E-commerce stands for electronic commerce. It means dealing in goods & services through the electronic media & internet. The rapid growth of e-commerce in India is being driven by greater customer choice & improved convenience with the help of internet the vendor or merchant who sells products or services directly to the customer from the portal using a shopping basket system or digital cart & allows payment trough debit card, credit card or electronic fund transfer payments. In the present scenario e-commerce market & its space is increasing in demand as well as an impressive display or range of a particular type of services. E-commerce is already appearing in all areas of business, customer services, new product development & design. E-commerce business is growing in India because of wide range of product with minimum price wide range of suppliers & customers internet. In this modern era every business units want to join online business because increasing ratio of internet users in India. E-commerce in India is still in growing stage but it offers considerable opportunity.
India had an internet user base of about 354 million as of June 2015 and is expected to cross 500 million in 2016. Despite being the second-largest userbase in world, only behind China (650 million, 48% of population), the penetration of e-commerce is low compared to markets like the United States (266 million, 84%), or France (54 M, 81%), but is growing at an unprecedented rate, adding around 6 million new entrants every month. The industry consensus is that growth is at an inflection point.
In India, cash on delivery is the most preferred payment method, accumulating 75% of the e-retail activities. Demand for international consumer products (including long-tail items) is growing much faster than in-country supply from authorised distributors and e-commerce offerings.
In 2015, the largest e-commerce companies in India were Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon India, and Paytm.
INTRODUCTION TO THE TOPIC
E-commerce is definitely one of the business options that one will have to explore in the future. E-commerce is said to bring about paradigm shift in the world for trading. Prediction e-commerce is showing tremendous business growth in our country. Backed by increased online user base & mobile phone presentation, Indian e-commerce has seen impressive growth in the last few years. Considering India’s demographic dividend & rising internet accessibility, the sector is slated to scale greater heights. Although, India’s overall retail opportunity is substantial, the sector is beset with some serious challenges. The present study has been undertaken to describe the present status & future growth of e-commerce in India. Analyze the present trends of e-commerce in India & examine the challenges & opportunities of
e-commerce in India.
India\'s e-commerce market was worth about $3.9 billion in 2009, it went up to $12.6 billion in 2013. In 2013, the e-retail segment was worth US$2.3 billion. About 70% of India\'s e-commerce market is travel related. According to Google India, there were 35 million online shoppers in India in 2014 Q1 and is expected to cross 100 million mark by end of year 2016. CAGR vis-à-vis a global growth rate of 8–10%. Electronics and Apparel are the biggest categories in terms of sales.
According to a study conducted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, the e-commerce sector is estimated to reach Rs. 211,005 crore by December 2016. The study also stated that online travel accounts for 61% of the e-commerce market.
By 2020, India is expected to generate $100 billion online retail revenue out of which $35 billion will be through fashion e-commerce. Online apparel sales are set to grow four times in coming years.
Key drivers in Indian e-commerce are:
• Large percentage of population subscribed to broadband Internet, burgeoning 3G internet users, and a recent introduction of 4G across the country.
• Explosive growth of Smartphone users, soon to be world\'s second largest smartphone userbase.
• Rising standards of living as result of fast decline in poverty rate.
• Availability of much wider product range (including long tail and Direct Imports) compared to what is available at brick and mortar retailers.
• Competitive prices compared to brick and mortar retail driven by disintermediation and reduced inventory and real estate costs.
• Increased usage of online classified sites, with more consumer buying and selling second-hand goods
• Evolution of Million-Dollar startups like Jabong.com, Saavn, Makemytrip, Bookmyshow, Zomato, Voonik etc.
India\'s retail market is estimated at $470 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow to $675 Bn by 2016 and $850 billion by 2020, – estimated CAGR of 10%.. According to Forrester, the e-commerce market in India is set to grow the fastest within the Asia-Pacific Region at a CAGR of over 57% between 2012–16.
As per \"India Goes Digital\", a report by Avendus Capital, a leading Indian investment bank specializing in digital media and technology sector, the Indian e-commerce market is estimated at Rs 28,500 Crore ($6.3 billion) for the year 2011. Online travel constitutes a sizable portion (87%) of this market today. Online travel market in India is expected to grow at a rate of 22% over the next 4 years and reach Rs 54,800 crore ($12.2 billion) in size by 2015. Indian e-tailing industry is estimated at Rs 3,600 crore (US$800 million) in 2011 and estimated to grow to Rs 53,000 crore ($11.8 billion) in 2015.
