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Online retail sales in India 2009-2016

Online shopping sales across India amounted to around 23 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. The online retail industry in the south Asian country was valued at close to 18 billion dollars in 2017 and was estimated to grow rapidly beyond 70 billion dollars by 2022. The e-commerce sector in India has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years and the country was projected to surpass the United States to become the second largest global e-commerce market by 2034.

Online retail segments

In fiscal year 2017, the retail market was led by electronics with a penetration rate of about 20 percent. However, in terms of groceries, local offline vendors or kiranas continued to be the preferred choice for daily groceries due the ease of bargaining and benefitting from the ‘old-customer’ designation with extra rations as a gesture from the vendor. Nevertheless, the number of online shoppers in the country was estimated to increase to over 220 million in 2025, up from around 80 million in 2017.

Impact of COVID-19 on the market

The novel coronavirus outbreak in March 2020 caused a surge in prices across e-commerce platforms. Panic purchasing resulted in the shortage of sanitary and food items online as well as in physical stores across the country. As the online consumption continued to increase, unscrupulous sellers jacked up the prices on certain items. Amazon and Flipkart, the two e-commerce market leaders in India urged sellers and even blocked certain products to exercise responsible pricing. Manufacturers increased production in order to keep up with the supply of fast-moving items. With the uncertainty surrounding the impact of COVID-19, manufacturers and retailers will presumably have to work in unison to keep track of an unprecedented demand and supply scenario.

Online retail sales in India from 2009 to 2015 with a forecast for 2016

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Release date

January 2016



Survey time period

2009 to 2015

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Statistics on "E-commerce in BRIC"

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