62% opt to shop online compared with 30% who still prefer to go out to traditional markets

Delhiites have taken a lead over the residents of all other metropolitan cities in India when it comes to shopping online. As per a survey conducted by industry body The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), as many as 62 per cent Delhiites prefer shopping online in comparison to about 30 per cent who still prefer to go out to the traditional markets like Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, Janpath, Paharganj, Sadar Bazar and Chandni Chowk for buying goods.

Significant change

The survey has also revealed a growing inclination towards going to the malls for shopping but has shown that the number of respondents who actually do so is still just 6 per cent. Besides, about 2 per cent of the shoppers said they prefer shopping at specialty stores.

When it comes to buying goods online, the survey, which sampled 5,000 shoppers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and other cities, said after the national Capital, the maximum following for making online purchases was in Mumbai, followed by Ahmedabad.

Overall, it noted that the shopping trends of Indian consumers have witnessed a significant change in the past year with online shopping showing a significant 65 per cent increase. “This festive season, we saw 65 per cent more traffic on online retail websites; shopping on ground has taken a back seat,’’ said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of Assocham.

Apart from convenience, rising fuel price, security reasons, online discounts, and availability of choices are making people shop from the comfort of their homes and offices.

In cities like Chennai, the survey said 30 per cent of the population chose to buy articles of daily use through e-shopping in 2012-13. In the current fiscal, this figure has jumped to 40-45 per cent and the articles being purchased online include gift items, magazines, home tools, toys, jewellery, beauty products, and sporting goods.

Likewise, Kolkata has also shown a growing fascination for online shopping. There, the number of respondents buying online has gone up from 15-20 per cent in the last year to around 25-30 per cent in 2013-14. “Online music and movies are the highest e-sale items in Kolkata.’’

Similarly, Bangalore’s share has grown from 20-25 per cent in 2012-13 to around 45-50 per cent and people there are now also buying books, electronic gadgets, accessories, apparel, gifts, computer peripherals, movies, home appliances, health and fitness products, gift certificates, and booking hotels, movie tickets online.

Boom in festive season

The survey also claimed that non-resident Indians (NRIs) were actively shopping online during the festive season. “During Raksha Bandhan, online shopping by NRIs contributes 60-70 percent of total shopping, whereas during Diwali, it increases to 90 per cent,’’ it said.

On what is being sold the most online, the survey revealed that leading the pack are gift articles (58%) followed in chronological order by books (42%), electronic gadgets (41%), railway tickets (39%), accessories apparel (36%), apparel (36%), computer and peripherals (33%), airline tickets (29%), music (24%), movies tickets (26%), hotel rooms (20%), magazine (19%), home tools and products (16%), home appliances (16%), toys (16%), jewellery (15%), beauty products (12%), health and fitness products (12%), apparel gift certificates (10%) and sporting goods (7%).

With online shopping catching up, people have also started purchasing gifts, including imported wines and juices, online. Chocolates, too, are picking up in a big way as a substitute to sweets.

This trend extensively points towards luxury shopping emerging as a concept in the Indian market, the survey pointed out. According to the survey, India has more than 100 million Internet users, out of which around half opt for online purchases and the number is growing every year. “With such a large market size, companies, right from retail shops to consumer goods, are entering the web space to attract potential customers,’’ it added.

More In: Delhi