Overall e-commerce market is expected to reach Rs 1,07,800 crores (US$24 billion) by the year 2015 with both online travel and e-tailing contributing equally. Another big segment in e-commerce is mobile/DTH recharge with nearly 1 million transactions daily by operator websites.
New sector in e-commerce is online medicine. Companies like Reckwing-India, Buyonkart, Healthkart are already selling complementary and alternative medicine whereas NetMed has started selling prescription medicine online after raising fund from GIC and Steadview capital citing there are no dedicated online pharmacy laws in India and it is permissible to sell prescription medicine online with a legitimate license.
Online sales of luxury products like jewellery also increased over the years. Most of the retail brands have also started entering into the market and they expect at least 20% sales through online in next 2–3 years.
Though the sector has witnessed tremendous growth and is expected to grow, many e-commerce ventures have faced tremendous pressure to ensure cash flows. But it has not worked out for all the e-commerce websites. Many of them like Dhingana, Rock.in, Seventy MM amongst others had to close down  or change their business models to survive.
There are many hosting companies working in India but most of them are not suitable for eCommerce hosting purpose, because they are providing much less secure and threat protected shared hosting. eCommerce demand highly secure, stable and protected hosting. Trends are changing with some of eCommerce companies starting to offer SaaS for hosting web stores with minimal one time costs. Many eCommerce website builder companies are selling false dream of opening online store in minute and at no cost which is highly confusing.
There could be various methods of ecommerce marketing such as blog, forums, search engines and some online advertising sites like Google adwords and Adroll.
India has got its own version of Cyber Monday known as Great Online Shopping Festival which started in December 2012, when Google India partnered with e-commerce companies including Flipkart, HomeShop18, Snapdeal, Indiatimes shopping and Makemytrip. \"Cyber Monday\" is a term coined in the USA for the Monday coming after Black Friday, which is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day. Most recent GOSF Great Online Shopping Festival was held during Dec 10 to 12, 2014.
In early June 2013, Amazon.com launched their Amazon India marketplace without any marketing campaigns. In July 2014, Amazon had said it will invest $2 billion (Rs 12,000 crore) in India to expand business, after its largest Indian rival Flipkart announced $1 billion in funding. In June 2016, Amazon agreed to invest another $3 billion to further pressure rivals Flipkart & Snapdeal Amazon has also entered grocery segment with its Kirana now in bangalore and is also planning to enter in various other cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and faces stiff competition with Indian startups.
Some venture capital firms such as Accel Partners have invested in e-commerce companies, such as entertainment ticketing website BookMyShow.com and B2B marketplace Moglix.com. Started in 2012, Hopscotch India focuses on bringing thousands of brands to moms in India. They have raised USD 12.8 million in two rounds from 7 investors, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.
Flipkart.com raised about USD 2.3 billion. On 10 July 2013, Flipkart announced it had received $200 million from existing investors Tiger Global, Naspers, Accel Partners, and ICONIQ Capital, and an additional $160 million from Dragoneer Investment Group, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Sofina, Vulcan Inc. and more from Tiger Global.
In February 2014, online fashion retailer Myntra.com raised $50 million from a group of investors led by Premji Invest, the investment company floated by Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro. May 2014 also witnessed an acquisition of Myntra by Flipkart reportedly for ₹2,000 crores.
In October 2014, Flintobox raised USD 300,000 from leading angels GSF Global, Globevestor (USA), AECAL (Germany), and Mauj Mobile.
In July 2015, price comparison service website MySmartPrice raised $10 million from Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners.
In September 2015, PepperTap raised $36 million from Snapdeal and others.
The spread of e-commerce has led to the rise of several niche players who largely specialize their products around a specific theme. As many as 1,06,086 websites are registered daily and more than 25% are for niche businesses.
During 2014, Royal Enfield sold 200 bikes of special series Online.
