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India's Young Sparks Rise in Online Retail Activity

Study notes the 15 to 34 year-old age group is the strongest Internet users.
Oct 30, 2012 6:25 AM   By Dilipp S Nag
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RAPAPORT... India’s online retail activity is growing at a rate of 43 percent a year with women ‎increasingly active on the web, a recent study revealed. ‎

Women account for about 40 percent of the approximate 125 million Internet users in ‎India, the joint research by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India ‎‎(ASSOCHAM) and comScore showed. ‎

‎“Interestingly, about 75 percent of the online audience is between the age group of 15 to 34 ‎years old, [so] India has one of the youngest online demographics globally,” said D.S. Rawat, the ‎secretary general of ASSOCHAM. “This is expected to be a continuing trend in coming ‎years, given the age distribution in India.”‎

Rawat noted that India’s young age demographic has proportionally contributed to the ‎country’s online consumption with the strong growth categories focused on younger ‎audiences in the past 12 months.‎

The study revealed that the age group of 15 to 24 years has been the fastest growing age ‎segment online with the top five popular online categories being social networking, ‎portals, search, entertainment and news sites.‎

India’s online retail penetration has increased to 37.5 million unique visitors a month ‎spread across all product categories with most showing promising transaction and ‎conversion rates along with growth in visitors.‎

Apparel has been the fastest growing subcategory in retail reaching 13.4 percent online ‎users in India. The study did not break down other retail categories. Comparison shopping web‎sites have grown by more than 75 percent a year and will continue to grow as more ‎categories of retail come online, the researchers noted.‎

India has been the fastest growing market for Internet usage among the BRIC nations – ‎Brazil, Russia, India and China - and is also among the top three fastest growing markets ‎worldwide in the past 12 months. The country added over 18 million Internet users in the ‎past year while China added about 14 million users. ‎

The study reported that direct debit card use is the most common payment method ‎contributing approximately 58 percent of the overall payments in India. Cash on delivery, ‎which has been a popular mode of payment method in the retail category, accounts for ‎about 7 percent of total transactions. The average transaction size online in India ‎across both the travel and retail category was $31 between April and June 2012. ‎ASSOCHAM expects this amount will increase as consumers gain confidence to buy ‎higher priced products online in the coming months.‎
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Tags: ASSOCHAM, brazil, BRIC, China, comScore, Dilipp S Nag, Females, India, internet, net, Online, Penetration, retail, Russia, Shopping, Users, women
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