The e-tailing revolution has taken India by storm, with dozens of portals offering a wide variety of choices to online shoppers. Backed by millions of dollars’ worth of funding from institutional and angel investors, most of these portals have become hubs for accessing the best discounts and deals on a wide variety of products. Let’s take a look at India’s top ecommerce portals, where exactly they fit in your buying strategy and how they can augment your buying experience.
The Big Guns (Amazon, Flipkart, SnapDeal)
These 3 are the poster boys of the Indian e-tailing industry, offering everything from electronics &electricals to clothing, fashion accessories, sports merchandise, home needs, jewelry, baby products and lots more. With millions of products on their shelves, it’s usually difficult to find something that is not available with these top 3 online shopping portals. These are like super-giant virtual warehouses, where you can spend a good amount of time checking out the various products, discounts & offers, and reading customer reviews. You can choose to buy from anyone of the top 3, but if you are highly price conscious, we suggest you check out prices of individual products and respective offers on all 3 websites. This way, you will be able to identify the best deal available. Seller reputation is also important, so you need to check that as well before finalizing your purchase.
Other Wannabes (Shopclues, eBay, Indiatimes Shopping, RediffShopping, etc.)
Apart from the top 3, there are other ecommerce portals aiming to improve the customers’ shopping experience and grab a larger market share in the process. All of these offer brands and products similar to the top 3, but probably lack in the size and scale of operations and of course their overall consumption of media space. However, it would be a mistake to avoid these since the discounts and offers on these portals are often the best you can even get. eBay was the first online shopping portal to start operations in India, and is still doing quite well. Shopclues started operations in 2011 and offers a wide variety of brands and products. It’s ‘Sunday Flea Market’ has become hugely popular with the online shopping community due to the deep discounts being offered on a wide variety of products, every Sunday. Indiatimes and Rediff shopping have been there for quite a while and are known in the market for their special deals.
The Specialists (Jabong, Pepperfry, Yepme, Koovs, Babyoye, Firstcry, Croma, eZone, etc.)
The next in the list of top ecommerce portals in India are the specialists that cater to a niche audience in their respective area of expertise. If you are looking for something specific, these specialist ecommerce portals will offer you a much broader range of products to choose from. For example, Jabongis an exclusive fashion and lifestyle portal offering a wide range of apparel, footwear, fashion accessories, beauty products, fragrances, home accessories and other fashion and lifestyle products. Similarly, Pepperfry is an exclusive destination for furniture and home products; Yepme and Koovs are focused on garments and accessories for men and women; Babyoye and Firstcry are exclusively for baby products; and Croma Retail and eZone are prominent destinations for electronics and electricals.
There are several others and many more are being added to the list every year. Given the tough competition, high marketing costs and the increasing number of players in the market, it appears that the Indian ecommerce industry is headed for a period of consolidation. This stage is likely to witness a number of mergers and acquisitions in the coming years. Only the best will survive and continue to grow to become the market leaders in the Indian ecommerce industry.