As per the latest State Of Retailing Online 2009 report by Forrester Research , most of the online retailers were profitable and increased their profitability, despite the recession.
In "The State of Retailing Online 2009," a Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research, retailers noted that Web divisions grew by 18% in 2008.
I do not have access to the report (costs $499), but form the ReadWriteWeb write-up it appears that the report focussed on US retailers. One can only speculate about the profitability of Indian retail players, but it is important to note that not many players are there in the Indian retail space in the first place and that Indian e-commerce is mainly driven by travel related e-commerce and not e-retail.
In India the lack of e-retailers is due to various reasons-while consumers are hesitant to buy products online (a trend which is definitely changing), and major brick-and-mortar stores are yet to launch their online offerings, there is lack of integration of social recommendations, social media and mobile commerce with the online shopping experience-some of the factors that are driving the e-retail business in US and other developed markets and which are sorely lacking when it comes to Indian e-retailers.
We had covered the state of online retail in India earlier also , and with the coming of Reliance and other players like HomeShop18, there was much excitement and promise, but it is not clear how much of that has been fulfilled and how much the potential remains untapped.
I believe there is great potential for online retail in India too, and if online retail can grow in Us in a year of recession, one can only dream how it may take-off in India which is an emerging market relatively lesser affected by recession.
Why do you think the big brick-and-mortar retail chains do not have their thriving e-retail counterparts/ arms in India? Is the Indian consumer fundamentally different and cultural factors come into play? or is it just a matter of time before new technologies like social recommendations and mobile commerce get integrated into the shopping experience and help kick-start the e-retailing revolution?
I, myself, tend to buy more and more things online nowadays; is the same true of you and reflective of a bigger trend that perhaps the industry is not adequately tapping in to?