Shopping by visiting shops, malls or retail outlets is more time consuming, hence, online shopping is quite common these days in the developed world and it is gaining its market in India comprising 120 million of Internet population in contrast to the global 1 billion Internet users in 30 aspiring countries. India has become the third largest country for Internet users in 2013 after US and China. The study findings suggest that online retail in India is on a big rise having huge growth potential with about 60 percent of web users visiting online shopping website. The major players in the segment are Amazon,Myntra, Flipkart and Jabong with others. The study reveals that about 89 percent of the youth in India conducts online research prior to make any purchase. Gen Y alone comprises 46%. Findings suggests that IT professionals are more inclined towards online shopping because they are more aware of the online facilities. Income distribution of people also is a factor for online shopping. Demography also plays as a factor for online shopping, people living in urban and sub-urban places shop online more often than people living in rural areas as they don’t have access to internet. A study suggests that among the occupational groups, most of the respondents prefer visiting shopping websites at work place. A study states that 57% of Indians who are into online shopping search for discount coupons. This indicates that discount coupons act as a motivating factor.
In today’s world of information and technology internet is becoming the most important thing for anyone as it is going to be “the “medium of future. Online shopping is when consumers can visit web stores anytime anywhere according to one’s comfort. It all started in 1999-2000 with an online book store amazon.com founded by Jeff Bezoz. People can purchase almost anything online, starting with groceries, cothes to cell phones and ring tones for the cell phones, everything can be purchased online. There are many factors due to which percentage of online shopping is increasing some of them are:
Convenience: in online shopping one has an advantage of round the clock, i.e. one can even shop at midnight. One need not travel to the store to shop which cuts the travel expense and also makes it convenient for the consumer. The most popular category of online purchase in India is “travel”. Maximum online transactions are made at IRCTC(an app to book railway tickets)in India. Online sites like makemytrip.com,goibibo.com etc. are a great success as people need not visit the travel agent or window to window to book their travel tickets or hotel rooms.
Decision of price and price comparison: In a country like India people have a tendency to compare prices before purchasing something. In conventional shopping method deciding price prove a difficult task. People find them confusing after hearing so many differences in price of same good in different shops. While in online shopping it is easier for a consumer to compare prices as you can do it just by clicking a button. Online shopping is considered much cheaper compared to conventional shopping because product comes to a buyer from manufacturer or seller without middlemen involved.
Variety: One can get several brands and product from different seller at one place. If a person shop online, he or she can shop from retailer in other parts of the country or even the world without being limited by geographic area.
Sending gifts: Sending a gift to a friend or family or relatives is very easy process in online shopping, no matter where ever they stay. India has the world’s third-largest Internet user-base with over 137 million as of June 2012. Though the shopping tradition of the world is changing rapidly but in India online shopping is still not that popular. According to the report titled “From Buzz to Bucks: Capitalizing on India’s “Digitally Influenced” Consumers,”, 40 percent of India’s 90 million urban Internet users say that online activities such as product research and price comparison influence what they buy. More advanced e-commerce markets, digitally influenced consumers in India rely on company websites for detailed product information as frequently as they refer to third-party sites for comparative research and online purchases. Current trends in online shopping in India show that the majority of buyers choose to shop at websites that allow them to purchase a wide variety of items from a range of different stores rather than one, select retailer. When purchasing electronics and other goods, many Indian shoppers rely on opinions and online reviews from other users from around the world. While online shopping is a good place for bargain hunting and to get products at a very competitive price, it somehow has not worked its charm in India. One of the major issues facing the Internet segment in India is the lower average bandwidth of broadband connections compared to that of developed countries. Almost all online portals are in English and in country like India where the mother tongue is not English the language acts as an barrier. Delivery of goods is also up to main cities, small cities like Tehsil places of other small towns and villages are not covered for supply of goods.
Online shopping has come up as a boon for all type of consumers and it has something to offer for everyone. Despite of this fact that it is highly convenient and time saving and to certain extent it is also cost cutting exercise as one need not to step out of his / her home for doing shopping. The main area of concern is the limited internet usage and language problem. A lot of stress need to be given on these two parameters so that this IT revolution can be of use to everyone in India and then only it can be a success in true sense of terms. Otherwise, it will just end up being a style statement of few who wants to be away from the crowd and then it will lose its applicability in the real world.
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