Online apparel is one of the more popular verticals, which along with computers and consumer electronics make up 42% of the total retail e-commerce sales. Niche online merchandising brands like Headbanger\'s Merch, Redwolf and No Nasties partner with and even help sustain independent musicians. Some established brands like Arvind are now creating clothing lines just for the e-commerce markets. Some of the bigger online retailer like VoxPop Clothing have secured multiple rounds of funding, the last round raising $1 million from Blume Ventures in 2014.
As these niche businesses get popular, they are slowly getting acquired by the big players. BabyOye was acquired by Mahindra Retail, part of the $17 billion Mahindra Group. Ekstop was acquired by the Godrej Group to complement their offline chain of Nature\'s Basket stores.
A comprehensive directory for the geeky e-shopper
TitThere are literally hundreds of shopping sites out there and it’s really difficult to cut through the clutter. There are sites that cater to everyone – the all-encompassing jack-of-all-trades providers and then others that are super niche – selling only flowers or lingerie. We doubt flowers are of much interest to you though. Here we feature a rather comprehensive selection of sites that are relevant to you, our geeky reader. For any site to be featured here it had to meet one criteria - it should sell products that are of interest to our reader. Gadgets, gizmos, electronics, smartphones, tablets et al should form part of it’s repertoire. In today’s day and age why do you need a directory? Shouldn’t Google be able to point you to the best places for the best stuff? Often it does not. Maybe because the SEO (Search Engine Optimasation) of some sites may not be good enough to propel it to the top of relevant search results. In such cases it helps to manually get to the right site for the product category of your choice.
So let’s get down to them. They are listed below in no particular order.
Worth checking out for:
Gadgets, Books, Home Appliances, Computer peripherals
One of the most popular e-commerce websites out there. While its strength in offering books at a discount was its USP at one point of time, it has since diversified into various segments, with electronics and gadgets forming a chunk of it. Flipkart has a vast collection of cellphones, cameras, laptops, games, etc. and they offer most of their products at discounts. We really like their vast collection and their filtering options, as just having categories is not enough. Intelligent filtering options makes searches quick. It also has an online music store Flyte from where you can download music after paying for it. Their payment options include net banking, debit/credit card, cash cards and even Cash On Delivery.
Worth checking out for: Gadgets, Books, Home Appliances,
Computer peripherals, Lifestyle products
Another popular e-commerce site which looks somewhat similar to Flipkart in terms of layout. It offers various lifestyle categories such as books and magazines, watches, etc. The sections that are of interest to us include Camera, Computer peripherals and Electronics. There is a wide collection of peripherals. One thing we liked about this site is that it features a deal on each of its category pages. Pricing is at par with competitors and you also get the option to pay in 0 percent monthly installments.
Worth checking out for: Everything under the sun
One of the big names internationally in the e-commerce segment, Ebay. in is the Indian arm of Ebay.com. This is the kind of marketplace where you will find any kind of product thanks to their tie-ups with resellers. You can find anything from an 19th century currency notes to 55-inch 3D LED TVs to slightly older models of Mercedes and Audi! Thanks to eBay’s global presence, it has a feature called the Global Easy Buy which allows you to buy products selling in international markets in your local currency. They also have an India-specific payment gateway called PaisaPay which protects the consumer from product damages while it is in transit. They also have a section which
Worth checking out for: Everything
Belonging to the Times Group, Indiatimes shopping has been quite an old player in the e-commerce segment. It has a wonderful segmentation of its main product categories. It features five of the best deals on its homepage across categories. The discounts aren’t that great here when you compare it with the likes of Flipkart and Infibeam. Computer peripherals did not have as many categories as we would generally like. Camera section has only 13 DSLRs. All-in-all, this is not the site to go to for your electronic items purchase, as you will find better deals elsewhere. However, for non-electronic items, this site have quite a variety.
Worth checking out for: Mobile and Computer accessories
We are all familiar with Rediff, one of the oldest and most popular site in India. This is an e-commerce arm of the same. The homepage shows the 10 best deals and is populated with various categories with a couple of best deals from that category. There isn’t much segmentation within the various categories. The layout is quite clean. It has a lot of accessory items under Computer Peripherals and Mobile accessories.
