Online Shopping Trends in India

Online shopping trends in India are heading northwards, fueled by rise in disposable income of the middle-class, growing preference for shopping online, as well as by deep penetration of mobile devices. Read more to know what people are buying online in India.

There’s no doubt that the online platform is becoming popular in India. It’s certainly a growing market with huge potential, both for shoppers & retailers.

What Online Shoppers Are Buying in India

Shoppers in India have taken to the online medium big time, here are the most popular categories among online shoppers in India.

Electronic items, mobiles, laptops were some of the most popular items sold online but consumers nowadays are shopping across almost all categories – electronics, appliances, books, fashion, apparel, beauty and skincare, furniture, shoes, watches, jewellery, food, fitness, home & kitchen, and more.

The internet is also proving to be a boon for several small and medium enterprises, which are joining hands with major Indian online portals to display their products and advertise their services.

Shopping Trends in India

Earlier traditional retailers believed that a customer has to touch and feel the product before buying and therefore needed big space. But they have learnt now that this is not the case.

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Here are the key trends for online shopping in India based on Google data and consumer research done in collaboration with TNS.

  • Non metros, smaller cities, and mobile phones expected to fuel growth in online shopping
  • Apparels and accessories poised to overtake electronics
  • New emerging categories: Baby products, home decor and furnishing & health & nutrition
  • Travel as the gateway for e-commerce
  • Building consumer confidence & trust, key to further growth


Checkout this Video on Online Shopping Trends India

What Are the Advantages of Online Shopping

Main advantages of shopping online:

From the retailers perspective:

  1. Online stores can offer a wider range of products and also display them creatively
  2. Overheads are lesser with an Online store
  3. Its easier to start an online shopping store, compared to an offline store

From the buyers perspective:

  1. Its easier to search for a product 
  2. You can shop without having to physically travel to a physical store
  3. The product gets delivered to your home
  4. At times its cheaper to buy online, because the overheads are lower compared to a shop/store (no need to rent a place, no AC’s and so on)
  5. At the moment, buying online is fashionable in India

Though for certain things, mostly expensive products, it makes sense to visit a shop and check out the product for yourself. Though over time, the online delivery mechanism in India will become quite robust and one can order even big ticket items online.

Indians Also Buy Furniture Online Now

There was a time when the only options available to Indians who wanted furniture, was to call the local carpenter or head to the nearest furniture store. But things are changing; most Indians now are ordering furniture online.

“This increase is primarily on account of growing acceptance of home grown apparel brands of online shopping portals and openness towards buying home decor and furniture online.”

Several online furniture sellers have emerged in the last few years (Sweden’s IKEA is already in India), offering a potential new business model for an industry that is bound to grow as India’s middle-class widens and spending rises. Part of their success is offering two things that traditional furniture typically don’t: A wide variety of modern designs, and the convenience of delivery and assembling.

Everyday Consumer (FMCG) Products Gaining Traction in India’s eCommerce Market

Everyday consumer products such as soaps, detergents, deodorants, toilet cleaners, etc, (also known as FMCG products) are slowly gaining traction in India’s booming eCommerce market. If you thought people in India avoid online shopping to buy their daily household items, its not exactly true.

Already, categories like skincare, baby nursing, make-up, deodorants and grooming products have grown by more than five times in the past year.

Most FMCG majors in India are looking to boost their online sales. The top ecommerce majors such as Amazon, Flipkart and eBay are selling hair oil, shampoos, soaps and many more everyday consumer products.

The trend is indeed catching up as more and more people do not want to go out and visit the shops to personally buy their day-to-day products. In a way it is good for people who seek comfort of ordering from home. With our crowded cities and shrinking parking spaces, more consumers will order online as its far more convenient to shop from home than venture out into the busy streets.

Online Shopping Spree Gives Jitters to Offline Retailers

As online shopping trend sweeps digital India, offline retailers are a worried lot, with sales of electronic goods, consumer durables and utility products declining across cities and towns even during the peak festival season.

Another factor is the cost of retail space. “There is very little space for organized brick and mortar retail to happen in the various industries in India. Rentals are crazy and retailers need to generate crores a month to be able to sustain the kind of space that a brick and mortar retailer needs.”

With e-commerce players Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon pitching for more orders, offering hefty discounts and freebies in the virtual world, vendors in the real world are crying foul of unfair competition and a non-level playing field.

“Growing competition among them (e-retailers) is affecting our business, buyers prefer shop online where prices are lower than we are able to give on several goods. Unlike them (e-retailers) who sell goods at factory price and save on overheads by delivering them to buyers through courier, we have to factor intermediary costs and profit margin within the MRP (maximum retail price),” manager of a leading consumer showroom revealed.

“During Diwali alone, online shopping is estimated to cross several thousand crores and going forward, the trend will not only continue, but also grow dramatically,” a recent survey pointed out.

“If these players can figure out the logistics aspect, each one will open their own online store. Brick and mortar stores will feel the heat for a while now, until they all get online.”


Checkout this Video by Google India on the Shopping Trends

Top Websites for Online Shopping in India

Online shopping has grown a lot in the last few years, but still there are many who’re not taking advantage of it. One question that most have is which is best website for Online Shopping in India?

Because there’s so much demand, there are several players in the market, and there’s no single portal that can be considered the best.

Most of the products that are available online are also available in the offline market, but at times its just convenient to do shopping online.

However, when you’re buying from the likes of Flipkart or Amazon, you can be assured of the quality of the product, and even if you’re not satisfied with the product, they have a good return policy that is favorable to the buyers. So you can shop with peace of mind.

You should be careful when buying from smaller players because the product offered may not be good.
Some sites delivery the products to the customer but don’t want to take any responsibility if customers complain regarding the quality.

Amazon, FlipKart, ebay.in, home shop18, Indiatimes shopping, Jabong.com, Myntra are some of the popular online shopping websites in India. Here’s more on these websites.

  • Flip Kart is probably the most popular Indian e-commerce and online shopping website. Initially serving online books, it has now expanded into electronic goods and many more products.
  • Ebay India is the Indian version of ebay.com in india. Its an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services in India.
  • Amazon.in, part of the Amazon group is now functional in India. Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world and its Indian arm is growing by the day.
  • Snap Deal is a good place to find lots of deals and discounts. It started as a daily deal website and is not among the bigger players in India.
  • Jabong is an Indian fashion and lifestyle ecommerce portal. It retails apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty products, fragrances, home accessories and other fashion and lifestyle products. You can see their advertisements on television nowadays.
  • Myntra is another Indian online shopping retailer offering fashion and lifestyle products, from top brands in India. It offers products from hundreds of Indian and international brands.