Are Indian Shoppers Getting Inclined Towards Foreign Websites?

Post by Uzma Kidwai | Mar 08, 2017

According to Ajit Chauhan, MD Synergy Promotions and Marketing Services said, "The online shopping industry in India is fast catching on, not just in the larger metros but also in the smaller cities. At present, the market is estimated at Rs 46,000 crore and is growing at 100 percent per year"

The major reason for me to explore this topic was to know about the growth of e-commerce in India. While researching, taking down the points and before taking out conclusions, I popped up with a number of questions. The questions when were put forward to be answered, I realized that India, though taking a highway on the road of digitalization, still need to go far as compared to the mature e-commerce countries like China and US.

Digitalization in India has been playing a great role in providing an inclination to the economy of India. Well, this is no rocket science to understand. The increased number of internet users in India makes a graph of 45 degrees with the passing years. It has rightly been stated that if the Internet is anything to go by, India's technological and economic growth has moved into the top gear. With this, Indians have been making a lot of their shopping online. There are a number of reasons and points on this statement that can be brought up and discussed upon. There have been a number of surveys, reports conducted and revealed/presented respectively to showcase the economic growth in this particular aspect.

To begin with, shopping online in India has become a mundane term. People have been shopping via apps and mobile sites. It is rightly being remarked, if internet technology in India is to flourish and go by, India’s tech and commerce growth will be in full swing.

The above-mentioned point leads us to believe that shoppers do prefer buying online but there are various norms that they check out before making transactions. Let us discuss those points in brief and know what leads them to move towards the foreign websites other than those of the Indian companies.

What makes the Indian shoppers look beyond the home grown e-commerce websites like Flipkart, Snapdeal, and PayTM etc.?

Firstly, a smart shopper checks out the availability of products in India. There are a number of brands, products and materials that are still unavailable in India. Kylie, Jefree Star, Huda Beauty and KatVonD are some of the examples of beauty brands that are still unavailable in India, except for which is also of less awareness to people.

This also leads to the debate that these websites be home grown or foreign do not have applications of their and are working on mobile sites. Reasons to them being the average network available throughout the country is mere 2G which is not enough for an application to work, and therefore these foreign websites being on mobile versions aren’t a big deal for their working.

Then they do provide various incentives like free delivery and other offers which lure the shoppers towards them. “These are shoppers who are trying to fulfill a product gap. While surely free shipping is a big incentive, the lure of brands unavailable in India is a big driver,” said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president of retail and consumer consulting firm Technopak.

In fact at some point, they aren’t much affecting the growth since they are buying products, which are not available in the country anyway!

But despite growing sales and people moving towards foreign websites Indian shoppers are wary when it comes to the expensive customs duties, long delivery periods, the high cost of returns, and transactions in foreign currencies. Research tells more than 50% of Indian online shoppers said they had abandoned online purchases on an international website half way through the process.

To conclude; one can say that the Indian shoppers are inclined towards foreign websites, because of the unavailability of products in the country itself. So, if they are made available in India itself the growth, which is not much affected through these foreign-driven websites, will initially take a higher graph.