Worth checking out for: Home related appliances
This is the e-commerce arm of Future Group, who are famous for their offline stores such as Big Bazaar, eZone, Pantaloons among other things. Thanks to this background, Futurebazaar has a wide range of main categories, with detailed sub-categories. barring the home relates section, we found fairly little in terms of variety on other categories. For instance the magazine section did not have much variety. It has a section called Clearance, which has products selling at heavy discounts as it pertains to stock clearance. We found a quirky slap and go MP3 player under the Music players section. You can also place a requisition for bulk orders and expect some discount on the item.
Worth checking out for: Electronic items, Computer
peripherals and Home appliances.
Probably one of the only sites which has its own TV channel. That speaks volumes about the reach of this site. The layout is clean and it has neatly divided categories. It has 7 of the best deals featured on the home page. The computers and electronics section is well-stocked with the latest and some very economical products. We even saw a Kindle Fire selling on the site for around 13 grands. Each category on its page also has featured deals which is something unique from other sites that only have best deals featured on their homepage and none when it comes to individual categories.
Worth checking out for: Fashion and lifestyle products
On first glance, the design aesthetic of the homepage of this site seems to have taken some inspiration from Pinterest. This becomes obvious when you enter the respective categories, with product pictures splashed across the screen. As you scroll, you will see items dynamically arranging themselves. Agreed, it offers something different from other sites in terms of the look. Sure it has the electronics and mobile phone category, but on the whole the site seems biased in favour of fashion and lifestyle products as the former has limited categories as compared to the latter.
Worth checking out for: Mobile phones
As the name implies, this site is only concerned will mobile devices including smartphones, dumb phones, tablets and everything in between. They also stock accessories for your mobile devices. We quite liked the Filter section, and the cell phone models get quickly updated the moment you click on any filter be it brand, form-factor, OS, CPU and other features. Speeds up your searches. The tablet collection was lacking as there are very few budget tablets on the site.While it has an accessory section, it is not heavily populated, as compared to other competitors.
Worth checking out for: Computer peripherals.
Although this site may not look as inviting as the ones we have seen above, do not go by the looks. For a Digit reader, this site makes complete sense as it has a detailed computer peripherals section. So under computer hardware, you will have all the components necessary to build your rig, the Networking section has categories for wired and wireless routers along with NAS devices and so on. It also has a Mobile phone section but there aren’t many options to choose from specially when you consider the competition. Same goes for digital cameras.
Worth checking out for: All sorts of electronics
The website has a large range of electronics from Digital Cameras to Gaming hardware and everything in between. The navigation and categorisation is well defined and the search function works well, giving you suggestions for keywords as you type. The website focuses heavily on camera equipment and is a worthy destination if you\'re in the market for carry-cases, tripods, and filters. The “sale of the week” section offers up some great deals on gadgets such as routers. We even spotted a Bamboo Pen & Touch input device. Overall the prices are fairly competitive.
Worth checking out for: Niche electronics and PC peripherals
The site looks a little dated. Ok fine it looks like you’ve been transported to the ‘90s but let that take away from the fact that you can get your hands on some seriously niche hardware out here. The website seems to have of late shifted focus to some hardcore geek gear such as microcontroller programing kits and ESR meters. But if you manage to wrap your head around the website’s navigation, you’ll find some great deals on niche products like case fans, gaming accessories or even highend in-ears, etc. This is especially more so because the site seems to be undergoing some sort of liquidation or distress sale.
Worth checking out for: PC peripherals
If you’re building a PC for yourself, there are a handful of websites that you must check out here in India. The is necessary because once you decide on your config, ordering all components from one source may not be the best solution. Instead you’ll probably find a good rate for say your motherboard and CPU on one site, while ordering the GPU and RAM from another site is cheaper. Media home stocks a range of components and we’ve often seen good deals on AMD GPUs here. At the time of going to print the site was down for maintenance, hopefully it should be back up by the time you’re reading this. If not, more options follow in this list...
Worth checking out for: Mobile Phones (duh!) and phone accessories This is the online avatar of the the popular retail chain with the same name. The prices weren\'t as competitive as we would’ve hoped, but a few of the featured products did come bundled with accessories making them worth a second look. If you’re not happy with the prices too, this is a good place to know your choices. The site does have a good range of products including tablets. The navigation too can help you drill down to the phone of your choice by filters such as price, operating system, etc.
