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The popularity of interactive media such as the World Wide Web has been

growing at a very rapid pace. Over the past few years, the development of

information superhighways and global networks has increased. Amongst the

various global networks that exist, Internet has been referred to as the “network of

networks”. It is composed of a large number of individual networks run by a

variety of organizations including government, academic, research and commercial

organizations which provide access to e-mail, bulletin boards, databases, library

catalogues, chat lines, multi-user domains, discussion groups, etc. The main reason

for its increase is because more companies in today’s world is seeking to use the

World Wide Web (WWW) to communicate with its customers and the rapid

adoption of the WWW by the consumers for a variety of purposes including

prepurchase information search and online shopping. In India too, the Internet has

taken root and grown along many fronts in the past decade. It has opened up

opportunities for consumers as the medium is used to achieve social, business and

development objectives and for the software creators to craft technology solutions

based around the Internet to establish India as a powerhouse for innovation.

The Internet is emerging as a powerful communication medium and distribution

channel in today’s high-end environment especially in India. Consumers utilize the

Internet mainly for sending and receiving mails, product information, for travel

information, online trading, etc. They usually start using the net for low value
items such as books and CDs and gradually move on to jewellery and home

appliances. Online shopping has grown by leaps and bounds as one can buy almost

anything from food to fishing equipment, right through the computer. In general,

advantages of online shopping as perceived by consumers include convenience,

product availability, price, easy and abundant information access.

E-commerce may not have taken off in India the way it should have, yet prospects

are bright. India is expected to be the third largest Internet market in the world in

the next five years (Source Ac Nielsen). The advantages are there for both buyers

and sellers and this win-win situation is at the core of its phenomenal rise, as it is

believed that e-commerce transactions will represent the largest revenue

earner especially in the business to consumer (B2C) segment in India.

The research assumes significance since marketers have endeavored to cater to this

growing segment of consumers. The continued rapid expansion of the Internet with

an estimated one million new members per month is leveling the playing field and

creating opportunities for entrepreneurs in India. The hope is that online shopping

will result in fewer trips being made, thus contributing to relief of congestion,

reduction in air pollution, and fewer demands for retail and parking space. While

online shopping is still in its infancy in India, but the rapid increase in online

shopping shows that the real impact might be felt in the near future. Though there
are some weak links, with improvements in technology, it is believed it would iron

out, making the e-commerce easy, convenient and secure. The e-commerce is

certainly here to stay and will increase exponentially in the coming years.

ONLINE SHOPPING IN INDIA

SECTION-A OVERVIEW

The birth and growth of Internet has been the biggest event of the century. E-

commerce in India has come a long way from a timid beginning in the 1999-2000

to a period where one can sell and find all sorts of stuff from a high end product to

a meager peanut online. Most corporations are using Internet to represent their

product range and services so that it is accessible to the global market and to reach

out to a larger range of their audience.

Computers and the Internet have completely changed the way one handles day-to-

day transactions; online shopping is one of them. The Internet has brought about

sweeping changes in the purchasing habits of the people. In the comfort of one's

home, office or cyber cafe or anywhere across the globe, one can log on and buy

just about anything from apparel, books, music and diamond jewellery to digital

cameras, mobile phones, MP3 players, video games, movie tickets, rail and air
tickets. Ease, simplicity, convenience and security are the key factors turning the

users to buy online.