The total number of Internet users in India is more than 100 million, which ofcourse is still less when compared to the internet penetration in US and UK. However, the rate at which Indians are adapting to the Internet is really amazing.
In 1999, the total number of Internet users in India was close to 5 million. It was at that time that Mr K Vaitheeswaran founded the first Indian e-Commerce site Fabmart.com (now known as IndiaMart). Back then the users got connected with the tortoise speed dial-up connections of that time. Very few among this group of internet users owned credit cards and online payment was more than a nightmare that time!
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Today with advanced Technology and 100 million people over the internet, e-Commerce has created its own space. The total e-Commerce industry is worth around $10 billion, out of which the travel industry alone contributes $8.4 billion. Flipkart, eBay India, Fashion and You are some of the famous names among youngsters in the world of e-Commerce today. Founded in 2007, Flipkart, one of India’s largest online store, has so far raised $31m by revenue. Flipkart employs more than 5,000 people. With average daily sales of $500,000, the company aims to hit $1 billion by 2014-15. On the other hand IndiaMart, a much older player, is unfortunately not able to maintain its topnotch position and is gradually loosing its charm and identity.
With e-Commerce flourishing on one side, Social Media in India has also rooted itself very well. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc are now the part of a mango man’s daily routine. Lets have a look on how these various e-Commerce sites taking an edge of the Social Media to reach the large audience.
With over 45 million users, India has the second largest number of users on Facebook in the world. In the above image, you can see eBay India has the most number of Facebook Likes and People Talking about it. Fashion and You comes on the second position, Flipkart on the third and so on. Having a huge number of likes on your Facebook Page and very less people actually talking about it, does not depicts a great impression on a new visitor. If you have noticed Junglee.com (part of Amazon) has the most optimistic ratio of People Talking and Total Likes, and the company just entered Indian market in 2012. Though the number of total likes is small but for a company like Amazon, that can be a cake walk. I think its the right time for companies like Flipkart, Fashion and You and others to start building more conversations and engagement on Facebook if they want to see themselves somewhere in the top 5.
Twitter never excited most of the Indians, but those who love it, love it badly (I am one of them). Twitter has around 18 million users and most of them are situated in metro cities of India.
In the above image with Twitter Stats for all the major e-Commerce sites in India, it is very clear that Flipkart is far ahead to all others in the market. And if you look at the way they are doing conversation on Twitter, you will be glad to know every customer there has been answered. Almost 75% of the tweets are replies to the other users (customers or prospects), apart from that they also tweet about contest, products, launches etc. Flipkart is actually using Twitter as one of their customer support platform and that is actually in favour to its customers.
There is no doubt in Indian e-Commerce market growth, even the International Monetary Fund reckons it will reach $2,300 by 2016. My only concern is these huge numbers of Likes and Followers are not gonna say much about a company’s real presence until you see the real engagement happening there.