Northeastern states and Hindi heartland are emerging as the country’s new e-commerce hotspots, a study conducted by consulting firms Kearney and Meesho has found.
In the Hindi heartland, the study said, Uttar Pradesh cities such as Gorakhpur, Noida, Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad), and Varanasi; and Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur and Ranchi, are ‘increasingly taking to online shopping.’ This is because of increasing disposable incomes and consumer appetite for varied options and styles, it added.
Northeast, on the other hand, has cities such as Agartala (Tripura), Imphal (Manipur), Shillong (Meghalaya) and Silchar (Assam) where people are ‘digitally savvy,’ can navigate online apps with ease, and are comfortable shopping on the internet.
The e-commerce boom in the region can be attributed to the restricted presence of offline retail stores, which, in turn, is due to the geographical build of certain areas that makes it difficult for offline retailers to open shops.
“Also, consumers in the northeastern states have been early adapters of many cultural trends, including the Korean cultural wave. Evolving demand here is typically not serviced well by the limited presence of retail, which encourages digitally astute consumers to shop online,” an analyst was quoted as saying.
As per estimates, the e-commerce industry in India is worth over $80 billion; in the initial phase of their expansion, major industry players largely catered to customers only in metros and tier-I cities.