New Delhi: Apparels and accessories are now becoming first online purchase of majority of Indian buyers as benefits like discounts on brands and cash on delivery prompt them to shop on the web, a study by Google and TNS said on Monday.
According to the study, in terms of first products purchased online, apparels and accessories emerged as the top category (84 percent), followed by electronics (71 percent), beauty and personal care (64 percent) and books (62 percent).
"For many, their first purchase was apparels and accessories, which is why we think this category will become bigger than consumer electronics in 2013," Google India VP and Managing Director Rajan Anandan told reporters here.
Overall, consumer electronics remained the most searched product category (34 percent), followed by apparels and accessories (30 percent).
"Consumer interest on Google search for apparels and accessories has increased from 28 percent in 2011 to 20 percent in 2012. This category is expected to become bigger than consumer electronics in 2013 in terms of absolute query volumes," Google Industry Director (eCommerce, Classifieds and Media) Nitin Bawankule said.
Search queries related to buying consumer electronics, on the other hand, declined from 39 percent in 2011 to 34 percent in 2012.
Other categories that Indians searched for online were books (15 percent), beauty and personal care (10 percent), home and furnishing (six percent), baby products (two percent) and healthcare (three percent).
Interest in online shopping in India saw 128 percent growth in 2012 (over 2011) compared to 40 percent growth in 2011 (over 2010), the study said.
"With about 8 million Indians shopping online in 2012, online shopping industry is growing rapidly and will continue to see exponential growth," Anandan said.
By looking at the trends in 2012, 2013 is expected to be a strong growth year for players who are focussed on categories like apparels and accessories and niche product categories like baby products, home decor and healthcare, he added.
According to the study, 90 percent of online shoppers are planning to buy more products online which reflects on the positive experience of the users.
"Factors like cash back guarantee, cash on delivery, fast delivery, great deals and access to branded products have helped online shopping gain traction," Bawankule said.
The study found inability to touch and try goods before purchase, fear of posting financial details online and the inability to bargain were some barriers to shopping online.
"In 2006, China had 138 million Internet users and 36 million online shoppers. This grew to 567 million Internet users and 220 million online buyers in 2012. India with 150 million Internet users (in December 2012) has similar opportunity to grow," Anandan said.
The study said online ticket consumers are likely to spend higher average amount of Rs 2,347 on their first product purchase compared to Rs 1,626 for Internet users.
Online ticket buyers are also more comfortable with the use of debit cards and credit card, while for regular Internet users, cash on delivery seemed to be the most preferred mode of payment, the study said.
"Mobile phones will also play a greater role in pushing online shopping. We have seen a 2X growth in number of queries from mobile phones in 2011 to 2012. Currently, 30 percent of all shopping queries are coming from mobile phones," Anandan said.
The online research was conducted by TNS Australia among 800 Internet users in the age group 18 to 50 across cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune.