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India getting comfortable with online shopping

Is the average middle class Indian getting more tech-friendly in terms of consumer electronics, changing the way India shops? This is the question Experian Hitwise asked in its research.

business Updated: Nov 21, 2010 23:36 IST
Anita Sharan

Is the average middle class Indian getting more tech-friendly in terms of consumer electronics, changing the way India shops? This is the question Experian Hitwise asked in its research. Its findings show that shopping is the 10th most popular online activity in India, ranking below social networking, news and travel, but picking up more visits than government, music or sports websites.

By international standards, Indian e-commerce is immature - shopping ranks fifth in online activities in the US and fourth in the UK, Experian's research reveals - but it is developing rapidly. Indians are increasingly seen using the internet to get more information and to shortlist preferences.

A typical online retailer in India receives half of its traffic from search engines. Topping the list of most searched-for products are cellphones at 3.5 per cent of all product-related search terms sending traffic to retailers. Nokia rules, picking up two in every five searches.

Searches for "wireless internet" have more than doubled over the last three months, while 'mobile movies' is the eighth most popular mobile phone-related search term. Software downloads are also in demand, while laptops, TVs and cameras are respectively the third, fourth and fifth most searched for products online.

"The only non-gadget to make it into the top five list of most searched-for products is cars - one in every 25 searches is for cars. A third of these searches are for 'used' or 'second hand' cars; many specify a location. Bangalore is the most popular location for car searches, followed by Mumbai and Chennai," said Navin Chandani, MD, Experian Marketing Services, India.

Cars are not the only the products searched for by location. Three of the 10 most visited retail sites fall into this category, with Quikr and ClickIndia taking the two top spots and carwale.com in eighth position. "The popularity of local classifieds sites pushes eBay India into seventh place. At number four, Amazon, another global e-commerce superpower, is one of only two other non-India sites in the top 10," Chandani said. At number three is Softronic, which specialises in software downloads. The fifth spot is taken by B2B trading platform Alibaba, while entertainment and ticketing site Book-my-shows.com is in ninth place.