View of Varanasi on river Ganges, Indian ecommerce insights

Insights into the growth of Indian eCommerce with Payment methods, target audiences, marketing, social media, economy and logistics all profiled



India is the seventh largest country in the world and home to 1.3 billion people, with a total GDP of $2.074 trillion USD. GDP per capita is currently 1,942 USD and expected to reach 2,672 USD by 2020. The growth of both the economy and population in India is credited to the continued development of healthcare and infrastructure.

Digital User Insights

There are currently 147.8 million eCommerce users in India, with rapid growth projected that will see an additional 210.46 million users shopping online by 2020. Although there will be over 358 million eCommerce users by 2020, this will still only represent 36% of the total population.

The average user spends 119 USD online, which will drop to 92 USD by 2020, international retailers should keep in mind the size of the middle class sector of the audience which more than compensates for the low average spend, and market goods which keep the these users’ spending habits in mind.

Number of Users Indian eCommerce Insights

In 2016, males outspend females in every age group, women spend considerably less online but should not be ignored given that female online shoppers between the ages of 25-34 account for 12.2 million ecommerce users, a figure which is bigger than entire markets in other countries.

By 2020, all age groups will grow exponentially, with men under 35 accounting for over 200 million users and women of the same age representing 47.8 million users.

eCommerce Shoppers by age and gender in Indian eCommerce Insights

Product Categories

Total eCommerce revenue across all product categories is 17.5 billion USD, expected to reach 32.9 billion by 2020. Electronics is currently the leading product category, accounting for 4.9 billion USD market share. Fashion is a close second accounting for 4.8 billion USD.

By 2020, fashion is expected to lead the charge. Valued at 11 billion USD, it will surpass electronics which will also grow, reaching 8.2 billion USD.

Market Revenue Segments India eCommerce Insights


In 2014, India ranked 54th in the World Bank Logistics ranking; infrastructure improvement has seen the country climb 19 places in just two years to reach 35th. 33% of India’s population resides in urban areas. This coupled with the continued development of logistics will mean that cross border retail will become increasingly easy.

Preferred Online Payments

34% of online payments are made via credit/debit card. Cash or cheque account for 24% of online shopper’s payments, making cash on delivery an important factor for international retailers to consider in India. Bank transfers, Paypal, prepaid cards and prepaid vouchers are all popular alternate payment methods.

Preferred Online Payment Methods India eCommerce Insights

Where does India buy from?

The US supplies India with 40.4 billion USD in imports. Other key import partners are United Arab Emirates (30.3 billion USD), Hong Kong (12.2 billion USD), China (9.5 billion USD) and United Kingdom (8.9 billion USD).

Top 5 Countries India Imports from india ecommerce insights

Internet and Device Usage

Internet penetration in India is currently at 24.1%, and should reach 35.7% by 2020. Smartphone penetration is 14.7% and is projected to grow to 31.5% by 2020.  

35% of online shoppers using a PC make purchases monthly, while 29% shop weekly. 24% of online shoppers using mobile or smartphone devices make weekly purchases, and 27% make monthly purchases.

Online Shopping Channel Usage Digital Shoppers in India


Marketing spend in India has grown across all channels since 2008. Almost 4 billion USD was spent on newspaper and television advertising (with the spend split 50:50). Digital has shown the steepest growth in recent years, with spend reaching just over 500 million USD in 2015.

Changes in Advertising Spend by Medium in Million USD India eCommerce Insights

Social Media

India’s social media penetration shows room for growth, with only 13% of the population logging on to leading platform Facebook.  Whatsapp and GooglePlus are the most commonly used other networks, with Skype also being used daily by 10% of the population.

Penetration of Leading Social networks 2015 India ecommerce insights

For more market insights, check out the eShopWorld series of blogs covering a range of emerging eCommerce markets. 

*Insights derived from eShopWorld data, Statista, WorldBank, OECD and other industry sources.