Fabmall.com, one of the leading retailers in India, got only 40% of its revenues from the top eight cities, and 60% from smaller towns. In contrast, just about three years ago, almost 80% revenues came only from the big cities.
Credit for surging online buying habits in smaller towns goes to increased internet penetration in India, agrees Sundararaman K, head-sales and alliances, Sify.com. “With the internet reaching these towns and with the cost of access coming down, we are seeing an increase in the orders coming in from small towns,” he reasoned.
Mr Sundararaman adds: “The confidence slowly gets built up from using other services the internet has got to offer. Graduating to e-commerce is a sign of maturity for internet usage. People start with email, go on to browse content, and then try out groups, chat etc and finally transact online. It is a natural process.”
While online buying in metros is primarily convenience driven, in smaller towns, it’s the choices that the web offers, in terms of wider product lines. Buyers in small towns are brand conscious and their curiosity to know about trends are satiated on the internet. Deals in small towns are more brand based, rather than need based, as in metros.