faced by buyers can easily be removed to strengthen and expand the coverage of online shopping in India. This can be done in the following ways:
- The government should form an ‘Online Vigilance Squad‘ which will prevent online frauds and will also punish the guilty. Also, the online buyers need to be vigilant themselves and not fall in the traps of online fraudsters, for example, buyers should confirm the registration of any e-commerce firm with the government before buying its products.
- Online buyers can visit nearby outlets to check out the products they intend to buy online. Also, it’s the duty of an e-commerce firm to take back a product if the buyer bought it due to a misunderstanding in relation to the product features.
The promotion, spread, and growth of online shopping in India is of utmost importance for the country as only technology can cater to the shopping needs of such a large consumer population. In order to make this a reality, we need a steady internet penetration and a faster digital literacy-spread in the country!