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Consumer Interest In Online Shopping Up 128% In 2012; Mobile Queries Up 2X: Report

The consumer interest in online shopping has seen 128% growth in the year 2012, as compared to 40% growth in 2011, according to a study conducted by Google India.

The company says that this 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. The sample size had a monthly average household income of Rs 55,051 and the respondents were spread across Delhi (22%), Mumbai (24%), Kolkata (9%), Bangalore (17%), Ahmedabad (6%), Hyderabad (12%), Pune (7%) & others (2%).

Here are some highlights from the study:

– Number of online shopping queries from mobile devices witnessed 2x growth in 2012. 30% of all shopping queries in India came from mobile phones.

– Consumer Electronics generated the highest number of shopping queries, accounting for 34% of the total shopping queries, followed by apparels & accessories (30%) and Books (15%). Google however claims that the apparels and accessories category will surpass Consumer electronics category in terms of absolute query volumes in 2013. Others in the list include Beauty & Personal care (10%), Home & furnishing (6%), Baby products (2%) and Healthcare (3%).

– In terms of product categories purchased online ever, apparels and accessories took the top spot with 84% of the users purchasing from the category, followed by consumer electronics with 71% users and beauty & personal care with 64% users. Others in the list include books (62%), household products (61%), baby products (39%), and health & nutrition (43%).

– The report mentioned that niche categories like baby products, home & furnishings and healthcare are emerging as the fastest growing categories on Google search.

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

– The report mentions that online ticket consumers were easier to convert for online shopping and were likely to spend an average amount of Rs 2,347 on their first product purchase as compared to Rs 1,626 for regular Internet users. However, it is not clear as to who are these online ticket customers and what’s the difference between online ticket customers and regular Internet users? Does online ticket customers constitute people who purchase tickets from online ticketing portals or something else?

– Google says that 74% of the regular Internet users opted for cash on delivery as their most preferred mode of payment,  followed by debit card (18%) & credit card (5%), while 55% of the online ticket buyers opted for cash on delivery as their most preferred mode of payment, followed by debit cards (24%) and credit card (19%).

Great Online Shopping Festival

Its worth noting that Google India had recently partnered with around 90 eCommerce sites to launch Great Online Shopping Festival, a 24 hours online shopping festival wherein the participating eCommerce ventures offered various deals to its consumers.

The company claimed that it had witnessed a significant amount of participation from first time online buyers looking for deals and making online purchases. It also mentioned that all its partners had witnessed a significant growth in traffic and some of its partners had already sold out its stock by 3pm (15 hours after the festival started). However, we were a bit skeptical if it was able to achieve the goal of spreading awareness about online shopping in the country and incentivize Indian netizens to adopt online shopping, since the festival’s marketing was primarily limited to the web (correct us if we are wrong).

Several Indian eCommerce sites including PayTM*, Myntra and HomeShop18 had reported increase in sales. (More on that here)

*Disclosure: PayTM is an advertiser with MediaNama


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