Shoppers in non-metropolitan cities may not get the chance to mall hop often, but that has in no way deterred them from shopping. What bricks and mortar could not give them, the web has.
A recent survey by Google India and TNS has found that online shopping more than doubled in India in 2012, with the bulk of the growth coming from non-metropolitan cities.
States like West Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand saw a growth of over 500 per cent in the year.
Even for the Google Online Shopping Festival, which took place on December 12, 2012, to promote electronic commerce, 51 per cent of the traffic was from outside the top four metropolitan cities, the survey added.
A part of the growth in online shopping was driven by the use of mobile devices, with Google searches on mobile devices doubling last year.
Electronics, home furnishing, healthcare and baby products are some of the segments that saw a 100 per cent increase in search volumes on Google.
The sharp spike in online shopping volumes last year 'is being described as the tipping point for e-commerce in the country', the report said.
India's online shopping grew 40 per cent in 2011.
Going forward, nine out 10 online shoppers will spend more in 2013, according to the survey.
Lifestyle products, including apparel, accessories, home décor, beauty and cosmetics account for the highest search volumes on Google.
Apparel and accessories are expected to overtake the online search for electronic goods in 2013.
Electronics goods, which accounted for 39 per cent of searches in 2011, fell to 34 per cent in 2012. Apparel and accessories, which accounted for 28 per cent, saw a modest increase to 30 per cent in 2012.
Netizens' search for books was the third biggest search item, according to the study.
During 2013, eight of 10 people purchased apparels and accessories while seven out of 10 purchased electronic goods.
Most consumers, who bought online tickets, also bought mobile phones, apparel and books, indicating that they were more valuable than other categories of consumers.
According to the study, cash-back guarantee, which online retailers offer, is the biggest driver of traffic.
India has over 15 million broadband subscribers, in addition to other consumers who access the Internet through mobile devises. Online commerce is expected to take off in a big way with the introduction of 4G services, which promises high speed wireless broadband.