Ecommerce in India: Trends and insights

Preeti Chaturvedi

There were 150 million internet users in India as of December 2012, making it the third-largest country worldwide on this metric, behind China on 568 million and the US on 254 million. Despite this, the expanding domestic online population has not yet translated into an equally prosperous ecommerce market.

Ashvin Vellody, a partner at KPMG, told delegates at the Fifth National Conference on Digital Commerce – organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) – that there was room for considerable optimism going forwards. In evidence of this, he gave an overview of the consultancy's new report, "e-Commerce: Rhetoric, Reality and Opportunity", and revealed the category was worth Rs47,349 crores ($9.5bn) in 2012, a surge from Rs19,249 crores in 2009

India was thus the tenth-biggest ecommerce market globally in value terms by the close of 2012, with retail and travel being the main beneficiaries of the recent growth recorded by the industry. "India is well-positioned in ecommerce, based on its vast internet population," said Vellody. "In India, the internet users are many. Most of them visit the sites, but very few buy."