As the e-commerce growth gains momentum globally, India’s market is also caught up in this growing tide. According to Morgan Stanley, India will have over 320 million online shoppers by 2020 and its e-commerce market value will have risen to $200 billion by 2026.

This growth is attributed to the increased smartphone usage and internet penetration which is a result of low internet costs. The online shopping trends in India tend to differ from other global markets, and in order for retail companies to fully benefit from the industry, here is what they need to understand.

Men Shop More Than Women

Unlike the usual stereotypes regarding women and shopping, in India men shop more frequently than women. Hence, retailers need to tailor marketing strategies differently to separately attract men and women.

However, since the industry has expanded from mainly selling tech, electronics, and gadgets to the online shopping of clothes, food, and groceries, women are getting more onto the online shopping with clothes being their main purchase.

Online Shopping Is Urban-Centric

Tier-1 cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad take up the biggest percentage of online shopping with Delhi taking a third of the online shopping population. Retailers, therefore, need to expand their reach to target tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and with the growing internet penetration in the country, this is attainable. By December 2017, the internet penetration stood at 64.84% in urban areas and at 20.26% in rural areas.

Cash On Delivery Is The Preferred Payment Method

The 60% of Indians still prefer paying for purchases after they have been delivered as it gives them more control over their transactions. People get to see what they are buying first before they pay for it. This paying mode has actually increased impulse buying.

While tier-1 cities are adopting digital payments, less metropolitan cities still predominantly prefer the cash on delivery payment mode. However, as many startups mushroom in the lending, payment, and trading market, digital payments will continue to grow.

Also, tech giants like Google and WhatsApp have integrated their secure digital payment services with the state’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which has made online payments more secure and thus boosting its demand.

The government of India has also gotten involved in promoting the growth of e-commerce as the Reserve Bank of India decided to allow interoperability among prepaid payment instruments like digital wallets and prepaid telephone top-up cards.

Purchases Happen During Business Hours

This goes on to show how much online shopping has become an integral part of our lives. With many people shopping during business hours from 9am-5pm, retailers need to schedule their promotions to run during this period in order to reap substantial benefits.

Shoppers Prefer Larger Screens To Smaller Ones

Considering that most purchases happen during working hours when people are using laptops or desktops, this doesn’t come as a surprise. But, with the increased smartphone penetration in the country, marketers need to ensure that their sites are mobile responsive to encourage more of their usage.

Having known these trends, retailers can now fully understand the industry in India and come up with marketing strategies that suit the market.