Thursday, June 14, 2007

Online Shopping and Web Analytics in India

Online Shopping and Web Analytics are still in their nascent state in India. A term like online marketing is quite uncommon here as majority of the population still tends to buy stuff from small retail stores. This has been the trend in India since the advent of Internet and online shopping was never given a lot of attention here. But as the status of living has been improving, people are becoming more aware of Internet. Some reasons for Online Shopping not being popular in India are:

1) There aren’t many famous shopping sites in India. The only one I know of that is famous is formally (I might be wrong here but this my own opinion.)
2) Internet has never been treated as a shopping medium here as most of the Television commercials and shopping banners in the cities always encourage people to buy stuff from the Retail Stores.
3) Majority of the population still use cash as the major payment medium and Credit Cards are just recently being used by more and more people.
4) People feel hesitant to give their credit card information online due to fear of someone stealing their information online. This is a tendency in all of us but it’s only when we are aware of things like SSL and Verisign that we start trusting the Internet more.
5) Most of the people don’t have Internet at home so they tend to go to cyber cafes/Internet cafes where their information is more susceptible.
6) Slow Internet connection speed available to consumers. The fastest connection speed available to consumers is 2.5 MBps.

I will now write about my opinion on the future of Web Analytics in India. Since the time I have arrived in India after my project in United States, I have been looking at the Web Analytics job market here. I wasn’t disappointed at all after looking at the job profiles companies have to offer here. Majority of the jobs are in SEO, PPC and SEM but there is a small percentage of jobs in hardcore Web Analytics. US Companies in India are the first ones to have a Web Analytics department so that they can get some Analytics related work done from here. Many Indian companies too are opening up a Web Analytics department. So as far as the Web Analytics job market is concerned, India still has good positions but they are limited and will increase with time. Regarding the Internet usage, I have noticed that classified websites like are not yet popular here. Classifieds are something that can drive huge traffic but in India people still use the newspaper/radio as a medium for buying stuff or selling something. That culture is yet to creep in the Indian society but it will happen very soon.

I read an interesting post in Yahoo WA group regarding WebAnalytics not being accurate in India and China and wanted to add my own feedback on the Indian perspective.
It is true to some extent that people do tend to scramble on 1 computer but that is more prevalent in rural areas but not in metros like Mumbai and New Delhi. If talking in terms of business value, I would say people in urban India would always be more interested in buying something online rather than people in rural India. So if you want to measure the users in India, do so in the metropolitans rather than the small towns as in urban India there more chances to expand your business quickly. Again, this will change gradually once the standard of living changes and more people use their own computers. Currently only 5 % of the Indian population is using the Internet actively (Courtesy: and still this number is in comparison to other major countries. It is inaccurate to say that Web Analytics can never be successful in India based on mere facts. As the number of Internet users increase, there will be more awareness and hopefully more business revenue. I hope you like this post and please feel free to add your comments.


Pagemod said...

i think is the only website where anyone can make a platform to sell their products online..apart from that there are many other shopping site like,indiaplaza etc and even sify and rediff have got their shopping portals too....
Gr8 article!!!

Unknown said...

HI, i agree with Ajay that there are many shopping sites now which offer good products and value for money deals to Indian consumers. Rediff, Indiatimes, Sify, Indiaplaza(Fabmall), ebay all are part of the major league. There is a host of new compettion coming in from big media companies set to launch their web shopping sites in a month or two. So overall competition is setting in and india is set to grow on Online retail soon.
As web analytics is on its nascent stages as of now. Not many organisations have tools or mindset either to get into details.
with competition coming in, web analytics, i'm sure will be the need for survival.

Rohan Kapoor said...

Thanks a lot for the comments. Looks like I needed to do my homework before writing this article ;). It is absolutely true that sooner or later India will become an International Online hub like the US, but I am yet to hear about the other shopping portals in the mass media. Maybe people are spreading the name of these websites through viral marketing. I might be incorrect but I really don't think the other sites are anywhere near the success of Ebay. Maybe some stats might change my mind
Hopefully things change soon.


Kristine said...

Interesting article! If you are interested in buy western fashion and beauty brands online, I can recommend my web site, The idea is to make it simple to find the best fashion and beauty deals, and I only work with stores that offer international shipping!

Unknown said...

My company look at the Web Analytics...and its the only one to target indian audiences...check

Village idiot in a foreign country said...

i am afraid have to refute your opinion about the web analytics job market in India. I also came back from the US of A and am looking for a web analytics jobover here in bangalore. I am afriad didnt get much of a response.

Rohan Kapoor said...

I would suggest you to join the Yahoo Webanalytics group and post your profile there. Also post your resume on MonsterIndia and and add keywords like 'web analytics, 'SEO','SEM ' in your profile. Give me your email address and I'll try to do my best to help you.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think carrer in web analytics is good to go.I mean to sa y in india persons who are doing jobs their clients are based out of US, UK only. In India people spend online only either if the want to pa their bill, some net banking transcation or in travel industry like air ticket booking, train ticket booking or some use for laptops like dell etc.So getting clients here in india is tough. A coupleof web analysts who are working in india onl for their US, UK based clients and their scopeof work is limited and their learning too. We can count them.Overall ver few people are working and career in booming but not online marketing in india.

Rohan Kapoor said...

Really appreciate your comment. I somewhat agree with your argument but will have to disagree with you on some points. Online market in India is growing at a very rapid pace with Travel, Shopping, Social Networking, Portals, Matrimonial etc booming with more eyeballs being added on the Internet.
Look at the potential to make money with Banner advertising if you have huge traffic on your Site. Also with the growing number of websites, there are bound to be more job opportunities. Also it is a very good learning experience even if you work for an offshore client. Those companies have mastered Web Analytics and will provide you a great platform to learn/experiment.
Finally I'm not saying that Web Analytics has set in completely but if I compare it to last year, there has been a huge change in perception towards its uses. As I summed up last year, it is about time that Web Analytics enters the main stream Job arena along with Dev, QA etc. Regards

Blog from Abhijit said...

Hae Rohan, Thanks a lot for this interesting and helpful blog. currently I am working as Web Analyst and getting rapid growth within my company but again as someone said it is for US clients. My Only concern is, will it expand in our country before my carrier finish? or else it is no use for me..I tried in some Indian company's but they are not yet sure about their goal and profit so we have some hope to get some good business. I m sending my email id so please be in touch if you can help me in future ..

Abhijit Vethekar