Worth checking out for: All sorts of electronics
This website has all sorts of electronics. From ceiling fans to cellphones to headphones to cameras to fridges. But in trying to provide range the site seems to be spreading itself thin trying to cover more things but not specialise in any. It gets a mention in our top 50 list on account of the deals it features on its homepage. Every now and then you do come across something that you can’t resist.
Worth checking out for: PC Components
Primeabgb is a popular PC components and peripherals shop located at Mumbai’s IT Mecca, Lamington Road. What started of from there soon grew to its online version. The website offers every category of PC components at decent prices. They deliver all over India but offer a COD (cash on delivery) option for Mumbai. But the most special thing about the website is the Cool Deal of the day. In fact until recently the website used to redirect to the deal page first before letting the user go to the home page. The CPU + Mobo reals are also decent every now and then. A site definitely worth bookmarking if you frequently upgrade your PC.
Worth checking out for: PC Components
For the hardcore PC geek, Deltapage used to be the one stop destination to find the fair prices of almost any PC component. Initially it used to be just a long html page with tables listing components and prices. One had to hit [CTRL] + [F] and look for model numbers. Convenient? Most definitely. Now the site sells stuff and the prices are still decent. You may not always find the exact model that you’re looking for on sale, but hey
the range is good enough.
Worth checking out for: Electronics
Like Seventymm (mentioned somewhere ahead) this website too had a change of heart somewhere down the line. From it’s early roots in social networking it moved on to join the e-commerce bandwagon. While there’s good variety but prices are on the higher side, there’s even lifestyle as a category. The deal section is worth mentioning. There will be a deal on offer for which you have to pay a token amount (say Rs. 9) to get in on it. Once you buy into it, you could be a “lucky” winner who gets it for that amount. What about those unlucky hundreds (thousands)? You get a gift coupon for that amount, in this case Rs. 9.
Worth checking out for: PC Components
In terms of look and feel, bitfang is right up there with theITdepot.com. The site has almost everything you could need when it comes to building your own PC. The deals of the day aren’t that great always (not worth bookmarking for) but the Laptop Of The Week section needs your attention. Every now and then some deal or the other comes out that is a steal.
Worth checking out for: Audio Gear, Headphones.
ACs, high end studio monitoring headphones, tube amps, and sound cards! If great audio gear is what you crave this website is your destination. You have equipment from brands such as AKG, Audio Technica, Brainwavz, JVC, Fiio and more.
Worth checking for: Computer components
Located in Lamington road, Mumbai, this shop is a good spot to look for PC components and the prices are competitive. Some hard to find products can be got here. Overall, a decent place to buy from. Be warned, we have heard some complaints regarding prices revisions after an order is placed. In the shops defence, the owner does claim that he’s never forced anyone to take the order after a revision.
Worth checking for: Mobile phones and other odds and ends
Not a very notable site. They do offer free shipping and cash-on-delivery so that is a plus, other than that, the items listed here, except for mobile phones and Canon cameras, are very few compared to other rivals. Prices are nothing too great and are strictly decent when compared to others.
Worth checking out for: Cameras
An excellent place to visit if you’re out camera shopping. The prices of the lenses and cameras themselves are a bit high and you will find better deals elsewhere, but they do have a nice selection of camera accessories, including Manfrotto tripods. You can also order prints online and get photobooks, etc., printed and delivered. Overall, a decent site to explore, you might just find that elusive accessory you were looking for.
Worth checking out for: Headphones and electronic toys
A website more dedicated towards the home and family than geeks like us, it does offer a decent assortment of headphones and earphones. The scale model cars will appeal to some and they do have a nice selection of remote-control gadgets you can check out.
Worth checking out for: Home appliances and mobile phones
established by videocon, Digit world is a chain of retail stores all over India. The website sports a decent assortment of products, mostly (surprise surprise!) from Videocon, but they do have a good assortment of mobile phones as well. The prices are all on the higher side though.
Worth checking out for: Mobiles, cameras, home appliances
The site design is very basic, but elegant. It mostly sells mobile phones and cameras and the prices are very competitive. An interesting feature of the site is the buying guides that they offer. While not very detailed, the buying guides can serve as a n00b’s guide to understanding most of the (useless?) jargon associated with most electronic products.
