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What are indian consumers really buying online?
Any report out there or anyone have any insights on to what India's consumers buy the most online? Is it books, mobile phones, computers?
I am totally guessing here.
1) Books 2) Train tickets 3) Mobiles 4) Flight tickets 5) Apparel ?
Looking forward to experts weighing in on this.
-- I can't help but just nod my head on your guesses. Books, for sure. Tickets (movies, events, flights, trains, buses, vacation packages. Now, you have specialist websites selling each of these sub-niches within travel separately such as redbus -- only buses?). Mobiles ( mobile accessories included), Apparel (yebhi.com is experimenting, don't know how well it takes off but accessories might work).
Somewhere in another thread, there's talk about how much potential the Indian Sub-continent has. It's just entrepreneurs just have to do some leg work and decide what to sell online.
UnPluggd tickets too! :D
Tickets would take up a fair share I suppose - movie and show tickets especially with the early bird discounts. I also bought my laptop online; bought it from Lenovo US and asked a friend to ferry it back from there (huge cost saving).
I think the range of stuff we buy online will grow but for some the growth will be slower than others. For one, I don't expect something like furniture to see a massive rise in online purchase in India because there is the "see-touch-feel" factor involved in a big way.
-- It's that "See-touch-feel" thing that's stopped me to think of an untold number of niches until now. Indians shop so differently.
But what I fail to understand is that how did Americans make the transition from this factor? How is it that they can buy apparel online? Don't they have to try it out to see if it fits? They buy kitchen cabinets, household furniture, dog food and pet supplies, medicines, almost everything, eh?
Electronics, books, and tickets are easy and I guess they are popular because it's quick, and there's no see-touch-feel thing here.
E-commerce is killing me here :)
, Americans also struggle with buying apparel online. The offline apparel market is much larger than the online one. And the online apparel market is dominated by large brands. For example, if I love Gap clothing I know what size generally fits me at Gap, so I'll feel comfortable buying Gap clothes online. If I'm not a sure a product will fit or look good, maybe I'll buy if the return policy is good.
As for other niches, most products are not so variable on your personal body. You can buy dog food online because its standard and so on. In India it will just be a matter of time when people become more comfortable buying a wider range of goods online
I am just guessing here when I say this, but maybe it comes down to the presence of a few but large brands (US) versus many small brands (India). For e.g.: I still buy clothes whose brands aren't known outside Mulund in Mumbai!
makes a good point with the Gap clothing example - if you are very sure that the certain brand will fit you well then you are fine with buying it online. Coupled with what I think is a mature market where all businesses or at least most of them are known brands and have an online presence this makes for an easy decision when buying online.
Nice thread here.Few thoughts:
Whether people are buying or not is secondary. The bet is that they will increasingly buy.Before we get to what they buy, i think "why" should be addressed and some consumer education is a prerequisite(Beyond convenience, and into price discounts, interactivity online,and incentives for using, direct model etc).
A more need-based ecommerce platform, and a one-stop destination, though it will take time has a definite market going forward, as opposed to books, tickets, deals(though broad, a deal of the day is a generalization,i.e, selling lowest price).
Social networking and Ecommerce seemlessly coming together, such that the sum of these 2 domains is greater than their isolated independent value.
Overall, i would say the space is mega exciting due to lack of any real proven model here, and the possibilities are endless. Totally worth the grind as a startup in the social commerce space!
Thanks guys for all the feedback. It looks like books, tickets/travel are still the majority of e-com.
Probably mobile phone recharge is also popular
For me it would be the usual assortment of
* Tickets ( entertainment, travel )
* Bills ( electricity, mobile, DTH )
* Mobile apps
* Specialty electronics parts
Books & Recharge..!
I use Internet for following purchases :-
2) Tickets (Train/Bus/Flight/Movies)
3) Mobile /DTH Recharge
In the last few months, the most me and my colleagues have spent online on would be...
1. (not generalizable) Online services (domains, hosting) - yes, online purchases for online services!
2. Movie Tickets
4. Mobile Recharge
A wild guess would be that
is getting popular day by day, and I see Internet Banking transactions being used for them in my known circle (generalization disputable).
Thanks guys for the replies.
In terms of products, this article on
Snapdeal's Product Business
will give you an idea (of demographics too).
Top categories are: Lifestyle (fashion accessories) and electronics (drives 20-25% of the sales).
Indian consumers most like to buy latest technologies, books, and latest fashion clothing stuffs. Which are not so easy to purchase from local market stores/malls! I usually visit at online shopping site, whenever i need to buy something arrant and that's at affordable price.
How many individuals in India do you think spend on online services/infra - Flickr accounts, premium accounts, etc?
I really can't say that for sure. Yet, I know at least 7 of my Indian clients purchase plenty of accounts online. Hosting, server fees, virtual offices, subscriptions for software such as Adobe Creative Suite, classes and tutorials, spell check and grammar check software, and much more.
We now have these web-hosted solutions for social media management, online storage, and CRM software.
I myself stay invested in plenty of subscriptions to get my business going.
I usually buy, Movie Tickets, Bills, Train, Bus, Air Tickets, etc online. Other family members do order lot of books. I also order food online, but don't see many people doing it. Usually get the number and call the restaurant. Used to buy lot of stuff of ebay back in UK. But that's what I shop online.
Qn : are the participants on this thread representative of the online audience at large? Is there a larger, wider audience at all?
Flight ticket tops the chart i guess then followed by gadgets.We have comeup with unique idea to find the cheapest fare online.User just needs to put in the request at our
and we do the rest by searching the cheapest fare for them by searching all the leading travel prtal and then applying coupons if any to come up with the cheapest fare.
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