67% of online shoppers in India refer to social media before buying : Report


For more than 60 percent of the online shoppers in urban India, social media plays an important part in influencing their purchasing decisions, a new study by Frost & Sullivan has revealed.

The study discusses the apparent benefits of social media and how it can be applied by enterprises to their advantage. According to it, over 60 percent of the net users in urban India spend over four hours per day and surf the Internet entertainment, networking, business, education, shopping etc. and over 60 Mn are registered on Facebook and 20 Mn on LinkedIn.

As per the consumer survey, the study also reveals that between the age group of 18 to 35, 60 percent of the respondents indicated that they shopped online once a month and 40 percent of the respondents expected to increase their online shopping budgets over the next 12-15 months. Moreover, 50 percent of the young urban Indians spend more than two hours on social media sites daily.

“For improved results and generating increased revenues online, companies need to find means to integrate online portals with social media,” says Vidya Nath, Research Director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan. She also believes that online players should keep a track on customer behavior closely to chart their marketing strategies for the still evolving Indian eCommerce market. Moreover, the benefits of social media in terms of the investment and returns appear visibly higher than incumbent methods of marketing and advertising.

The significance of social media for online retail market cannot be ignored. With India positioning itself as one of the fastest growing social networking user base, a significant percentage of online retail is expected from social commerce. Moreover, according to Gartner “half of new retail customer identities in the world will be based on social network identities by 2015,” and we can already see this shift taking place around the new startups entering the ecosystem of online shopping. With the concept of online social shopping evolving so rapidly, it is yet to see how many of these new startups are able to keep up with changing consumer trends.

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