The domestic e-commerce market is estimated to grow by 67% to $38 billion (Rs 2.51 lakh crore) in 2016 from over $23 billion (Rs 1.52 lakh crore) last year, boosted by a rise in Internet and mobile users, according to a study by an industry body.
With buying trends during 2015 witnessing a significant upward movement due to aggressive online discounts, rising fuel price and wider and abundant choice will hit the e-commerce industry in 2016, Assocham said in a statement.
"Increasing Internet and mobile penetration, growing acceptability of online payments and favourable demographics has provided the e-commerce sector in India the unique opportunity to companies connect with their customers," it said.
India's e-commerce market was worth about $3.8 billion in 2009. It went up to $17 billion in 2014 and to $23 billion in 2015, said D S Rawat, Secretary General Assocham.
"The customer is connected 24x7 through their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, which is leading to a gradual evolution of e-commerce into mobile commerce, and there is an issue of convenience which also leads to impulsive buying," said Rawat.
Shopping online through smartphones is proving to be a "game-changer", and the top players in the sector expect m-commerce to account for 70% of their total revenues, it said.
It noted that with browsing trends, which have broadly shifted from the desktop to mobile devices in India, online shopping is also expected to follow suit, as one out of three customers currently makes transactions through mobiles in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.
According to Rawat, 78% of shopping queries were made through mobile devices last year, compared to 46% in 2013.
Among the various segments, apparel shopping recorded the highest growth of 69.5% in 2015, followed by electronic items, baby care products and beauty care products at 62%, 53% and 52%, respectively.
"The most important contributing factor to the rapid growth of digital commerce in India is the increase in the use of smartphones. Mobiles and mobile accessories have taken up the maximum share of the digital commerce market in India," said the chamber.
It revealed that Mumbaikars have left behind all other cities in India in shopping online in 2015.