In 2010, e-commerce sales were at $572 billion; they are estimated to touch $3.6 trillion in 2019, according to Internet Retailer, an industry intelligence portal. It still only makes up a small portion (8.5%) of global retail sales, but its impact on the consumer imagination across the world is massive.(Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
In 2010, e-commerce sales were at $572 billion; they are estimated to touch $3.6 trillion in 2019, according to Internet Retailer, an industry intelligence portal. It still only makes up a small portion (8.5%) of global retail sales, but its impact on the consumer imagination across the world is massive.(Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)

How e-commerce changed our lives

As 2010s near their end, many are referring to the decade as the “age of Amazon and Alibaba” – the first started by Jeff Bezos in 1997 and the second by Jack Ma in 1999.
By Snigdha Poonam | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 29, 2019 10:59 PM IST

The real battle between economic rivals US and China played on online shops through the 2010s. In 2009, as American retail sales were spiraling down post-recession, the Chinese shopping website Alibaba announced a 24-hour discount starting 12am on November 11, which is known as Singles’ Day in China because of the double single in the number. Since then, every year marks an all-out contest between Singles Day’ sales on Alibaba and those capped on American e-commerce giant Amazon on Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving when Americans clear out their year’s savings.

For some years, one side has effortlessly beaten the other. Through November 11, 2019, after American popstar Taylor Swift kicked off Singles’ Day with a live-streamed performance on Alibaba, the website sold merchandise worth $38 billion, setting the record for the most amount of money spent in a day anywhere on earth.

Amazon didn’t reveal the numbers for its Black Friday sales, but overall Americans were estimated to have spent $7.4 billion on online shopping on that day.

As 2010s near their end, many are referring to the decade as the “age of Amazon and Alibaba” – the first started by Jeff Bezos in 1997 and the second by Jack Ma in 1999. But more appropriate would be to call it the decade of e-commerce, which expanded at an average rate of 20% through these years. Much of this was enabled by the speed at which internet penetrated newer markets and aided by the improvements in the design, technology and infrastructure that animates the e-commerce industry, from smoother screen experience to better predictive suggestions to faster delivery time.

In 2010, e-commerce sales were at $572 billion; they are estimated to touch $3.6 trillion in 2019, according to Internet Retailer, an industry intelligence portal. It still only makes up a small portion (8.5%) of global retail sales, but its impact on the consumer imagination across the world is massive.

People aren’t only going online to buy mobile phones and clothes, but nearly everything that can be bought with money, from toilet paper rolls to engagement rings. They have their reasons: some find online shopping cheap, some convenient and some customisable.

But the biggest reason e-commerce became mainstream in 2010s was that it was millennials who were buying. They had a limited amount money to spend, they chose things quick and they wanted them fast.

Over 2010s, e-commerce also encompassed that other aspect of millennial lifestyle: collaborative consumption or, simply, sharing. Think Uber, eBay and Airbnb. Globally, the sharing economy was valued at around $15 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $335 billion by 2025, according to a PwC report, as gig workers subsidise each other’s costs of consumer goods, commute, travel and services.

According to market research in the west, millennials only visit a brick-and-mortar store if there is a compelling reason to do so. The situation is no different in pockets of India today. Between 2013 and 2017, India’s online retail market, dominated by Flipkart and Amazon, grew by 53% annually, the fastest anywhere in the world, even though it only makes up 5% of overall retail in the country. Whether they are in cities, towns or villages, young Indians seem to prefer digital shops over physical ones.

In Chennai, 28-year-old entrepreneur Shankar Krishnan says he depends on shopping websites for nearly everything. “From groceries to jeans to football gear to cigarettes to underwear. I used to go out to buy things earlier, but the shopping websites really pamper you. You can order things in the middle of the night, things are delivered at your doorstep, you don’t have to deal with intrusive sales staff and it’s great for discreet buys,” he said.

It’s not only the millennials who are trusting internet companies with their needs and their money. In Haryana’s Ateli town, 20-year-old Komal Aggarwal orders things online for her whole joint family of 22 people. “Cosmetics for my aunt, packaged snacks for my mother, electronic items for my father and uncles, and dresses for myself,” she said.

In Ranchi, 35-year-old Anand Kothari, a development professional, has just ordered luxury footwear at a massive discount from a Chinese shopping website. “Not Alibaba,” he pointed out.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
A deserted street in Amravati during its seven-day lockdown.(PTI)
A deserted street in Amravati during its seven-day lockdown.(PTI)

Janata curfew, weekend lockdown: Maha districts impose curbs amid Covid spike

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 02:03 PM IST
The district administration in Latur has decided to implement 'Janata curfew' on February 27 and 28 in view of the rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
Close
Children learn to ski on a slope at Gulmarg, a ski resort and one of the main tourist attractions in the Kashmir region. It will host winter games beginning Friday.(REUTERS)
Children learn to ski on a slope at Gulmarg, a ski resort and one of the main tourist attractions in the Kashmir region. It will host winter games beginning Friday.(REUTERS)

2nd edition of Khelo India Winter Games begins in Gulmarg from Friday

By Mir Ehsan | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Srinagar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 02:02 PM IST
  • The games in Gulmarg will see participation of 1200 athletes from 27 states and Union Territories (UTs) besides the armed forces personnel.
Close
Dantewada is currently encouraging Maoists to surrender under Lon Varatu campaign.(AP)
Dantewada is currently encouraging Maoists to surrender under Lon Varatu campaign.(AP)

