Commercial Internet has totally changed the way people purchase products or services and businesses sell their products. E-commerce has already reached its peak in many developed countries including US and other European countries. When it comes to developing countries like India, it is in the emerging stage and already there are quite a few success stories.
Challenges in Indian e-commerce
Though the commercial Internet started around 27 years back, India could not leverage its benefits as it had its share of challenges from e-commerce point of view. Indian economy is highly dominated by small businesses which often lack sufficient infrastructure to conduct business over Internet. Less exposure to the latest technology and lower penetration of Internet in many parts of the country are also causes for the slow growth of e-commerce in India. Besides, challenges like complex taxation, lack of reliable delivery mechanism, etc. made it difficult for e-commerce industry to flourish in the Indian market.
Growth of e-commerce sales in India
Despite these challenges, India has seen significant growth in the e-commerce industry in the recent past. India’s e-commerce industry is growing at an average of 70 percent annually and since 2007 it has grown over 500 percent.
Many success stories
Many industries/companies have tasted success in Indian e-commerce market. Some of them include:
IRCTC online services: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Cooperation Limited (IRCTC) is not only India’s but Asia’s largest e-commerce portal. It was launched in 2002, with just 27 tickets booked on the first day. The same portal today has millions of visitors per month. In April 2011, it had 84 lakh visitors. The firm sells over 2 lakh tickets per day through its websites.
Bus services offering online booking: Booking tickets for bus travel has become popular in some parts of India. People are no longer standing in long queues at reservation counters or paying more to travel agents to get their bus tickets booked. Many are booking the tickets from the comforts of their home or office. Many public and private bus services are offering online ticket booking facilities across the country.
Online job portals: Today, many of the job seekers are actively looking for jobs online. Many (particularly, those from urban areas) have user accounts with job portals. Simplifying the job search process for the job seekers and referring the candidates to the employers, these services became quite popular across the country. Pioneered by Naukri.com, today there are many including Monster India, Times Jobs and ClickJobs.
Movie booking: With many movie buffs in India, online movie booking almost instantly became popular. Online booking of movie tickets is very popular today in many parts of the country. Most of the multiplex theaters along with some famous theaters in the cities are offering these booking services.
Matrimonial services: Another interesting segment of Indian e-commerce business is the matrimony portals. Indians, once entirely dependent on relatives and brokers for matches, are today looking for matches online. Easy access to various profiles, time and cost efficiency has made these portals popular among many households in India. Marriage matches are being made extensively through popular service providers like Shaadi.com, Jeevansathi.com, Bharatmartimony.com, Indiamatrimony.com, etc.
Online retail stores: Easy access to various brands and models, free home delivery, discounts and coupons turned many of the web users to web consumers in India. Improved payment methods such as cash on delivery, net-banking facility, etc. have spurred the growth of online retail transactions. Some online retailers like Flipkart, eBay etc. are fairly popular in India.
With all these success stories, Indian e-commerce industry is expected to grow manifold in the near future. However, the continuous growth of the e-commerce depends on creating increased awareness among the people about the benefits of online services along with the assurance of secured transactions and improved data security.
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 at 2:12 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.