The growing penetration of low-cost smartphones and faster Internet connectivity has led to a lot of first-time Internet users accessing the web through mobile. The number of people online in India is forecast to touch 302 million by the end of this year, overtaking the US as the second-largest Internet market in the world, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International. And the main factors leading to this conclusion are:
Continuous online connectivity becoming a reality in India : The continuous online connectivity is becoming a reality in India with 53 per cent of respondents saying that they are connected to the Internet every waking hour or more than 10 times a day. This is higher than the global average of 51 per cent and even greater than China and Japan, where just 36 per cent and 39 per cent of respondents were online every hour respectively.
Connecting with People and Sharing Options : Connecting with other people is a key motivation for going online. This factor is the highest among Indian consumers. Sharing opinions with others through the Internet is particularly strong in emerging markets and places. They go online to access services or for shopping.
Social networks becoming a major influencing factor : There is a huge link between continuous connectivity and consumption. And Social networks are playing a key role in determining consumption behaviour of the connected consumers in India. More than 82 per cent of the respondents between the age of 16 and 35 said activities on their social networks influence their purchasing decision. Even among the older population base their shopping decisions on activities in their social networks.
Tickets and Fashion – the biggest drivers online in India : Tickets and fashion are two categories where Indian consumers display higher propensity to purchase than the global average. 84 per cent of the respondents have bought fashion and apparel online in the past three months in India as compared to a 76 per cent globally. Similarly, 79 per cent of the respondents bought tickets online in the past three months in India as compared to 54 per cent globally.
Very interesting point of the Indian market : Only eight per cent of respondents said they do shopping with purely online retailers. This compares with the global average of 84 per cent. This means Indian consumers prefer to do their online shopping with brands that also have traditional brick and mortar stores.
However, the influence of social media on consumption varies dramatically by country and by age. Between two-thirds and three-quarters of connected consumers in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan say they rarely or never consider social media chatter when thinking about products, services, or brands to buy.