Online Retail in India Continues to Pick Up Pace

India as a potential market is never far from the thoughts of business-minded people. On face value, the country could be a potential goldmine for any organisation that could break in. In fact, such is the thinking behind Amazon‘s recent warehouse-building in the subcontinent.

Of course, Amazon is already working towards a goal that not all that many people have realised just yet – India is a perfect environment for pureplay online businesses to become truly successful. In fact, a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group says online retail in India may be a $84-billion industry by 2016, ten times more than it was in 2010.

Many people in India live in regional towns or villages that do not have access to the same stores, brands and products that people in the large cities do, but now they are beginning to find they can purchase these items online at relatively competitive prices.

“Internet penetration has allowed online consumers to actually get access to the same selection, pricing, discount and deals, that so far was available to their cousins in larger cities,” K. Vaitheeswaran, CEO of told the Business Standard.

Not only does India have one of the world’s largest populations, it is also the world’s youngest internet population, with 75 percent of users aged under 35. Many of these have a higher disposable income than their parents did at the same age.

Of course, with such potential and scope, India has already seen a number of interesting e-commerce success stories, and there have been major innovations made along the way. One practice that some might find odd is the cash-on-delivery model that many Indian online businesses use.

“A lot of people do not understand how to use a credit card,” said Rohit Bansal, Co-founder of daily deals site Snapdeal.

So Amazon has shouldered its way onto this scene with the site, and it is tipped to be a success. With much of the country only just beginning to be opened up to logistics companies, the online trade is set to grow. It may be just the right environment for innovative pilot businesses to spread their wings, however many in the industry consider the competition to be too fierce. With so many options for affordable supply (all of Asia is right on its doorstep) India will surely continue to tempt entrepreneurs to try their luck.

Would your business work in India? Where else in the world do you think would be good to set up shop?

For more information on capturing international audiences, see Power Retail’s Special Report #21: Growing Globally.

One thought on “Online Retail in India Continues to Pick Up Pace

    • Jennifer
    • 27th March

    Online Shopping in India has been around for years. I recall shopping online for books at as far back as 2001. But it is really catching up these days and so many new sites have come up. Given the poor urban infrastructure, I expect millions to start shopping online in India in the next few years.


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