Clicking on Business: E-commerce in India
Meg Whitman, former president and CEO of eBay, once said: “Guess what, the world changes. eBay has defined e-commerce.” In her decade-long association with the C2C major, she recalled “using the web to empower regular people and small businesses to do commerce” as a fulfilling experience.
Was Whitman – and others like her – right about her conviction about e-commerce and the way it would shape up? MSLGROUP India’s latest executive report, ‘E-commerce in India: Evolution, Growth and Challenges’, analyses just that.
In the virtual world, the consumer is king. Besides the convenience, buyers today are spoilt for choice as they have the best deals, innumerable options and an exciting shopping experience.
The global e-commerce industry is growing at 28% annually, according to industry estimates. In some countries, it’s growing even faster – in India, the growth rate is projected as 70%, says the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
Given the size of the Indian market and growing consumerism, industry sources are not surprised by that number. The IAMAI says e-commerce revenues in India grew 500% since 2007. In 2010, revenues were estimated at $6.79 billion, dwarfing the 2007 value of $1.75 billion. In 2011, revenues were estimated at $10 billion.
It’s still early days, though. While there is no doubt that e-commerce will boom, it is grappling with a host of challenges. There is a clear gap between the resources available and infrastructure required. Logistics – timely deliveries, ensuring against damage during shipment, return of products and reversal of faulty transactions – are a problem, as is the poor bandwidth and unreliable internet connections.