Some quick statistics:
- 140 Million Internet Users – estimate number to reach 348 Million by 2017 (Source: Cisco)
- Number of transactions is currently 10 million and is expected to reach 38 million by 2015
- 28% of travel gets booked online, 117 million transactions on the government owned IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd) alone. (Source: Avendus)
- 25% of IT returns were filed online in 2010-11. Estimated that almost 75% of all tax filings in the year 2015-16 will be done online. (Source: Avendus)
- Spending on digital media jumped to 7% in 2012 from 1% of the total advertising spend in 20051
Over the last few years, ecommerce has become the buzzword in India, with aggressive marketing and growing consumer needs leading to this unprecedented growth. 2012 was an exciting year for this industry with revenues hitting 14 billion dollars, more than double from 6.3 billion dollars in 20112.
Investors and international players are also feeling more confident of entering this market as well as funding Indian businesses. A recent example is the Delhi based online marketplace Snapdeal which managed to raise 50 million dollars from Ebay and existing investors3. Another deal that drew attention was e-commerce site Homeshop18 that raised 30 million dollars from Asian investors.
The Indian government is also playing an important role in promoting digitization. The government owned India Post is all set to service e-tailers; thus increasing their reach to the furthest corners of the country5. As millions of Indians prefer booking airline and railway tickets online, the state owned Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) has emerged as one of the largest players in the e-commerce market.
E-commerce is a key instrument for nation building as it gives e-tailers access to all internet users in India (approximately 140 million) – much more than a traditional brick and mortar presence ever would. And rural India gets an opportunity to access products and services that they could have never dreamt of a decade ago.
With all these large players and their even larger budgets, it’s become relatively hard for startups and smaller businesses to advertise and promote their services and products. Making your brand stand out and being a front runner is extremely difficult. Businesses have wisely started to invest in e-commerce marketing. E-commerce advertising is now delivered through a mix of online marketing, mobile, search, social media, blogs and video platforms.