Chhattisgarh: Allegations cloud alleged suicide of surrendered woman ‘Maoist’

By Ritesh Mishra | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Raipur
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:42 PM IST
  • Dantewada SP rubbished the allegations saying the deceased surrendered in front of the media and her interrogation report and statements of other Maoists showed clearly that she was working as a CNM member.
Close
Indian youth Congress members protest against the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders outside Shastri Bhawan, in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI Photo)
Indian youth Congress members protest against the hike in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG cylinders outside Shastri Bhawan, in New Delhi on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

LPG gets costlier by 25, one cylinder to cost 794 in Delhi

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:28 PM IST
This rise in the prices of the LPG gas cylinders comes for the third time this month.
Close
Scientists at multiple laboratories across the country are also working to find out if any indigenous variant of the virus is behind the spike.(HT_PRINT)
Scientists at multiple laboratories across the country are also working to find out if any indigenous variant of the virus is behind the spike.(HT_PRINT)

Covid-19 samples from 8 Maharashtra districts sent for testing of new mutations

ANI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:24 PM IST
The transmission of cases has increased rapidly in some districts of the Vidarbha region. Districts such as Amravati have been reporting over 20 per cent positivity rate in the last few days.
Close
The sector has been rendered vulnerable by the pandemic necessitating concerted effected effects to combat the stress. (ANI)
The sector has been rendered vulnerable by the pandemic necessitating concerted effected effects to combat the stress. (ANI)

MSME sector emerges as growth engine of economy, says RBI Governor

ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:19 PM IST
Das called for increasing digital payment and digital penetration across the country.
Close
Representational image. (PTI)
Representational image. (PTI)

Armies of India, Pakistan agree to ceasefire along LoC from Feb 24 midnight

By Rezaul H Laskar and Rahul Singh
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:17 PM IST
The move comes at a time when the Indian military is largely focused on the standoff with China in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which emerged in the open in May last year
Close
Indian army soldiers stand guarding at Chakan-da-Bagh outpost at Poonch. (HT Archive)
Indian army soldiers stand guarding at Chakan-da-Bagh outpost at Poonch. (HT Archive)

India, Pakistan agree to ceasefire along LoC at DGMO meet

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 01:15 PM IST
  • The meeting which was held between the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan also reviewed the current situation across the Line of Control (LoC) and other sectors ‘in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere’, the statement said.
Close
School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash stated that classes, with not more than 20-25 students, will also be held on Saturdays and Sundays.(HT file)
School and Mass Education Minister S R Dash stated that classes, with not more than 20-25 students, will also be held on Saturdays and Sundays.(HT file)

News updates in HT: 229 students test Covid-19 positive in Maharashtra's Washim

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:59 PM IST
  • Here are today’s top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Oval Maidan. Thackeray slammed the BJP, saying it was a unanimous decision by the allies to approve the open spaces policy as the Sena did not enjoy a majority in the BMC.(HT)
Oval Maidan. Thackeray slammed the BJP, saying it was a unanimous decision by the allies to approve the open spaces policy as the Sena did not enjoy a majority in the BMC.(HT)

Covid-19 spike: Mumbai's Oval Maidan to be closed from Feb 26

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:44 PM IST
The Oval Maidan, where cricket and football matches are frequently played, witnesses crowds of sport enthusiasts during weekends.
Close
Representational image. (Mohd Zakir/HT Archive)
Representational image. (Mohd Zakir/HT Archive)

Fashion forward: Parliament staff get great deals on clothes, accessories

UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:36 PM IST
The secretariat has put out a circular listing as many as 50 items available for sale—fabric for shirts, trousers, suits, uniforms for marshals of the House, neckties, even leather gloves and jackets
Close
Around 50 per cent of the buses are operating with temporary drivers and Anna Trade Union drivers.(ANI)
Around 50 per cent of the buses are operating with temporary drivers and Anna Trade Union drivers.(ANI)

Transport strike in Tamil Nadu today, 80% bus services hit

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:07 PM IST
The strike by the transport unions has been reported to involve over one lakh transport employees affecting over 80 per cent of the bus services.
Close
A Chinese soldier gestures next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state(AFP/File Photo)
A Chinese soldier gestures next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state(AFP/File Photo)

Chinese infra push across Sikkim, Arunachal border raises a red flag in Delhi

By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:22 PM IST
  • China has been carrying out rapid military-infra upgrade across the Upper Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh including at least three new bridges, troop sheds and a new 66-kilometre road
Close
Shantanu Muluk,arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for investigation, in New Delhi, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)
Shantanu Muluk,arrives at National Cyber Forensic Lab for investigation, in New Delhi, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)

Toolkit case: Shantanu Muluk gets interim protection from arrest till March 9

Reported by Richa Banka | Edited by Karan Manral
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:23 AM IST
Additional sessions judge Dharmendar Rana on Thursday directed that no coercive action shall be taken against Muluk till the said date, when the hearing will next take place.
Close
The last hike in the prices of petrol and diesel was on Tuesday when the fuels prices rose by <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>35 litre each.(Bloomberg)
The last hike in the prices of petrol and diesel was on Tuesday when the fuels prices rose by 35 litre each.(Bloomberg)

Petrol costs 90.93, diesel 81.32 in Delhi. Check fuel prices

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:00 AM IST
Here is how much petrol and diesel cost as of Thursday in different cities of India.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP