Mobile phones driving more people to online shopping: Google

Rajan Anandan
Google India on Monday released a report which says online shopping grew 128 per cent in 2012, as compared to 40 per cent growth in 2011. The report says mobile phones are contributing to the surge in online shopping with Google receiving double the number of queries from mobile phones in 2012. As many as 30 per cent of all shopping queries in India come from mobile phones.

The most popular product category for online shoppers was consumer electronics, with a 34 per cent share of orders. But Google said apparel and accessories, at 30 per cent last year, is expected to be the top product category in 2013.

Consumers said money back guarantee was the number one benefit of online shopping, along with ability to pay on delivery, fast delivery, discounts and access to branded products. Consumers said they avoided online shopping due to the inability to touch or try the goods before purchase, fear of faulty products, fear of posting personal and financial details online and the inability to bargain.

Other categories Indians searched for online were books (15 per cent), beauty & personal care (10 per cent), home & furnishing (6 per cent), baby products (2 per cent) and healthcare (3 per cent).

Rajan Anandan, VP & Managing Director of Google India, said: "With approximately 8 million Indians shopping online in 2012, online shopping industry in India is growing rapidly and will continue to see exponential growth. By looking at the trends in 2012, we expect 2013 to be a strong growth year for players focussed on fast-growing categories like apparel and accessories and niche product categories like baby products, home furnishings, health and nutrition. We expect the growth to come from outside of top eight cities as evident in our recently concluded Great Online Shopping Festival, which saw over 51 per cent of traffic from non-metro cities."

The frequency of purchase was higher for categories like apparel & accessories (34%), beauty & personal care (33%) products in comparison to electronics (28%), which makes these categories more profitable.

Consumers were most likely to shop for tickets online and it is the biggest category in terms of driving users to online shopping. Online ticket buyers were likely to spend a higher average amount of Rs 2,347 on their first purchase, in comparison to Rs 1,626 for others. Online ticket buyers were also seen to be more comfortable with the use of debit cards (24 per cent), credit cards (19 per cent) and cash on delivery (55 per cent). For regular internet users, cash on delivery was the preferred mode of payment (74 per cent), followed by debit cards (18 per cent) and credit cards (5 per cent).

Google compiled the report by combining consumer interest observed on Google search and online research conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), a market research firm. The report was compiled by combining data from Google Trends and online research conducted by TNS Australia with a sample size of 800 respondents on behalf of Google India in November 2012.

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