Unique visitor growth rate is more than double that of any other BRIC country
The percentage of individuals in India who use the internet will remain a small 8.9% this year, according to eMarketer estimates. But given that India holds a population of 1.2 billion people, that fraction translates to a significant number of people going online—107.3 million, to be precise. And consumers in India show no signs of slowing their migration online, according to the August 2012 comScore report, “The Rise of India’s Digital Consumer and What It Means for the Future.”
The study found that, among all BRIC countries, India had the sharpest growth in unique website visitors between 2011 and 2012, at 41%, more than double the growth rate in second-place Russia. And India’s online growth still has some distance to go before it hits a ceiling, since most of its online category stats underindex when compared to global averages.
Travel has long held a dominant position in the online ecommerce market in India, and will account for 83% of all online sales in the country in 2012, according to eMarketer forecasts. comScore found that, among travel sites, India Railways had the greatest reach at 19.2% in July 2012, reflecting the dominance of domestic travel among India’s burgeoning middle class. But homegrown online travel agents were also gaining presence, with MakeMyTrip recording 11.6% reach, and 8.3% reach for Yatra Online.
Among online individuals in India, a chief use of the internet was the consumption of news, with those sites receiving a combined 50.2 million unique visitors in 2012. The Yahoo!-ABC News Network was found to have the greatest reach at 20.4% in July 2012, but The Times of India was not far behind, with 18.7%. While the New York Times had the third-highest reach, the rest of the list was populated by Indian news sources, demonstrating the predisposition in India toward homegrown media outlets.
When it came to online payments, consumers in India preferred debit cards, which were used in 58% of transactions in Q2 2012. In comparison, Visa and Mastercard payments combined accounted for 33% of online payments.
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