Online shopping in India, although in its nascent stages, is powerful enough to generate revenue worth Rs. 1,180 crores and enjoys a growth rate of about 30% year-on-year. While cities like Mumbai, and Delhi form a bulk of the online shoppers, internet users in smaller towns and cities too are opening up to the idea of shopping online.
A recent survey on women has revealed that a huge number of women choose the internet for shopping, especially when shopping for books. With major cellular providers planning to launch 3 G services, online shopping is all set to make inroads.
Gone are the days when the credit card was used only to book air and train tickets. Today, practically anything and everything can be bought and sold over the internet. From flowers, firecrackers, designer wear, electronics and sweetmeats, you name it and theres a website that offers to sell it. While the credit card remains the most popular mode of payment, a few websites do accept debit cards and PayPal.
While Indians were always aware of the benefits of shopping online, they were more wary of the risks involved in online shopping. A few web portals, in an attempt to assure the shopping community, have come up with services like live online support, cash-on- delivery and customer friendly refund policies.
Generation X forms a major chunk of the online shopping community and hence online shopping websites often target this crowd through attractive deals on electronic gadgets like mobile phones, watches, laptops, and cameras. Thanks to these websites, it now possible to find the latest gadgets at dirt cheap rates.
Another hot seller on the internet is fashion. From the latest designer wear saris to accessories and perfumes, websites sell every little knick knack related to fashion.
And while theres a website that sells originals, there are websites that sell rip-offs. You can buy an ICon, if you cant afford an IPhone, or buy Ribok if you cannot afford an original Reebok!
But how do online users determine if they are offered a genuine deal or are being taken for a ride? Sadly, there arent many forums for users, to connect with each other and decide on the latest deals available across online shopping websites.
A few web portals have now emerged to serve as a platform for users to discuss about daily deals and coupons. Users also get to share the best deals available on the internet. In short, these websites are a one stop shop for online shoppers looking for discounts and freebies.