India: Online Retail

Via The Financial Times, a look at online retail in India:

When it comes to internet users, India is growing fast. While the number of internet users globally rose 7 per cent last year, the figure was 41 per cent in India.

And this is creating some interesting opportunities – not least for clothing retailers.

A new report from Comscore, the online researcher, finds there are now 62.6m people above the age of fifteen accessing the internet from home or work in India. That’s still only around 5 per cent of the total population of 1.2bn, so there’s still a long way to go. India also compares well in growth terms to its Bric peers, as this chart shows:

But within that 62m, Comscore found that over three-quarters of Indians online are under 35, and this is reflected in the activities gaining in popularity. Visitor numbers to games websites have grown 60 per cent in the past year and Facebook is also seeing the benefit, with a growth rate of 47 per cent.

Ecommerce may have been left untouched in the recent FDI reforms but this is one of India’s markets with great potential – Comscore labels the growth in this sector “explosive”. At present, three out of five Indian internet users visit shopping websites, a 43 per cent increase on the previous year. And clothing is the fastest growing category, with visitor numbers rising a whopping 362 per cent.

Manu Kumar Jain, co-founder of, an online apparel retailer, told beyondbrics: “Online shopping is rising tremendously not only in the metropolises but also becoming a trend in the small cities, where people have the aspiration and purchasing power to buy but do not have accessibility to the brands and products.”

Growth in online retail will also depend on developments in payment methods. Direct debits are used for 58 per cent of online transactions, but these include travel bookings on India’s popular rail system, which pushes up the number. For online retail, cash on delivery is still the most popular way to pay.

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012 at 5:11 am and is filed under India.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

Comments are closed.

Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.