NEW DELHI: Urban consumers in India are increasingly opting to shop online with Delhi residents leading the way, a new survey has shown.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) polled around 5,000 shoppers in leading cities and found that those in Delhi were keenest on ecommerce, followed by those in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

But Delhi was far ahead of the others, with fully 62% of shoppers there saying they preferred to shop online. A further 30% liked to visit traditional markets, while just 6% preferred to go to a mall and 3% favoured specialty stores.

In other cities the proportion shopping online ranged from 15-20% in Kolkata, 20-25% in Bangalore and 30% in Chennai.

The survey further revealed that 35% of regular shoppers were in the 18-25 age group, 55% were aged 26-35, with the remaining 10% over 35 years old. And regular shoppers were overwhelmingly male, with just 15% being female.

In addition, ASSOCHAM noted a sharp 65% increase in traffic to retail websites during the recent Raksha Bandhan festival period.

DS Rawat, ASSOCHAM secretary general, attributed this surge to the convenience of online shopping, rising fuel prices, online discounts and an abundance of choice. He noted that "customers wait for the festive season to get the best deals on all their shopping needs".

One consequence of this is that more companies are collaborating with daily deal and discount sites and traditional retailers are now considering a move online.

Among the most popular products purchased online are gift articles (58%), books (42%), electronic gadgets (41%), railway tickets (39%), accessories apparel (36%), apparel (36%), computer and peripherals (33%), airline tickets (29%), music (24%), cinema tickets (26%), hotel rooms (20%), magazines (19%), home tools and products (16%), home appliances (16%), toys (16%), jewellery (15%), beauty products (12%), health and fitness products (12%), apparel gift certificates (10%) and sporting goods (7%).

The main reasons given for not shopping online included a preference to research online before buying in store (30%), a reluctance to share financial details online (25%), high delivery costs (20%), not trusting goods to be delivered in good condition (15%) and not having a debit or credit card (10%).

Data sourced from ASSOCHAM; additional content by Warc staff