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India e-commerce will reach US$ 99 billion by 2024, growing at a 27% CAGR over 2019-24, with grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth.

E-commerce Industry in India

    Last updated on Sep, 22 2021

Indian E-Commerce Industry Report  (Size: 755.34 KB ) (July, 2021)


E-commerce has transformed the way business is done in India. The Indian E-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 111.40 billion by 2025 from US$ 46.2 billion as of 2020. Much of the growth for the industry has been triggered by an increase in internet and smartphone penetration. As of April 2021, the number of internet connections in India significantly increased to 782.86 million, driven by the ‘Digital India’ programme. Out of the total internet connections, ~61% connections were in urban areas, of which 97% connections were wireless.

Market Size

The Indian online grocery market is estimated to reach US$ 18.2 billion in 2024 from US $1.9 billion in 2019, expanding at a CAGR of 57%. India's e-commerce orders volume increased by 36% in the last quarter of 2020, with the personal care, beauty and wellness (PCB&W) segment being the largest beneficiary. India's consumer digital economy is expected to become a US$ 800 billion market by 2030, growing from US$ 537.5 billion in 2020, driven by strong adoption of online services such as e-commerce and edtech in the country.

Propelled by rising smartphone penetration, launch of 4G network and increasing consumer wealth, the Indian E-commerce market is expected to grow to US$ 200 billion by 2026 from US$ 38.5 billion in 2017. Online retail sales in India is expected to grow 31% to touch US$ 32.70 billion in 2018, led by Flipkart, Amazon India and Paytm Mall.

Indian consumers are increasingly adopting 5G smartphones even before roll out of the next-gen mobile broadband technology in the country. Smartphone shipments reached 150 million units and 5G smartphone shipments crossed 4 million in 2020, driven by high consumer demand post-lockdown. According to a report published by IAMAI and Kantar Research, India internet users are expected to reach 900 million by 2025 from ~622 million internet users in 2020, increasing at a CAGR of 45% until 2025.

In festive season CY20, the Indian e-commerce GMV was recorded at US$ 8.3 billion, a significant jump of 66% over the previous festive season. Similarly, the Indian e-commerce market recorded ~88 million users in festive season CY20, a significant jump of 87% over the previous festive season.

Investments/ Developments

Some of the major developments in the Indian e-commerce sector are as follows:

  • Flipkart, India's e-commerce powerhouse, announced in July 2021 that it has raised US$ 3.6 billion in new funding from various sources including sovereign funds, private equities and Walmart (parent company).
  • In June 2021, Flipkart added a new fulfilment centre (FC) in Dankuni, West Bengal. The FC is spread over 2.2 lakh sq. ft. and has a potential to create ~3,500 direct jobs.
  • In June 2021, Grofers, the grocery delivery start-up, reportedly entered the unicorn club, after raising US$ 120 million from Zomato, the food delivery platform.
  • In June 2021, Mastercard invested an undisclosed amount in Instamojo, a payments firm, to help digitise online stores and process their payments more seamlessly.
  • In May 2021, Amazon introduced a video streaming service within its shopping app called MiniTV for users in India. MiniTV features web series, comedy shows and content on tech news, food, beauty and fashion.
  • In May 2021, Flipkart strengthened its grocery infrastructure to cater to customer safety and demand across India. In this quarter, it is planning to further expand its fulfilment centre capacity for grocery by over 8 lakh square feet across Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Coimbatore and Hyderabad.
  • In May 2021, Flipkart announced that it is in talks with sovereign funds, private equity majors and other investors to raise up to US$ 2 billion at a valuation of US$ 30 billion.
  • In April 2021, Flipkart announced a commercial alliance with Adani Group to improve the company's logistics and data centre capabilities and create about 2,500 direct jobs.
  • In April 2021, Flipkart announced to acquire Cleartrip, an online travel technology firm. Flipkart announced to purchase 100% shareholding of Cleartrip as the company expands its investments to broaden its digital commerce offerings for customers.
  • In April 2021, Kirana commerce platform ElasticRun raised US$ 75 million in a round led by existing investors—Avataar Venture Partners and Prosus Ventures.
  • In March 2021, Amazon acquired Bengaluru-based retail tech start-up Perpule for Rs. 107.6 crore (US$ 14.5 million).
  • In March 2021, Purplle, an online beauty store, raised US$ 45 million from Sequoia Capital India, Verlinvest, Blume Ventures and JSW Ventures.
  • In March 2021, Captain Fresh, a B2B marketplace for seafood, raised US$ 3 million in seed capital led by Matrix Partners India and Ankur Capital.
  • In March 2021, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 80 million traders and 40,000 trader associations, announced the launch of a mobile app for its e-commerce portal, ‘Bharat E-market’. The association aims to get more small traders to sell online easily through smartphones.
  • In February 2021, Flipkart partnered with Maharashtra State Khadi & Village Industries Board and Maharashtra Small Scale Industries Development Corporation to bring local artisans and small and medium businesses into the e-commerce ecosystem.
  • In February 2021, Zomato entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to introduce 300 street food vendors on its portal.
  • In February 2021, Flipkart Wholesale, the digital B2B marketplace of Flipkart Group will offer grocery on its app with an aim to provide kiranas and small retailers one-stop access to a wide selection of products.
  • In February 2021, Udaan, a B2B e-commerce firm, announced to expand its warehouse capacity (by 5x) to 50 million sq. ft. across several states in the next 7-8 years.
  • In January 2021, Flipkart introduced SuperCoin Pay to strengthen its SuperCoin rewards programme by allowing customers to pay through SuperCoins at >5,000 retail outlets across the country.
  • In January 2021, The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) unveiled, an e-commerce portal, which will comprise >50,000 products, ranging from apparel to home décor.
  • In January 2021, the B2B e-commerce platform, Udaan raised US$ 280 million (~Rs. 2,048 crore) in additional financing from new investors—Octahedron Capital and Moonstone Capital. Prior to this, in October 2019, the company raised US$ 585 million (~Rs. 4,280 crore) from Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse, GGV Capital and Citi Ventures. It is likely to deploy the latest fund towards continued market creation of B2B e-commerce in India and digitise more small businesses across the country.

