eBay, India’s largest eCommerce marketplace, recently unveiled India’s first Online Business Index, a research report on Indian eCommerce businesses, covering both domestic and retail export entrepreneurs. The report has been compiled using a survey from over 700 of eBay India’s top sellers, who are truly passionate about the potential of ecommerce in their lives.
As 2013 draws to a close, this report gives a good insight into the major trends that have developed in the sector over the past year, the challenges it faces and the future outlook for the industry as we head into 2014.
What sells most:
Electronics seem to be the most sought after goods in the online domestic market with Mobiles, Laptops & Tablets and gadget accessories making up a large quantum of sales followed by Home Décor and jewellery items.
While a majority (53%) of domestic and retail export entrepreneurs only sell online and do not have an offline presence, the remaining have adopted a multi-pronged strategy using eBay, their offline stores, own websites, other online marketplaces and their social media presence to sell their merchandise.
Confidence in E-commerce:
The major reason why the majority of domestic and retail export entrepreneurs only sell online
& do not have an offline business is that they do not need an offline store. Other reasons include the prohibitive cost of retail property rent, other costs, and the flexibility in schedule that an online store offers.
Why sell Online:
Online entrepreneurs, both domestic and export, are excited about the potential of Indian eCommerce and want to gain their share of the growing market. The ability to reach a much greater number of potential customers, better profitability, flexibility with work hours and operating from home are the other reasons which motivate the sellers to sell online.
Savvy entrepreneurs find sales from eBay are the most profitable given the low transaction fees and that they are charged only as they successfully sell.
Healthy growth rates:
eBay entrepreneurs are overall seeing healthy eCommerce growth rates with over 36 percent of domestic sellers stating a 20 percent YoY growth rate and over 24 percent stating a 21 percent to 40 percent YoY growth rate.
eBay retail export entrepreneurs are also seeing healthy eCommerce growth rates with over 36 percent of exporters stating a 20 percent YoY growth rate and over 30 percent stating a 21 percent-40 percent YoY growth rate.
15% of domestic entrepreneurs have stated a growth rate of over 100%
In terms of employment opportunities, domestic sellers and retail exporters, on an average, employ approximately 4.8 and 5.3 full time staff respectively. This number is projected to increase to 5.2 and 6.1 full time staff over the next year.
The chief challenges that domestic retailers see which they feel could limit their growth are:
• The state of the Indian Economy
• Courier Costs
• Exchange Rates
Exporters on the other hand see these challenges ahead:
• Competition from international retailers and sellers
• Major Indian retailers moving to an online offering
• Cost of Supplies
With 77 million Indians now visiting online shopping websites every month (Comscore) & IAMAI projecting the online shopping industry will grow to $1.8 Billion, the high levels of optimism isn’t without good reason. 89% of domestic online sellers feel optimistic about the year ahead while 3 in 5 are “very optimistic”.
Both domestic as well as Retail entrepreneurs are excited about the potential of mobile
commerce see it playing a very important role in their future business growth. The reason they see a role for mobile commerce in their future business strategy is that they see mobile internet coverage improving, giving more customers access to mobile commerce and hence increasing their ability to attract new customers. They plan to invest in mobile commerce in multiple ways, by leveraging eBay as a channel since it invests heavily in mobile commerce, by optimizing their online content for mobile & by marketing to customers via mobile channels.
Mobile e-commerce isn’t without its challenges. Slow mobile internet speed combined with higher costs of access and unreliable mobile internet coverage, lack of knowledge about mobile commerce and high investing costs across different mobile platforms are the major factors that these sellers see which could pose limitations to them maximizing the benefits from this sector.
Logistics are a major part of the ecommerce industry shipping parcels form the sellers to the consumers and also impact the seller’s bottomlines. Ebay’s sellers want their logistics partners to come up with more competitive shipping rates, faster shipping times and greater flexibility of Pick-Up service
Get the pulse of India’s growing e-commerce industry. Read this interesting and informative report here.