Tide Has Turned, Indian Online Shoppers Now Prefer Cards Over Cash: Visa Survey


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Indian e-commerce market has seen a heavy lift, an uninterrupted growth, and has provided boost to the country’s economy in the near past. The number of people who click to shop has evidently been on a rise. The working generation likes to sit in the comfort of offices and also shop on the go, instead of stepping out into malls or markets.

One of the most important factors, which put the Indian consumer into the habit of online shopping has been the ‘Cash on Delivery’ option which is valid through all the major e-commerce platforms. It’s helped the consumer shop online with much more confidence, instead of pre-paying and waiting anxiously for the doorbell to ring.

However, moving on to having developed trust in e-commerce portals, and their systematic ways of having the products delivered, the e-shopper now shops with ease, whether Cash-On-Delivery or not!

As per a recent survey conducted by financial services firm Visa, majority of Indians who make online purchases prefer making payments through credit or debit cards rather than cash-on-delivery or online banking modes. “About 74 percent of the respondents preferred using payment cards – credit, debit and prepaid – to pay for their online purchases, while only 51 percent used cash-on-delivery, followed by 47 percent who used net banking,” the survey said.

The top three reasons for shopping online as per the survey statistics are convenience (82 percent), price (78 percent), and enjoyment (76 percent).

Indians also spend a little more time online than the other Asia-Pacific countries. The survey registries showed that Indians on a daily average spend five hours online, whilst the other countries spend around four and a half. The survey further stated that the Indian e-commerce market saw major growth in 2014. 92 percent online Indians had shopped virtually in that very year, and the average was as good as 25 buys.

Historically, the survey said that cash on delivery was the most preferred method. However, there has been an interesting shift in the payment patterns in the recent past. 806 Internet users were examined as the part of the survey. Other criterion for selecting the group was those who access the web at least once a week and are aged between 18 and 55.

Of the people surveyed, 75 percent were from tier I cities and the rest from tier II towns. Indians are among the most active online shoppers using their mobile phones with 66 percent browsing shopping websites and 46 percent actually making purchases.

“E-commerce is thriving in the country with Visa spend data showing 33 percent growth in e-commerce payment volume in 2014. We are also seeing 49 percent growth in the number of e-commerce transactions, which is consistent with our research findings,” Visa Group Country Manager (India and South Asia) T R Ramachandran said.

The Indian populous also seen to prefer desktops and laptops for online shopping with a 92 percent to 87 percent conversion rate between browsing and purchasing online, respectively.

The fact that buyers cannot change their minds over products, after having paid for the item before having it delivered is definitely a win-win situation for the e-commerce businesses.

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