Online Shopping in India: A Quick Guide




Looking forward to buy your first product online and are yet unsure whether you should take the plunge? For many conventional shoppers, online shopping seems risky. Would the product be as they described? Would you actually benefit from a good deal? What happens if you buy something and it doesn’t suit you? You need to understand that different marketplaces have different conditions attached to them and you will do well to read them once. It’s easy – you can try out buying from these online shopping sites if you know just what to expect.

What’s On Offer?

A wide range of brands to select from, huge discounts on almost all products, the comfort of your home and home delivery within few days are all just a click away with the latest innovation of online shopping through Internet. Online shopping has the potential of making life a lot easier.

There is nothing in the world which is not available online, be it groceries, electronics, clothes, accessories, home appliances, books , movie, airline and railway tickets, hotel reservations that too 24 hours a day and 7 days of the week. Significant number of Indians who shop online feel that the online buying experience is better than in-store shopping mainly because it serves as a great alternative for individuals who work for longer hours and cannot reach the malls or local shops by the time they shut down, for people who are far from urban areas or for those who are simply too lazy to get out to the malls. Online stores enable people to buy things from any part of the world.

The Survey

A survey by PwC India shows that the online purchase of all these products varies between 5% to 41%. While people in India prefer online purchase of movie tickets and airline tickets to avoid queues and save on their precious time, these sectors constitute approximately 40% of the online sale. Hotel bookings is another sector which sees a relatively greater % of online sales because people save up exorbitant amounts charged by agents. Purchase of books, groceries and toys through online stores is roughly 10-30%. The least preferred online products are clothes and footwear (only 5%). There is a balance between online and in-store purchase of mobile phones. According to the survey it is very clear that majority of the Indians value in-store shopping over online shopping. Let’s have a look at the reasons which attract people towards the malls despite the numerous benefits offered by online shopping.


The Differences

Online shoppingIn-store shopping
1The ease provided by online shopping encourages us to visit various sites on the internet everyday and makes us compulsive shoppers.We do not prefer travelling and spending hours shopping from one store to another in malls.  Purchase is limited and we mostly end up buying only essential stuff
2There is a threat of exploitation to financial information by hackersNo security concerns as financial information cannot be tracked or leaked
3We can buy an item within seconds but takes 3 days to 1 week atleast for deliveryThe product is available for use as soon as it is bought
4Quality and size of product may be different from what it appears online in the picturesWe can view the products ourselves and hence no doubts casted on quality and size
5Sometimes, defective products may be deliveredWe obviously do not pick up defective products, leave alone buying them
6Though discounts are offered throughout the year, shipping costs are applicable on each purchase.No extra charges above MRP, as most of the MRP’s are inclusive of VAT and other charges
7Size charts and basic product descriptions which may not be understood by many are the only shopping guidesStore managers and other staff guide well in picking exactly what you need
8Clothes and footwear can be tried only after purchaseTrial room facility enables clothes and footwear to be purchased after trying them

In short, people are willing to spend some extra time and money and give up on their laziness as in-store shopping offers better quality of products and also, better services.


Lavanya Ramnath


  1. Very nicely written
    All the important points needed are present
    Helpful for project related work

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.