Performance Marketing

4 Reasons You Should Pay Attention to India’s E-Commerce Growth

Becky Doles

india e-commerce growth

You’ve seen the news, read the tweets, and heard about companies like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal investing billions of dollars into the Indian e-commerce market. With a population of over 1.2 billion people, it’s no wonder that online sites are clamoring to gain a presence in the country as mobile and Internet adoption are growing wild. Ad networks, publishers, and media buyers that are serious about including India’s web and mobile shoppers in their business strategy should weigh the pros and cons of entering a new market—but it can’t be denied that attention should be paid. Here are four reasons why.

1. Mobile Dominates

If you’re a believer that mobile will eventually overtake desktop commerce, India is a prime example of the future. According to Forbes, “nearly 50% of the total 206 million Indian online users in 2013 [were] mobile-only Internet users,” a number that stands to grow. The smartphone user base is increasing at a 26% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2017. Due to low-priced Internet-enabled smartphones with 2G access just about everywhere, mobile-only users in India play the biggest part in driving e-commerce growth. Think about the potential for sales as rural and smaller urban centers gain access to the Internet for the first time on their phones.

2. Online Payments are Transforming

The most interesting aspect of India’s e-commerce growth is how slow and old school its online payments are. The majority of people still pay by cash on delivery. As new online and mobile payment companies enter the country we’ll start to see credit cards and mobile wallets being used. This will allow for an increased willingness to shop from online stores around the world.

Paytm is one of the companies contributing to the growth of online payments. As an e-commerce shopping website, they have over 100 million users in India, who run over 75 million transactions every month.

3. Millennials are Making Demands

Nearly two-thirds of India’s population is under the age of 35 and nearly 63 percent of smartphone users fall under the age of 25. These young, tech-savvy, and mobile-obsessed Internet users will dictate how quickly the country adjusts government policies and infrastructure to accommodate faster Internet connections, more e-commerce shops and better delivery systems. If your advertisers and publishers want to target this demographic, India should be a high priority within your performance marketing strategy.

4. The E-Commerce Community is Growing

There are only a handful of extremely large e-commerce companies in India, many of whom you’ve heard of: Amazon, Alibaba, Flipkart, and Snapdeal to name a few. Alibaba invested $500 million in 2015 and Amazon announced an additional $2 billion investment in India in 2014. Founder and CEO of, Jeff Bezos said “We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India. With this additional investment of US $2 billion, our team can continue to think big, innovate, and raise the bar for customers in India. At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. A big ‘thank you’ to our customers in India – we’ve never seen anything like this.”

What’s interesting about these companies is their collective push to develop a lending ecosystem to help small business owners and startups get up and running. By helping small businesses that specialize in an industry, or are localized sell more goods on their platform, the larger companies experience increased visits and commissions from the sales. The more people shopping online, the more opportunity for traffic, clicks, installs, and sales for advertisers and publishers.

The opportunity in India is substantial. With rising standards of living, increased Internet access, and a young population, we can expect to see strong e-commerce growth in this market along with a rise in the number of publishers targeting this consumer base. This creates more favorable circumstances for ad networks to target a market that many predict will only become more lucrative.

What other emerging countries are important to keep on your radar? Do you think China, Brazil, or Russia will outgrow India?

Photo credit: Pixabay


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Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she handled content strategy and marketing communications at several tech startups in the Bay Area. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned home to Charleston, SC, where you can find her strolling through Hampton Park with her pup and enjoying the simple things between adventures with friends and family.