SupportBiz had an exclusive conversation with Muralikrishnan B, Country Manager, eBay India, at the launch of the 5th edition of the annual eBay Census Guide. Muralikrishnan highlighted the key trends in online buying, importing, selling and exporting across India as well as in the top 20 eCommerce hubs in the country.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
What are the key eCommerce trends that highlighted by the eBay Census 2012?
Firstly, online shopping or eCommerce has become a nationwide phenomenon. Our census survey indicated that India has over 4,306 eCommerce hubs across all 28 states and seven Union Territories. This is a 30% increase from the eBay Census 2011. Consumers from over 3,281 semi-rural Indian towns and 1,015 rural places have shopped online. With such data, we can now proudly say that online commerce has entered into the mainstream.
The top five cities in the Indian ecommerce space are Delhi, followed by Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Chennai. According to the latest eBay Census, India’s top five rural hubs are Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Choryasi (Gujarat), Kartikapally (Kerala), Villupuram (Tamil Nadu) and Dindori (Maharashtra).
What are the key drivers for eCommerce in India?
The driving factors vary from person to person. The factors that influence a consumer to shop online are completely personal. For example, in some cases, cost is a key driver, but in some cases, convenience becomes the key influencer. Moreover, we have also observed that, largely, the driving factor is the need of the consumer.
How do you place MSMEs in the overall landscape of eCommerce?
MSMEs are one of the most interesting parts of the entire ecosystem. With the internet as a platform, even a micro business can compete with a large brand. The platform is open for all, and it has given a great opportunity to MSMEs to come forward and evaluate the power of eCommerce. In our survey, we have witnessed micro to small businesses utilizing the online medium at an optimum level They have made the eBay platform a vibrant marketplace.
Please highlight the methodology of this census.
The eBay Census 2012 research findings were based on an analysis of all online buying and selling transactions by Indians on eBay between July 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. eBay India analyzed eBay transactions over this 18-month period within individual Indian states and union territories as well as key Indian cities to identify the top buying and selling hubs, based on the number of transactions that have happened on the eBay India site. In addition, retail export transactions and retail import transactions between global eBayers and Indian eBayers were analyzed. Fun facts, unique purchases, as well as local, national and global trends came to light in the eBay India Census 2012.
Online commerce is also an avenue for international trade. What did this year’s census show regarding this trend?
Yes, we have witnessed great action in terms of global-level business. India’s top trading partners are United States, United Kingdom, Australia, China and Canada. Indian shoppers from 2,638 cities are opening up their wallets to import buying from eBay entrepreneurs in 141 countries.
Retail exports continue to thrive, with consumers from 201 countries buying Indian hand-crafted products from entrepreneurs from 523 export hubs across India.