Government initiatives

Since 2014, the Government of India has announced various initiatives, namely Digital India, Make in India, Start-up India, Skill India and Innovation Fund. The timely and effective implementation of such programs will likely support growth of E-commerce in the country. Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government to promote E-commerce in India are as follows:

  • As of July 20, 2021, the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal served 7 million orders worth Rs.122,405 crore (US$ 16.39 billion) from 2.2 million registered sellers and service providers for 53,193 government buyers.
  • In a bid to systematise the onboarding process of retailers on e-commerce platforms, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is reportedly planning to utilise the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to set protocols for cataloguing, vendor discovery and price discovery. The department aims to provide equal opportunities to all marketplace players to make optimum use of the e-commerce ecosystem in the larger interest of the country and its citizen.
  • National Retail Policy: The government had identified five areas in its proposed national retail policy—ease of doing business, rationalisation of the licence process, digitisation of retail, focus on reforms and an open network for digital commerce—stating that offline retail and e-commerce need to be administered in an integral manner.
  • The Consumer Protection (e-commerce) Rules 2020 notified by the Consumer Affairs Ministry in July directed e-commerce companies to display the country of origin alongside the product listings. In addition, the companies will also have to reveal parameters that go behind determining product listings on their platforms.
  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Union Bank of India to facilitate a cashless, paperless and transparent payment system for an array of services in October 2019.
  • Under the Digital India movement, Government launched various initiatives like Umang, Start-up India Portal, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) etc. to boost digitisation.
  • In October 2020, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Piyush Goyal invited start-ups to register at public procurement portal, GeM, and offer goods and services to government organisations and PSUs.
  • In October 2020, amending the equalisation levy rules of 2016, the government mandated foreign companies operating e-commerce platforms in India to have permanent account numbers (PAN). It imposed a 2% tax in the FY21 budget on the sale of goods or delivery of services through a non-resident ecommerce operator.
  • In order to increase the participation of foreign players in E-commerce, Indian Government hiked the limit of FDI in E-commerce marketplace model to up to 100% (in B2B models).
  • Heavy investment made by the Government in rolling out fiber network for 5G will help boost E-commerce in India.

Road Ahead

The E-commerce industry has been directly impacting micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) in India by providing means of financing, technology and training and has a favourable cascading effect on other industries as well. Indian E-commerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second largest E-commerce market in the world by 2034. Technology enabled innovations like digital payments, hyper-local logistics, analytics driven customer engagement and digital advertisements will likely support the growth in the sector. The growth in ecommerce sector will also boost employment, increase revenues from export, increase tax collection by ex-chequers, and provide better products and services to customers in the long-term. Rise in smartphone usage is expected to rise 84% to reach 859 million by 2022.

E-retail market is expected to continue its strong growth - it registered a CAGR of over 35% to reach Rs. 1.8 trillion (US$ 25.75 billion) in FY20. Over the next five years, the Indian e-retail industry is projected to exceed ~300-350 million shoppers, propelling the online Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to US$ 100-120 billion by 2025.

According to Bain & Company report, India’s social commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) stood at ~US$ 2 billion in 2020. By 2025, it is expected to reach US$ 20 billion, with a potentially monumental jump to US$ 70 billion by 2030, owing to high mobile usage.

Note: Conversion rate used for June 2021 is Rs. 1 = US$ 0.01355

References: Media Reports, Press releases, Business Standard, Economic Times, LiveMint, Times Now, Times of India

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.


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