Online shopping: concept, history
Consumer Behaviour with regards to online shopping
Effect of Social media on online shopping
Evolution of online shopping in India
In today’s busy world, people may not always have
the time go for shopping. But that does not
necessarily mean that they would be bereft of the
shopping experience. With the bloom of online
media, the trend of online shopping has come as a
solution to such people’s problem where by sitting
at home or at workplace they can enjoy the benefits
of shopping and that too at a affordable range.
Online shopping or online retailing is a form
of electronic commerce which allows consumers to
directly buy goods or services from a seller over
the Internet using a web browser. Alternative names are:
e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, webstore, online store, and virtual store.
The first World Wide Web server and browser, created
by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, opened for commercial use
in 1991. Thereafter, subsequent technological innovations
emerged in 1994: online banking, the opening of an online
pizza shop by Pizza Hut and the like.
with regards to
i. Convenience: What could be easier than shopping
from your own home anytime you want?
ii. Communication: Instantly correspond with company
representatives to easily gather information about a
iii. Choice: Consumers can rapidly search through
multiple stores from all over the globe instantly.
iv. Cost: Consumers feel empowered when they can shop
around at such a fast speed, they can make more informed
purchasing decisions especially when it comes to prices.
v. Customization: Another positive aspect of the Internet is
the ability for the customer to purchase a product exactly
how they want it; and the company avoids paying inventory
storage costs and overhead for a retail location since the
products are made and then shipped directly to the
vi. Control: Customers seem to have more control over
quantity, size, style, color, price and the type of vendor that
they purchase from when using the Internet.
Consumer behaviour progresses by 4 steps :
In the typical online shopping process, when potential
consumers recognize a need for some merchandise or
service, they go to the Internet and search for need-related
However, rather than searching actively, at times potential
consumers are attracted by information about products or
services associated with the felt need.
They then evaluate alternatives and choose the one that
best fits their criteria for meeting the felt need.
Finally, a transaction is conducted and post-sales services
provided. Online shopping attitude refers to consumer’s
psychological state in terms of making purchases on the
Effect of Social
media on online
A recently study showed how online shopping and social
media activities are connected.
One in four frequent online shoppers who also log into
their Facebook account on a monthly basis have made
purchases based on social recommendations
Over 60% of consumers have read a friend’s Facebook
comments about a brand
Over half say they have learned about a company or a
brand because of a friend’s social comments
3/5th online shoppers are more likely to stay and shop
on a site if they are shown that their friends have used the
site as well
Almost 60% are more likely to make purchases if they
know their friends have purchased as well
Social media’s affect on ecommerce is huge. Consumers
not only pay attention to other users recommendations
through social media, many
consumers learn about brands because of what other users
Flipkart started its journey as an online book seller, now it
has diversified its portfolio to target different market
segments. It’s an Indian online company that lets people buy
books, electronic gadgets, beauty products, toys and etc.
Flipkart, after careful market research, introduced cash on
delivery; in addition to other online payment methods. This
was because there is a large slice of population in India,
who are not interested in online credit card transactions.
Flipkart has headquarters stationed in Bangalore and
network of offices around the country.
It was launch in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Basal; who used to
work for Amazon before starting this project. Bansals went to Indian
Institute of Technology for getting their graduation degrees. They initially
invested their own money into this business and later raised capital from
big guns like; Accel India, Tiger Global and Naspers Group.
Flipkart initially adopted guerilla marketing strategy and created buzz
about them through positive word of mouth strategy. This helped them a lot
to stretch their capital and getting maximum out of it. Today Flipkart is
offering more than 11 million book titles for instant purchase.
Flipkart have acquired several businesses since its inception. This list
includes; We Read, Mime 360, Chakpak.com and Let’s Buy.com.
According to Sachin Basal, they have reinvented the wheel of e-commerce
Evolution of online
shopping in India
Online shopping has had a rather slow and tumultuous
journey in India, it has not picked up as much as it should have
primarily due to the fact that internet penetration itself is quite
low and secondly (and importantly) the online shopping
experience has been bad to say the least.
Traditionally, Indians are conservative in their approach to
shopping. They want to touch and feel the products and test its
features before buying anything.
With the passage of time came an era of less popular teleshopping which dealt in limited range of products such as Astrology
and spirituality products (such as Rudraksha Mala, Hanuman
Kavach, Bal Raksha, etc), Health and fitness equipments (such as
Tread Mill, Leg Massager, Height Increaser, Sauna Belt, etc) and even
some of the Cooking ranges (including Juicers and Mixers, Vegetable
Choppers, etc). But, most of these products could be termed as lowintensity and niche products which could interest only a limited
target of people.
Most of us are also a witness to the recent mall culture where all
the products are available under a single roof and at competitive
price points. Little needs to be analyzed about it over here as most of
you might have visited a mall at least for once as a past time on a
weekend, if not for shopping precisely.
Next in line is the concept of virtual mall or online shopping which is
already existent at its preliminary stage in India and is gradually growing
exponentially. The market opened up with innovative online shopping
initiatives from eBay, Rediff shopping and futurebazaar.com just to name a
In a sort of change of version from tele-shopping to a broader form of online
plus television shopping saw the emergence of a 24-hour shopping channel
from Network 18 – TV 18 Home Shopping Network.
As per the report, this fast growing channel has spread speedily with
market presence across a range of products. It accounts for 4.5% of all digital
camera sales in the country and largest seller of Reebok merchandises. In
fact, the report further says that Home Shop 18 sells 480 brands under its
Thus, with modernization and fast paced life, came the constraints of time
and eventually increasing dependence on online shopping. This has led to
online shopping coming off age in India. People have commenced shopping
through the convenience of online portals from the comforts of their drawing
With case study of Home Shop 18 narrated above also points towards a
new trend of convergence of online and TV shopping. It is needless to say
that shopping has been revolutionized by its wide spread presence across
the various mediums such as TV, online portals and even cell phones now
that even internet can be accessible through affordable category smart
Given above all the facts, Indian marketers are also increasingly
becoming conscious about the viability of returned goods, if customer is
not satisfied with the product. This may not sound true over here, but it is
a part-and-parcel of the game involved in online shopping.
It is estimated that about a fifth of the buy orders get returned for the
goods bought online. As such, most of the online sales are carried out on
the condition of ‘If not satisfied with the product, full money to be
returned’. Another factor is that most buyers pay on delivery(cash on
delivery) which also keeps their options to return good open, if they do not
like a particular product.