What are the key trends of Indian e-commerce industry in 2016?

Over the last few years, the ecommerce industry in India has expanded in leaps and bounds. This has naturally encouraged businesses to take the online route and tap in to a never before explored wider market of potential customers. Statistics reveal that in the year 2015, the overall profit margins grew from around $5 billion to a whopping $8 billion. Surveys also show that most of these shoppers use their mobile handsets to look for products online and buy them. This has also led businesses to focus on developing smarter ecommerce apps that would offer their target customers excellent opportunities to shop online.

This year we saw a number of interesting trends in India’s ecommerce market. While new trends are coming up and evolving from earlier ones, the older ecommerce trends are going through a slow or sudden death process. Here are the key trends for Indian ecommerce industry in 2016.

  • Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal, eBay.in, Shopclues and Paytm are the major ecommerce brands in India. Together they comprise about 85% of the business done by the ecommerce industry in this country. Traditionally, these companies depended a lot on giving attractive discounts to their target customers. However, in this year we can see many of them earning profitable incomes without actually having the need to lure customers with discounts. This is certainly going to enhance the profit margins that can be earned by these companies.

    Key trends of Indian e-commerce
    Key trends of Indian e-commerce
  • Many of the leading and upcoming ecommerce companies have recently realized that the rural areas pose as a major market for them with great potential, something that they have never explored before. Due to this reason, the ecommerce companies are now highly interested on attracting customers who come from rural areas. Apart from the leading names of Indian ecommerce market, even the traditional business houses like Reliance Industries and Tata Group are now looking forward to do ecommerce business by attracting more buyers from the rural regions.
  • Experts believe that the while the number of transacting users were around 50 million in 2015, in 2016 it is going to go up to about 75 million in the least. It has already been seen that most of the traffic comes from customers who use their smartphone devices to shop from the ecommerce sites. However, the dominant practice among consumers in India is that they like to browse through products from their desktops or laptops and carry out the actual transactions from their smartphones as these mobiles offer quicker linkages to the payment gateways. The latest smartphone ecommerce apps enjoy massive popularity among users as they not only offer a more personalized shopping experience but also enable ecommerce companies to have a better understanding about consumer behavior. Apps also help in launching targeted promotional campaigns based on shopping cart history and browsing.
  • In the coming months, we can see even more number of products being added on to the various ecommerce shopping portals. This means that the scope of ecommerce is going to expand even more in India. One can also expect products like water and milk to be available in the online shops. It is certainly going to create a parallel market for these items along with the traditional neighborhood stores.

From the very beginning of ecommerce history in India, we have seen the dominance of the cash on delivery or COD method as many people in our country still do not possess a credit or debit card. However, as time goes by, more numbers of people are now using cards and online payment wallets which would certainly mean that the popularity of COD is going to go down over time.

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