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India Leads Charge Of Eastern Countries Adopting Online Retail

18 May 2010 - 09:02 by Simon Crisp

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It is occasionally interesting to compare how West and East view online retail. Whilst consumers in the West are now, for the most part, very much used to the idea of safe shopping online, those in the East may not, for various reasons, have incorporated safe shopping online into their daily activities.

In some cases, there may be a mistrust of online retail as a result of the very different legal and regulatory framework in different regions, which in many cases may offer substantially less protection to consumers if they fall victim to online fraud, for example.

But for all these differences, Eastern countries such as India are now beginning to enter the e-commerce arena, with online retail starting to gather pace. Although only eight per cent of the population of India-out of 1.1 billion people-have access to a PC at home, the country still has its fair share of e-commerce early adopters: the online marketplace eBay has 2.5 million registered users from across India.

There are further signs that e-commerce may soon be a major force in the region. The internet is already in regular use when it comes to local travel, for example. With the substantial distances involved in internal travel and heavy use of the public transport networks, many Indians currently buy rail and other tickets online. Now The Bombay Store, a gift retailer, has opened an online store, joining the likes of Big Bazaar which has already launched its online retail presence in the Indian market.

Many experts believe that as India's economy continues to grow, locations such as New Delhi and Mumbai, the Indian centre for finance, will soon be major players in e-commerce scene, driven by substantial populations and an ever increasing focus on technology.