Published: 15th March 2021
E-commerce platforms preferred by 49% of Indian consumers in the past year, finds new survey
Consumers used large e-commerce platforms as well as small verticals or local e-commerce sites to purchase groceries and essentials
Almost 49 per cent of Indian consumers say online sites and apps became the preferred mode of shopping for them in the last 12 months, as per a Local Circles survey.
Safety from COVID-19 and convenience were cited as top reasons by consumers for using eCommerce. 69 per cent of those who shop on eCommerce bought groceries/essential supplies online.
Consumers used large e-commerce platforms as well as small verticals or local e-commerce sites to purchase groceries and essentials.
As per the survey, feedback indicates shopping via e-commerce sites and apps have become a habit for 33 per cent of e-commerce shoppers and their usage continues despite markets, retail stores and malls being fully functional and open
The survey said consumers are using services like Big Basket, Amazon Fresh/Pantry, Jio Mart, Flipkart, Grofers and a host of local eCommerce sites for essentials and groceries since March 20
Consumers reported improvement in returns and refunds processing and ability to reach out to customer service of e-commerce sites and apps in the last 12 months
The highest number of consumers say free shipping for all orders and a more effective and efficient returns and refunds process will make them use e-commerce sites and apps more for their purchases going forward.
LocalCircles conducted an extensive study that received over 130,000 responses from over 42,000 unique consumers located in 358 districts of India. 48 per cent of the study participants were from Tier 1 districts while 31 per cent were from Tier 2 districts and 21 per cent were from Tier 3, Tier 4 and rural districts.
49 per cent of consumers in the survey said they preferred "eCommerce sites and apps" for shopping in the last 12 months. 18 per cent said they "called local retail stores and get home delivery", 31 per cent "visited the mall, local retailers, markets and shop there", while 2 per cent couldn't say. The findings indicate that 49 per cent of consumers and their family preferred eCommerce for shopping, while 18 per cent called local stores and got home deliveries.
Among the reasons why consumers trusted eCommerce sites and apps in the last 12 months, more than before, 86 per cent of the eCommerce shoppers said "safe deliveries or no reason to step out", 50 per cent said "competitive prices", 48% said "ease of return or return policy", 46% said "expanded product selection", 45% said "faster deliveries", and another 45% said "increased product information and relatable reviews". The findings indicate that "safe or contactless deliveries and not wanting to step out" was the top reason why consumers trusted eCommerce sites and apps in the last 12 months.
While consumers trusted e-commerce platform for reasons of safety when asked about why they continued the use of the e-commerce sites and apps to regularly make their purchases in the last 12 months, 63% said "personal safety or social distancing norms due to Covid-19", 61% said "convenience", 45% said "ease of return and refund", 44% said "better value or price", 41% said "fast delivery", and another 41% said "product range". The findings indicated that "personal safety" and "convenience", followed by "ease of return or refund" and "better value" were top reasons why consumers made their purchases on eCommerce sites and apps in the last 12 months.
2020 has been the transformative year in the history of Indian eCommerce because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Something that would have taken 3-5 years in terms of consumer acquisition and penetration happened in just one year as many preferred to order what they needed via e-commerce sites & apps. 49% of consumers saying that it was the preferred mode of purchasing for them in the last 12 months is significant. As per the survey for 33% of these consumers, e-commerce became a way of life or habit which is likely to continue into 2021.