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The cyber shopping boom

Indians are increasingly becoming tech savvy, making cyber cafes the new hubs where e-commerce is thriving.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 11:55 IST

With online shopping gaining momentum as Indians becoming increasingly tech savvy, cyber cafes are the new hubs where e-commerce is thriving, says a new survey.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) revealed after a survey that the number of cyber cafes have increased to 105,350 in 2005 as against just 18,000 cafes in 2001. The survey also predicted that the number will swell by 40 percent every year.

"Cyber cafes are the premier hubs bringing Internet to the public and tier-two cities are witnessing increased Internet-related activities especially online retailing," said Preeti Desia, president of IMAI.

The report states that cyber cafes have fast evolved into popular access points for e-commerce and visitors are using them increasingly for doing business and not just for chatting or mailing purposes.

The survey revealed that over 47 per cent of the visitors have shopped online more than once during the last six months. While 36 per cent have shopped between two to four times, 23 per cent visitors made purchases more than 10 times.

Delineating the demographic profile of shoppers from these places, the report states that 84 percent are in the 18 to 35 age group with high disposable income, 87 percent are males of whom 55 per cent are unmarried. Nearly 85 percent of the cyber shoppers are either graduates or postgraduates, the study revealed.

Giving a state wise breakup, the survey stated that 31 per cent of the people of Maharashtra, 16 per cent in Tamil Nadu and 11 per cent in Delhi were using cyber cafes as shopping points. One percent each from Bihar and Punjab were using the kiosks for the purpose.

In a major indication of the bourgeoning e-commerce trend, the survey revealed that 57 per cent were using the Internet for banking purposes and 17 per cent used it for trading stocks. "It demonstrates the growing trust and confidence over the medium to carry out monetary transactions," the report said.

Book purchases topped the list at (31 per cent), electronic gadgets (41 per cent), railway tickets (37 per cent), music (25 per cent), jewellery and movie tickets (14 per cent each) and beauty products (10 per cent).

Online shopping includes toys, airlines tickets, apparel, accessories, fitness products, hotel booking and magazine subscriptions among a host of other products.

The study forecasts that online purchase of goods including computers, electronic gadgets and services like hotels, airlines and cinema bookings would attract a huge number of young consumers.

"The genNext population which is on the fast lane is hooked to cyber shopping," said Desai.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 11:52 IST