In the recently held Dainik Bhaskar Unmetro event organised by afaqs!, Vidmay Naini, head, retention marketing, payment and imports, eBay, spoke about e-commerce opportunities beyond metro cities. While it's a fact that e-commerce is growing in India, the scope is much larger in non-metro cities, which are slowly becoming exposed to it, he asserted.
The exposure is attributed to increasing internet and broadband penetration, access to gadgets, disposable income and improved logistics. In addition to this, the payment modes have also undergone a change with customers having the choice to pay either online or at the time of delivery. According to Naini, this has broken barriers between the metro and non metro customers.
Interestingly, out of the 4,306 e-commerce hubs in India, majority being in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and UP (in that order), 3,281 are 'Bharat' or non metro hubs like Surat and Coimbatore, among others.
Naini also mentioned how Ahmedabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram top the hubs buying gadgets, according to eBay's records between April and June this year. The presentation also mentioned some of the largest selling electronic products in non metros. "Awareness, access, affordability and aspiration - as long as all these are together, non metros will catch up to metros," Naini said.
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