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02.07.2024 | by Lili


India - a growth market for e-Commerce




  • India’s e-Commerce sector is booming, with further opportunities of growth down the road
  • There are significant differences in consumer behaviour between India’s rural and urban areas
  • Counterfeiting and scams are a serious issue which brands need to prepare for




India, with a population of 1.44 billion people, is one of the world’s most populous countries. Thanks to its steady economic growth and increasing internet penetration, India offers an abundance of options for brands that want to make the most of the country’s growing e-Commerce sector.



e-Commerce in India

Currently, 918 million people have an internet subscription in India, 375.66 million of them coming from the rural parts of the country. This means that the majority of the population has access to online shopping - no wonder that close to all ZIP codes have seen some kind of e-Commerce activity.


However, for many shoppers in rural India, online shopping is not some kind of convenience but a real necessity. Since the latest and most popular products often don’t make it to the shelves of physical stores, rural shoppers have only e-Commerce to turn to when hunting for the latest trends. This means that rural consumers are amongst the most important driving forces of India’s e-Commerce boom.


Smartphone usage is also on the rise: over 1.18 billion Indian citizens are expected to have a smartphone by 2026. Paired with affordable data prices, this fact can significantly contribute to the surge of Indian e-Commerce.


The sector is currently worth around $112 billion, with an immense growth to $325 billion projected by 2030. These figures signify enormous opportunities for brands and sellers looking for new markets with a high growth potential.



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The most popular online marketplaces in India

Online marketplaces usually play a huge role in the success of e-Commerce, and the same is true for India.


Amazon is currently the most popular online marketplace in the country, with 295 million visitors per month. The e-Commerce giant launched its Indian services in 2013, offering its well-known wide array of products like home, beauty, fashion, electronics, books, furniture and much more.


The country’s largest domestic, and second most visited online marketplace is Flipkart. Introduced in our series on popular Asian marketplaces, Flipkart currently has around 174 million monthly visitors and offers products in over 80 categories, including phones, home appliances, furniture, gardening equipment and more.


Myntra, owned by Flipkart, is India’s largest online fashion marketplace. Household names like Adidas, Puma, Nike, Mango and Levi’s are all amongst the over 500 global brands represented on the platform.    



Screenshot of myntra.com’s homepage

Screenshot of myntra.com’s homepage



Consumer behaviour in Indian e-Commerce

Due to India’s size and diversity, consumer behaviour significantly varies across the country. A recent study by PwC attempts to collect and compare consumer habits to give brands a clear picture of e-Commerce consumption in India.


For example, shoppers in larger cities look for fast shipping and are willing to pay more for premium services. In contrast, rural shoppers prefer bargains and good deals and are accustomed to waiting for their order to arrive.


What people buy online also depends on their home address. Big-city consumers usually order groceries, fashion and electronics, while their rural counterparts choose home, kitchen, health and wellness products.


Although digital payment options are accepted across the country, rural shoppers still often opt for COD (cash on delivery) to evade potential fraud.



Global e-Commerce companies invest in India

Amazon has recently announced an investment of $198 million into its Indian subsidiary. The capital, which is the second investment of Amazon’s in the subcontinent in five months, is supposed to go towards the expansion of the company’s web services (AWS) as well as enhancing its logistics capabilities.



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However, Amazon is still not done with the country. The company has announced a further investment of up to $15 billion until 2030, an amount that will round out Amazon’s total Indian investments to $26 billion. Besides the earlier mentioned goals, Amazon intends to support local small businesses by helping them expand their business online and create around one million new jobs.


According to Amazon’s calculations, their initiative will help 10 million SMEs enter online commerce, which in turn will boost by $10 billion and contribute to the diversification of the Indian economy.


Find out how Amazon promotes SMEs in Germany!


Amazon is not the only one investing in the subcontinent. In fact, Walmart has also supplied $600 million to its Indian subsidiary Flipkart, a main competitor of Amazon’s in the region.



Dangers of Indian e-Commerce

Unfortunately, opportunity rarely comes without threats and this is the case for Indian e-Commerce as well.


According to a report jointly published by the EU and the OECD, India is one of the main origin countries of counterfeits circulating all over the world. Another report by ASPA Global, an Indian non-profit organisation named FMCG goods, apparel, electronics, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals as the most prevalent fake goods in the country.


Learn all about counterfeiting in different industries!


Online fraud is also on the rise in India. In the first four months of 2024 alone, Indian citizens lost around $233 million to online scammers. The most popular schemes involve fake apps in the areas of trading, gaming, dating, loans and investments. In addition, spoofing scams are also prevalent, where the scammers impersonate some kind of authority or bank officials to scare consumers into sharing their vulnerable data.


These app scams don’t only harm consumers but also brands whose names and apps may be dragged into fraudulent activity. This is exactly why we developed our app monitoring service to save your brand’s reputation!


e-Commerce companies are not immune to fraudulent activities either. For example, Flipkart was recently the victim of fraud when fraudsters registered fake accounts for the company’s affiliate programme. The programme is designed to allow people earn commission by promoting Flipkart. By creating apparently credible accounts and transactions, scammers managed to steal significant funds from the e-Commerce giant.



Online brand protection in India

As you see, entering Indian e-Commerce is not without its risks. However, you don’t have to let these hold your brand back from extending your reach and exploring new opportunities. Instead, arm yourself with a comprehensive online brand protection programme!


Our services and solutions are designed to detect and remove IP infringing content from the internet. In this sense, our marketplace monitoring service checks over 150 online marketplaces worldwide, Indian marketplaces included, and flags suspicious product listings that may infringe on your IP rights.


Similarly, our image monitoring service detects copied or stolen imagery (e.g. product pictures, ads, social media posts, etc) anywhere online.


To gather more information about a seller or the origins of a specific product, we may recommend a test purchase. This allows us to learn as much about the seller and the advertised product as possible.


Finally, we’ll enforce your rights and demand the removal of the infringing content from the marketplace, social media platform, and the internet in general.




Indian e-Commerce is going through an amazing growth period as we speak. Make the most of it with your brand, but don’t let fraudsters get in your way and steal your revenue!


Contact us and let’s set up an online brand protection programme, completely tailored to your brand’s needs.