Indian ecommerce to hit $6bn in 2015

20 October 2014

GOA: The Indian ecommerce market is expected to grow 70% to $6bn in 2015, making it one of the fastest-growing markets in Asia-Pacific, a new industry report has forecast.

Valued at $3.5bn in 2014, ecommerce is coming from a relatively low base in India yet it is growing at 60-70% every year, according to Gartner, the IT research firm.

At less than 4% of the total retail market, ecommerce has plenty of room to grow and, as the adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices continues to increase in the country, then so will mobile commerce, the report said.

Mobile commerce represents less than 5% of total digital commerce at the moment, but 30% of traffic to ecommerce sites comes from mobile devices.

This is a reflection of what Gartner identified as a "rapidly growing ecosystem to engage customers on mobile".

Praveen Sengar, research director at Gartner, said digital commerce is at a nascent stage in India, but the market is maturing as companies continue to invest in the development of their digital platforms.

"The digital commerce platform market is maturing; incumbent vendors are investing in building out their commerce platforms, and those in adjacent areas, such as search, order management and marketing – both through organic development and acquisition," he said.

B2C ecommerce dominates the Indian digital market – B2B being mostly limited to organisations using online channels to improve integration in the supply chain.

However, Gartner warned that the profitability and viability of B2C ecommerce is being put under pressure by limited internet penetration, low digital commerce volume, multiple payment models, logistics and fulfilment challenges.

"The biggest challenge is getting the business digital commerce strategy right and adequate investments in people, process and technology to engage with customers across channels which has been ignored by Indian enterprises so far," the report said.

Data sourced from Gartner; additional content by Warc staff