Online spending by Indian consumers up: survey


"On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the average online spending in the country was one of the largest at USD 3,442 in Q4 2008, up by 42 per cent as compared to USD 2,419 in Q3 2008," Visa said in its e-commerce consumer monitor, a survey conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the survey, India ranked third in online shopping after Singapore (USD 4,018) and Hong Kong (USD 3,791) in the 12-month period ended December 2008.

"Our survey shows that online shopping appears to be resilient in the uncertain economy. As consumers are expected to keep a close eye on their finances, the ability to browse a wide range of retail offerings to compare prices and seek cheaper buys on the Internet seems to be leading budget conscious consumers to shop online," Visa Country Manager (South Asia), Uttam Nayak, said.

In Asia-Pacific also, online spending by consumers in the last quarter of 2008 held steady compared with the previous two quarters, the survey said.

The respondents surveyed in Asia-Pacific region spent an average of USD 3,109 in the year ended December 2008. Among the categories surveyed, the top three biggest online spend areas were all travel-related services.

"The highest areas of spending in the past 12 months were airline tickets (USD 970), online travel agents (USD 647) and travel accommodation (USD 527)," the survey said.

"The Internet has strong appeal to Asia-Pacific consumers with wanderlust. From securing cost-saving Internet deals to making accomodation reservations, armchair consumers are tuned to the convenience of shopping for travel services online," Nayak said.

Cross-border transactions over the Internet were reported to have risen in all the countries and territories surveyed.

"According to the average spend per transaction as reported by respondents, cross-border online spending rose by nearly 40 per cent from USD 263 in Q3 2008 to USD 368 in Q4 2008," the survey said.

On an average, the respondents spent USD 316 in the past 12 months on cross-border transactions, it said.

The trend to shop online looks set to continue with 81 per cent of respondents stating they were likely to shop online again in the next 12 months with respondents from Korea (96 per cent), Japan (90 per cent) and Australia (83 per cent) the most likely to make purchases online in the region, the survey added.

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