Did you know that in India, out of the nine startup unicorns, four are horizontal online marketplaces. And despite the recent shutdowns and funding crunch affecting the startup ecosystem, digital commerce has established itself. E-Commerce in India is growing at an astounding rate and is expected to account for 1.61% of the global GDP by 2018. eMarketers expects the annual growth rate of total retail sales will easily remain in the double digits between 2016 and 2020.

The Asia-Pacific region is currently the largest E-Commerce market in the world, surpassing Europe. While China continues to lead the race, the Indian E-Commerce Industry isn’t far behind. According to a report by Forrester, India is set to become the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific region with a growth rate of over 57% between 2012-2016.

The Most Interesting Statistics About E-Commerce In India

1. Indian e-commerce market was worth about $3.9 billion in 2009, it went up to $12.6 billion in 2013. According to Google India, there were 35 million online shoppers in India in 2014 Q1 and is expected to cross 100 million mark by end of the year 2016. By 2020, India is expected to generate $100 billion online retail revenue out of which $35 billion will be through fashion e-commerce. – Wikipedia

2. Delhi – NCR consumes 1/3rd of online purchases followed by a distant Mumbai. Tier-I cities massively dominate the online purchase scene in India with 8 out of every 10 orders coming from them. Even the Average Order Values (AOVs) are 40% higher than other Tiers. – e-commerce in India, Sokrati

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Sokrati

3. Cash on Delivery (COD) remains to be the most preferred way of payment. Payment options like Net-Banking, Credit & Debit Cards and e-wallets combined contribute to only about 30% of all online purchases, as compared to Cash On Delivery (CoD). However, the Average Order Value (AOV) of online payments and cards is 20% higher than that on CoD. – Sokrati

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Sokrati

4. The latest study by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has, in fact, found that at a CAGR growth rate of about 30 percent between December 2011 and December 2015, e-commerce in India stands at Rs 1,25,732 crore. The report estimated that it would hit Rs 2,11,005 crore in 2016. – YourStory

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Yourstory

5. Apparel and footwear sale has grown by 52 percent, from Rs 4,699 crore in December 2014 to Rs 7,142 crore in December 2015. This segment was expected to reach Rs 72,639 crore by end of 2016. – Yourstory

6. Retail e-commerce in India was estimated to reach $23.39 billion (INR1.500 trillion) in 2016, an increase of 75.8% over 2015. The forecast period is predicted to see strong growth over the next few years, with sales hitting $79.41 billion (INR5.092 trillion) in 2020. – eMarketer

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: eMarketer

7. Digital shoppers in India will total 159.6 million in 2016, a figure equal to 53.6% of internet users. By 2020, more than three-quarters of internet users, or 352.0 million people, will be digital shoppers. – eMarketer

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: eMarketer

8. At present, e-commerce in India employs just under one million people, but the HSBC Global study concludes that the number is set to grow by at least 700 percent by 2020. Seventy percent of those jobs will be in logistics, warehousing and delivery, 25 percent in customer care and IT, and 5 percent in corporate. – Forbes India

9. About 49 percent of Indian consumers stated that they used a mobile device for making a purchase in 2016. About 27 percent of digital buyers in the country stated making an online purchase via their smartphones/mobile on a monthly basis, and 24 percent stated purchasing online goods and services weekly. About 71 percent of consumers in India also said mobile wallet is their preferred method of digital payment. – Statista

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Trak

10. After a whopping 180 per cent growth in 2015, the Indian e-tailing industry expanded by merely 12 percent in 2016 to clock revenues of $14.5 billion – Economic Times

e-commerce in IndiaImage source: Equitymaster

Top 5 Indian E-commerce Websites

1. Flipkart – The current market value of Flipkart is $5.54 billion as of November 2016

e-commerce in IndiaFounded In: 2007
Founded By: Sachin Bansal & Binny Bansal
HeadQuarters: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

The first product they sold was the book ‘Leaving Microsoft To Change The World’ to a customer from Hyderabad. Flipkart now employs more than 33,000 people. The site allows payment methods such as cash on delivery, credit or debit card transactions, net banking, e-gift voucher and card swipe on delivery.

2. Amazon India – Worth $70.7 Billion

e-commerce in IndiaFounded in: 2013
Founded By: Jeff Bezos
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, USA

From product to delivery, Amazon has reinvented its ecosystem to address the challenges it has faced conducting an e-commerce enterprise in India. This past June, Amazon committed another $3 billion to its India operations, demonstrating continued faith in the “huge potential of the Indian market.”

3. SnapDeal – Valued at $6.5 Billion in March 2016

e-commerce in IndiaFounded in: 2010
Founded By: Kunal Bahl
Headquarters: New Delhi, India

Snapdeal was started on 4 February 2010 as a daily deals platform but expanded in September 2011 to become an online marketplace. Snapdeal has grown to become one of the largest online marketplaces in India offering an assortment of 10 million products across diverse categories from over 100,000 sellers, shipping to more than 5,000[8] towns and cities in India.

4. Ebay India – Valued at $8.1Billion

e-commerce in IndiaFounded in: 1995
Founded By: Pierre Omidyar
Headquarters: San Jose, California, USA

Today it is a multibillion-dollar business with operations localized in over 30 countries. In addition to its auction-style sales, the website has expanded to include “Buy It Now” shopping in India. The website is free to use for buyers, but sellers are charged fees for listing items and again when those items are sold.

5. Paytm – Valued at US$ 5 Billion they are among fastest growing Online venture in India.

e-commerce in IndiaFounded in: 2010
Founded By: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
Headquarters: Noida, UP, India

Paytm was launched in 2010. It is owned by One97 Communications. The firm started by offering mobile recharging, adding bill payment and e-commerce in India. In 2015, it further added booking bus travel. Paytm also launched movie ticket booking by partnering with Cinépolis in the year 2016. In 2015 Paytm received a license from Reserve Bank of India for starting one of India’s first payments banks.

Image Source: ForbesIndia

Top 5 E-Commerce Trends In 2016

Many retailers today approach learning as an exercise in analyzing the past and making small incremental changes. This may no longer be enough to place retailers in a winning position going forward. Instead, they should adopt a forward-looking stance on constant learning and selective testing of fresh, innovative concepts for engaging and interacting with customers and partners.

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: EconomicTimes

Here are the top trends of e-commerce In India:

1. Mobile
Mobile internet penetration will continue to grow along with the increasing base of smartphones and tablets. Smart marketers are expected to keenly follow the trend and make more and more offerings available to the expanding base of mobile internet subscribers.

The use of mobile devices for e-commerce in India is a major consideration for organizations in terms of ensuring mobile-friendly online display settings, opportunities in developing mobile applications and introducing new payment options. Whether it’s an Android, BlackBerry, iOS or Windows operating system based device, a common feature is the growth of apps. Regular app updates, app accessibility, and app security will need to be a priority for e-tailers.

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: EconomicTimes

2. Dipping Discounts And Faster Delivery
Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon India, eBay.in, Paytm and Shopclues are the top six Indian e-commerce players of who jointly drive almost 85% business of the e-commerce in India. In the current year, these companies would go after profitable growth instead of attracting customers with huge discounts. Because providing high discounts ultimately drags majority of the companies towards losses!

Delivery and returns have always been one of the pain points of the online shopping experience but steps have been taken to make delivery fast and easy. A Forrester report states that 29% of consumers would be willing to pay extra for same-day delivery. While Amazon Prime began the trend, the flexibility of delivery options will increase in importance as an e-commerce differentiator.

3. Content Marketing
Indian e-Commerce companies may be in the business of selling merchandise, but those products, goods, or services might not be the initial draw for consumers. According to crowdtap, people trust user-generated content 50% more than any other kind of media. So, if your client wants to draw traffic away from the competition, content creation may be one way to achieving that.

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Sweettoothrewards

4. Social Media
‘Stay Connected; Stay Relevant’ is the mantra to success with mass online shoppers via popular social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube etc. Marketers have realized the importance of social media for discovering potential customers, converting them to clients or simply staying actively engaged with the current customer base by responding to their posts and sharing contents within limits of not being labeled spam.

5. Personalization & Customization
The amount of data available increasingly allows content, ads, and products to be shown to the right people at the right time, across the web and social networks. The continuing sophistication of customization will be an e-commerce trend in 2017.

