Data Tracker: Mapping the digital opportunity in India

While India’s digital user base has expanded phenomenally over the past few years, digital transactions are still way below that of the rest of the world. It is one-third that of China and one-fourth of the US in most categories. Besides the size of online transactions is also much smaller than other countries, but there is significant potential for brands to innovate with their offerings to drive online growth according to a report by Google and Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

  • Internet users have risen nearly 2x in four years to reach 430 million 

  • Three forces have propelled this growth — cheaper smartphones, cheaper data and more mobile-specific/local language content

  • Digital transactions lag far behind China and US levels across most categories. One in five internet users in India shop for products online, one in six do travel bookings online and a negligible percentage pay for digital media

  • Among those who transact online, only 20 per cent spend a significant (60-65) per cent of their total spends online

  • Digital transactions can triple from around $40 billion to close to $100 billion by 2020. Significant part of new users will come from non-tier-1 cities, women and older consumers

  • To drive adoption among non-buyers, discounts work. Other key prerequisites include building comfort with digital, bringing ‘touch and feel’ experience, offering latest updated and relevant content to new users, ensuring ease of use through simplification of platforms and guiding customers along the purchase pathway

  • Among occasional shoppers, there is significant potential for growth; online spends can go up from 15-20 per cent to as much as 60-65 per cent. Key initiatives among brands include pushing for faster/easier delivery through innovative delivery models, delivering a real value proposition (over and above deals/discounts), ensuring post-sale service excellence and driving usage through loyalty programmes

Source: Digital consumer spending in India: a $100 billion opportunity, Google-BCG

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