The internet has been around in India since quite some time now. However, e-commerce has picked up only recently. Shopping online is slowly growing up in India too. However, due to the relatively slow penetration of the internet in many part of the country, online shopping is limited to only major metros in India. Let us inquire about online shopping trends in this part of the world.

Ecommerce can be thought of as an activity wherein the customer uses the internet to order a product or service. In most circumstances, the transaction may happen online also. Online shopping places a heavy demand on the use of the internet. One major hurdle that online shopping faces is the security of transactions, since it is necessary for shoppers to submit their financial details on the web too.

Currently, only a limited number of merchants are doing business online due to the problems related to technology. The major hurdles faced are low penetration of computers in India, lesser amount of credit or debit card holders, and many adverse taxation rules. Also, many internet users are reluctant to reveal their financial information online, which hampers the growth of the online business.

Conversely, online shopping has a great potential to become big in India. According to many ecommerce observers, ecommerce has the potential of reaching $ 100 billion in the year 2008. Accordingly, many enterprises both big and small, are opening to the idea of having their B2B and B2C portals on the internet in a big way.

The internet is also proving to a boon in disguise for many small and medium enterprises, which are joining hands with major Indian online portals to display their products and advertise their services. Analysts predict that in the next 18-24 months, several national brands and retailers will have their online shops ready for B2B and B2C transactions. This indicates that the total number of merchants online would go up to nearly 50,000 and the total number of users would go up to around 50 million. Analysts also predict that the online shopping market could go up to nearly USD $ 50 million.

One way of looking at online shopping trends is examining the figures - air and rail tickets estimated at INR 30 crore (INR 300 million) are sold online in India every day. Already, a jewellery piece sells every five minutes, and a mobile handset every eight minutes, and a car every nine hours on the popular commodity site Another popular site materialised business over INR 5,000 crore through leads generated by it.

Today many Indians purchase goods like books, electronic gadgets, air and rail tickets, apparel, gifts, mobiles, computer peripherals, audio cassettes and CDs. There are more products which are capable of being sold over the internet.

Many people still locate information on the internet, but purchase their products offline at traditional stores. This means that people still are lacking in confidence to purchase products online. This trend can be countered by providing secure sites for transactions, and prompt customer service.

Online shopping is truly catching on in India, traditional brick and mortar stores are also getting the hand of doing business online. The trends demonstrate that traditional stores will keep on doing sufficient business while the online stores increase their virtual presence on the internet.