In an age where “big data” and “Internet of Things” are commonly known terms, there’s no secret as to how or why we see product ads on Facebook for something we viewed on Amazon an hour ago. In the age of the customer, the customer experience, including personalization, is vital in differentiation between competitors and lowering cart abandonment rate.

Staying up-to-date with the latest e-commerce trends and innovations in 2017 will benefit both customers and retailers by providing an optimal user experience as well as giving brands a better understanding of their client base.

Read More For The Top 7 E-commerce Trends That Will Impact WordPress in 2017!

The Main Challenges Faced By E-Commerce In India

1. Cash on Delivery: Low credit card penetration and low trust in online transactions have led to cash on delivery being the preferred payment option in India. Unlike electronic payments, manual cash collection is laborious, risky, and expensive.

Although with the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes in November 2016, e-Commerce players were forced to stop “cash-on-delivery” payment modes on their site. According to the statement of Amrish Rau, CEO of PayU India, “About 40% of CoD was driven by black money according to a study done two years ago.” But since e-commerce gives different options for payment, de-monetisation has a limited effect on it.

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Sokrati

2. Location: If you place an online order in India, you will quite likely get a call from the logistics company to ask you about your exact location. Clearly, your address is not enough. This is because there is little standardization in the way postal addresses are written. Last mile issues add to Indian e-commerce logistics problems.

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Sokrati

3. Returns And Exchange: Though consumer remorse is a global problem, it is all the more prevalent in a country like India, where much of the growth comes from new buyers. Returns are expensive for Indian e-commerce players, as reverse logistics presents unique challenges. This becomes all the more complex in cross-border e-commerce.

4. Online Payments: For most e-commerce sites, the success of online payments is around 65 per cent.This coupled with the low penetration of credit and debit cards and the reluctance of Indian consumers to put payment information online are major challenges. To overcome the lack of trust that often keeps customers from making online payments, players in this space are setting up wallets and trying new methods to build customer trust.

Download Our Ebook: The Most Comprehensive Report On Payment Gateways In India – 2017

5. Law: Marketplaces are now prohibited from having one vendor or group company contributing more than 25% of their total sales. This change poses a challenge to both Flipkart and Amazon India, majorly. In practice the changes mean that these marketplaces will need to encourage more and more sellers onto their platforms to become compliant, opening the doors for international sellers to take advantage of this opportunity.

6. False Orders: Despite having a host of genuine shoppers who believe in the utility that e-commerce brings, false or spam orders are also a genuine logistical hindrance for e-commerce companies. The trend has been mainly in the Tier II or Tier III cities of India, where people are known to be motivated with the goods and services they see online, place and order, then develop cold feet about the order, end up canceling the order or not receiving it.

Read The Growing Challenges Of E-commerce In India for more problems faced by the Indian e-commerce industry.

Some of the Best WordPress eCommerce Themes 2017

1. Lemon

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: BearsThemes

Lemon is a versatile multi-concept theme that fits a large variety of projects and e-commerce businesses.Lemon allows you to create fully working online shop over this weekend and get ready to start selling next week. Choose one of the many shop layouts available for the eCommerce, load pictures, add some info, set up pricing and payment details and you are good to go.
What’s more? Lemon is fully responsive and Retina ready. It fits all different sizes and types of displays. It looks great on big screens or on hand-held devices.

2. Sober

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: ThemeForest

Sober is a premium, unique and modern WordPress theme with a focus on e-commerce. Sober’s online shop has several clever add-ons already built-in like shipping calculator, wishlist, filter, tracking system, report system and more. Built with bootstrap and fueled by Visual Composer one can create almost any design. The theme comes with more than 12 pre-made home-pages all beautifully crafted with a focus on details. With Sober, you will get regular updates, extended documentation, and dedicated support team.

3. Umbra

Indian e-commerceImage Source: nootheme

Umbra is very modern e-commerce store WordPress theme which can be used for various types of shops, such as, fashion, furniture, clothing, shoes etc. It comes with a bunch of pre-designed template within the package which you can easily import with demo data just by one click. The theme comes with a bunch of amazing built-in extensions, such as MailChimp, WPML.org, slider revolution and visual composer.