Worth checking out for: Computer components, pen drives,
The site leaves much to be desired in terms of aesthetics, but for us geeks, such frivolities don’t matter. The important thing is that the prices are right. Almost everything on the site is reasonably priced and it’s worth checking out if you’re on the lookout for some PC components. One of the nice things we like about this site, seen on a couple of other sites as well, is an excel file containing updated prices of everything that they sell. Very convenient if you’re trying to decide on a PC configuration. We wish it was better maintained, but we’re quite happy with the prices.
Worth checking out for: Just about anything, excluding
The Croma line of retail stores are quite popular here and they offer almost everything consumer electronic products that you would want. Their online avatar, cromaretail.com, gives you that very same variety, just from the comfort of your own home. They include free shipping and even have EMI schemes for those who need them and they also throw in a 15 day returns policy. The prices are a little high here, especially when compared to other services such as eBay and flipkart, but you do get the comfort of having an actual physical store and people that can help you sort out your grievances. As an added bonus, the site includes some excellent deals now and then.
Worth checking out for: Just about anything, excluding computer components. This store is similar to Croma, a chain of retail stores with a website. They also sell just about any electronic product under the sun, except PC components of course. Prices are as expected, a bit on the higher side but similar to Chroma. The site is quite well laid out so finding stuff you want isn’t too big a deal. Interestingly, they have all the absolute latest products listed out, even if they’re not currently available in India, and will send you a notification (if you want it) when that product is in stock. Flipkart and a few other sites do the same things so it isn’t something new. Where this site falls short (compared to Chroma for example) is in their return policy and free shipping availability on only a select few products.
Worth checking out for: An unusual, but exhaustive assortment of gadgets. This site is home to some of the most diverse gadgets we’ve ever seen, only rivalled by eBay in terms of sheer variety. They sell everything from the usual cameras, iPads, etc. to precision engineering equipment, spy gadgets, signal jammers, telescopes, weird gift ideas and many many more. The prices are reasonable for some products, over-priced for others and as such, you’ll need to cross check the prices of some of the items to be sure you’re getting a good deal. A very good site if you’re looking for some unusual equipment or obscure, but essential gadget.
Worth checking out for: Almost every gadget you could possibly want. A site that actually does seem to list every gadget under the sun. they’ve got almost every gadget you can think of, including a “cheap” Segway i2 transporter for “only” Rs.400,000! The prices are what you would expect to in any decent retail store and don’t expect mind-boggling deals here. The sheer variety of products available might actually save you a lot of scrounging around online.
Worth checking out for: Mobiles, cameras, computers,
consumer electronics, watches
Based out of Delhi, letsshop.in is the online initiative of Call Connect India and has just started out in the e-commerece business. Currently, products are offered only under a few categories with more to come in the near future. There is a daily deal feature and the site is also listed on Junglee.com What was confusing is the Customer care hotline which they’ve mentioned in a top band on the web site to be available for 8 hours while on the bottom of the site, the very same number is quoted to be available 24x7.
Worth checking out for: Consumer Electronics, Personal
care, Stationery, Floristry
Next Electronics, pushes into the e-retail space with its online portal. The orange logo with the power cord in it is enough to convince customers that the experience of shopping from here would be guaranteed to be the same as stepping into one of their stores. The range of products is as vast as in the normal retail stores. Most elements expected of an e-retail store like live customer support and shipment tracking are made available on the homepage itself.
Worth checking out for: Toys, sporting goods, jewellery,
kitchenware, clothing, health care, faith & belief
This site stood out from the others on account of its niche offerings. We are talking about faith & belief goods. Not once before this did we come across a website that sells “Nimbu Mirchi” or an “Evil-eye horseshoe”. This must be where Madam Esmeralda good her goods. On the other hand, sporting goods are also available along with imitation jewellery. The health care section too covers a wide variety of goods. There is also another website by the same company that deals with floristry and gifts sourced through righthopping.in What’s more? They do international delivery too!
Worth checking out for: Books, Gifts & Flowers,
Mobiles, Consumer electronics, computers and peripherals,
Shop by choice has an excellent selection of books across a wide range of topics which are priced way better than its competitors. We looked up a few expensive
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