A common question I get from non-techies is "Is ecommerce for real? Do people really buy online?"
My line of argument is that the future is digital, and hence buying online is a natural consequence of that.
However, just saying that was not convincing enough. So I gathered some statistics as proof and to wow them:
- Apple iTunes is the largest music retailer in USA and has sold more than 10 billion legal songs as of Feb 2010
- Amazon is one of the largest book selling websites in the world and it now sells 105 ebooks for every 100 printed books it sells
- Netflix is a movie streaming company and accounts for 25% of North American Internet traffic
- Facebook is actually the largest photo sharing website in the world where the average user creates 90 pieces of content each month and 100 million photos uploaded per day / 6 billion photos uploaded each month
Closer to home:
- 55 million hits in 48 hours for Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara via mobile phones, facebook and youtube only, the killer part is that no TV ads were done as a deliberate marketing strategy
- Gujarat just voted via the Internet
- 20 million people watched IPL online
- Despite the super high costs, India has 9 million 3G users already
- Update: Less than 1% of India's population uses 3G service. 0% used 3G a year ago and 30% will use it 4 years from now → 400 million new smartphones.
- Update 2: According to a McKinsey report titled ‘Internet matters: The Net’s sweeping impact on growth, jobs, and prosperity’, released at the e-G8 Forum held in Paris on May 24-25, 2011, internet contributed 5 per cent to the total gross domestic product (GDP) growth of India in the past five years compared with the average 3 per cent for BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. According to the report, companies are able to keep costs down, target customers better and bring goods and services to markets around the world much more easily. -- AlooTechie
Then there always is the trump card of how ubiquitous online ticketing has become...
As you can see, digital is happening in India and with RBI reporting that 35% of transactions (and 88% of the total amount) were electronic and Cash on Delivery slowly happening, how far will ecommerce be behind?
How would you convince someone that the future is digital and that ecommerce will be big in India?