4. ElectroShop

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: ThemeForest

Electro shop is another phenomenal ecommerce WordPress theme focusing on the electronics industry. It’s been out on marketplace for only a few weeks but there is a huge demand for it since it’s very complex and packed with the best ecommerce features you can possibly need for an e-shop these days. There are a bunch of useful features, such as product live search, brands & products carousels, wishlist, compare list, advanced review system, different layouts for single products, catalog mode, shop jumbotron and much more.

5. The Retailer

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: ThemeForest

The Retailor is an old school theme released 3 years ago but still very popular on ThemeForest. It’s been one of the bestsellers in its category and has over 11k happy customers.There are tons of cool ecommerce features, such as variable products, digital downloads, affiliate business options, product reviews, business insights and reports, catalog mode and much more. 2 premium plugins are included for FREE.

6. Suprema

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: ThemeForest

Suprema is powerful & responsive WordPress theme for ecommerce websites. The theme comes with 16+ amazing pre-designed layouts which can come very handy for you. They can be easily loaded/imported via demo data content. You easily switch between them as well. Thanks to the visual composer, you can also edit all of them and upload your content and pictures within few minutes. Visual composer is a premium plugin which is coming for FREE along with revolution slider plugin.

7. New-Commerce

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: MojoThemes

With New Commerce, you can easily create fully functional ecommerce website without knowing the codes. New-commerce comes with a bunch of amazing features, such as 3d sliders, 3 different homepage versions, clean and modern design, 100% responsivity, wishlist, products compare, unlimited customization, translations and much more. There are 3x premium plugins coming in the package for FREE. Revolution slider, layer slider 5 and live chat plugin.

8. Mindig

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: yithemes

MINDIG is one of the many ecommerce WordPress themes by sara_p from ThemeForest. MINDIG comes with 14+ demos which are ready to be used. You can choose from the shop, corporate, portfolio or one page. The template also comes with unlimited header layout. From ecommerce point of view, it’s definitely important to highlight features, such as, hover quick view, catalog mode, shop widgets, wishlist, compare products and much more.

9. Hugo

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: Cssigniter

Hugo is the latest ecommerce WordPress theme released on cssigniter.com. All the vintage, hipster, and minimal elements make it very unique and ideal for any online fashion stores. Hugo is fully responsive, SEO optimized, online documented, fully customizable, WPML ready, loading speed optimized, retina ready and supported by a professional team from cssigniter.com.

10. Zeon

e-commerce in IndiaImage Source: TeslaThemes

Zeon is a top product of teslathemes theme and you can get their theme separately or by being in their club you can get exclusive access to all their templates and plugins. Zeon is the only ecommerce theme they have but it’s truly one of the best! You can build up professional eshop with the most modern features and functions. It’s built on their Tesla Framework and it comes with PRO features, such as revolution slider, custom posts, product list, shortcodes, social media support etc.

Future Of E-commerce In India

At present, Indian e-commerce employs just under one million people, but the study concludes that the number is set to grow by at least 700 percent by 2020. Like India, China is the only other economy confronted with creating jobs at this grand of a scale. E-commerce in China has already spread to rural areas; in Chinese rural centers called Taobao, villagers have a means to set up digital shops, facilitating business for millions.

The growth of the Indian e-commerce sector presents a huge opportunity for commercial success but also rests heavily on the progress of other parts of the economy. Indian e-commerce has such potential because it can bring three changes more profound than convenience and keen prices:

1. Financial Development
2. Overcome India’s ropy infrastructure and vast geography
3. Impact of e-commerce in India is on retailing itself

E-commerce players will swiftly adopt multiple channels to provide a suave and seamless consumer experience. Omni-channel retailing will offer a very strong value proposition. The forthcoming years will witness newer technologies and will continue to revolutionize the consumer shopping experience and churn more and more money into online sales.

In 2017, there are going to be more major developments in the Indian mobile industry as 4G grows more rapidly and covers more areas and more people acquire smartphones which are going to present unique opportunities for retailers. As the promising Indian e-commerce market growth continues to shift in a positive direction, consumers can expect more mergers and acquisitions.

No battle for the online future of India is more intense than the one now being waged in e-commerce. E-commerce in India is a local battle for customers, but it is also a battle for the future.
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