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Indian Shopping Rushes Online

Consumers across India are increasingly opting to shop online and retailers are joining the e-commerce space to keep up.

Branded apparel has seen a year-on-year growth of 84 percent, according to a 2013 Internet Economy Watch Report by IAMAI, with 27.5 percent of apparel retailers taking up online sales.

E-commerce adoption in the apparel industry is a relatively recent trend but this growth reflects consumers’ growing preference for shopping on the web.

During this Raksha Bandhan festive season alone, online retail websites have seen a 65 percent increase in traffic over last year while in-store shopping has slowed, said DS Rawat, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) secretary general in ASSOCHAM’s latest survey.

“Shopping on ground has taken a back seat,” Rawat said in a statement. He adds that aside from convenience, rising fuel price, security concerns, online discounts, availability and abundance of choice are keeping consumers indoors.

India’s textile industry plays a vital role in its economy and is the second largest provider of employment after agriculture. The sector contributes close to 14 percent to industrial production, 4 percent to the gross domestic product and 11 percent to the country’s export earnings, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF).

The online shopping industry in India is fast catching on, not just in the larger metros but also in the smaller cities. The market is currently estimated at Rs 52,000 and is growing at 100 percent per year, ASSOCHAM notes.

With more than 100 million Internet users in India, half of which are choosing to make purchases online, both retail and consumer goods stores are getting into the e-commerce market, the survey noted.

“Online retail industry’s business is quite good. Heading out to shop on day off by battling traffic, parking issues, and long lines for bill payment is quite a cumbersome process and this is the main reason for the shift in trend,” said working respondents in the survey.