Surging eCommerce in Aspirational India (Tier II Cities and Beyond): 124 Hours Spent Annually, ~ INR 20,000 Spent in Last 6 Months: CMR

Prabhu Ram, Head - Industry Intelligence Group

Prabhu Ram, Head - Industry Intelligence Group

  • Average online spend in the last 6 months by Tier II buyers is on par with Tier I buyers.
  • >55% consumers from Tier II cities purchase tech products online, with 62% prioritizing 5G phones.
  • Smartphone premiumization on rise, with 24% buying premium smartphone online (>INR 20,000).
  • Amazon is preferred for its attractive prices (54%), easy returns (52%), brand trust (40%) and nationwide convenience (38%).

27 Jun 2023 | NEW DELHI.  According to a new consumer study from CyberMedia Research (CMR), India’s leading technology market research and advisory firm, Indians from Tier II cities and beyond spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per week shopping online, spending approximately 16% of their income.  Tier II cities, including Guwahati, Coimbatore and Lucknow amongst others, lead in terms of time spent shopping on eCommerce. Amongst Tier I cities, Bengaluru leads with the maximum of 4 hours and 2 minutes weekly on online shopping.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR), “The wide range of choices, convenience, and comfort provided by eCommerce has empowered emerging young consumers in Aspirational India (Tier II, Tier III cities and beyond) to shop more online, and to fulfil their aspirations. Major players like Amazon and Flipkart, niche market players such as Meesho and others, and conglomerates like Tata and Reliance are fiercely competing in these markets. Our research emphasizes that Amazon, with its extensive and enduring presence across India, has the consumer trust and is their preferred choice.”

The top three triggers for online shopping include attractive prices (57%), convenient return and exchange processes (57%) along with irresistible offers (49%).

Here are some key highlights from the study:

  • The rise of the online shopper
    • Women entrepreneurs and others spend 149 hours annually on eCommerce. 29% of them purchased value for money smartphones (INR 15,000 to 20,000) online.
    • Gen Z shops more frequently online (51%) than Millennials (47%).
    • Two out of three consumers have spent up to INR 20,000 on online shopping in the past six months. Average spend on online purchase in last 6 months by Tier II buyers (INR 20,100) is nearly on par with the online spend by Tier I buyers (INR 21,700). Average spend is the highest in Mumbai (INR 24,200). Nagpur and Coimbatore also show similar growth trends in online shopping (INR 21,600).
    • 62% purchase clothing and accessories online, while 54% purchase electronics and electronic gadgets online. In Nagpur (81%) purchase electronics and electronic gadgets online. Coimbatore(62%)and Bhubaneswar (62%) show similar trends.

    • Among electronic gadgets, top three products bought online are:

      • Smartphones (37%)
      • Headphones / Earphones (23%)
      • Smartbands / Smart Watches (21%).

    • The top three triggers for online shopping are

      • Attractive prices (57%)
      • Convenient return/exchange processes (57%)
      • Attractive offers (49%)

Attractive prices (75%) and convenient return/exchange processes (73%) are key purchase motivators in Coimbatore. Convenient return/exchange processes (64%)  and brand trust and reliability (60%) are key for those in Lucknow.

  • 86% rely on influencers’ or publishers’ reviews to make their purchase decisions. Notably, males appear to follow influencers more diligently (90%) than females (80%).
  • Around two-thirds of online users search (70%) rather than browse (30%) while buying accessories. Consumers typically make their buying decisions prior to visiting an online shopping platform.

  • Consumer Electronics: Online Shopping Trends

    • Smartphones
      • 5G smartphone adoption is gaining traction. 57% smartphone users feel 5G compatibility to be highly important in their next smartphone purchase. An overwhelming 62% of Tier II buyersare prioritizing 5G-capable smartphones.
      • Smartphone premiumization is gaining ground, with 24% buying premium smartphone online (>INR 20,000). Only 2% have bought affordable smartphones (<INR 7,000).
      • Among women, battery life and fast charging (68%), audio quality (66%), camera (63%) and storage (63%) drive smartphone considerations.
      • For mobile gamers, fast charging (67%) and long battery life (63%) are key.

    • Laptops
      • Anytime, anywhere work (61%) and learning (58%) drive laptop sales.

    • Tablets
      • Battery life (68%), 5G (56%) and OS (53%) drive purchase considerations.

    • Wireless Earphones
      • Wireless earphones (upto INR 5000) are predominantly preferred online (61%), with preferred features, being volume control (81%) and built-in microphone (80%).

    • Smart Watches/Smart Bands
      • Activity tracking (66%), BP monitoring (57%),and voice control (47%) are most sought features.

    • Washing Machines
      • 16% consumers seek premium washing machines (>INR 30,000). Front load (78%) and fully automatic (89%) washing machines (<INR 30,000) are most preferred.

    • Refrigerators
      • Refrigerators with good storage capacity (58%), a freezer on top (54%), adjustable shelves (53%), and water dispenser (53%) are most sought by consumers. 20% mostly prefer premium refrigerators (>INR 30,000).

    • Televisions
      • LED TVs are the top preferred (70%), followed by QLED TVs (64%), and OLED TVs (57%). 27% buyers prefer premium TVs with display size of 48 inch and above (>INR 30,000).

    • Air Conditioners
      • Air conditioners offering fast cooling (66%) and air purification filters (59%)are the preferred choice for online purchases. 29% buyers mostly prefer premium AC (>INR 60,000).

    • Choice of e-Commerce Platforms
      • Amazon (73%) is the most preferred, followed by Flipkart (70%), Meesho (30%), JioMart (20%), and others.
      • 63% of Amazon users report high satisfaction, followed by52% for Flipkart and, 46%for Reliance Digital.

Amazon is favored by its users for its attractive prices (54%), easy return / exchange process (52%), brand trust (40%) and convenience of shopping across pin-codes in India (38%). Over the past six months, 73% consumers from both Tier II and Tier I cities have shopped at Amazon.

“In a large, diverse market such as India, both online and offline retail will continue to co-exist. Our survey reveals the growing comfort and delight of online consumers with the post-purchase support for large consumer durables, including, fast delivery and swift installation. As consumers continue to gain digital fluency, the eCommerce boom will also significantly benefit small business owners as well. This will contribute to the rise of India’s trillion-dollar internet economy,” added Sugandha Srivastava, Senior Manager, Industry Consulting Group (ICG), CMR.

About the Survey

The ‘CMR Consumer Aspirations and eCommerce in Bharat’ Survey was conducted in May 2023 covering 3006 consumers, across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Coimbatore, Lucknow and Guwahati.

For results based on a randomly chosen sample of this size, there is 99% confidence that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 3% of what they would be if the entire population had been surveyed.

About CMR

CMR offers industry intelligence, consulting, and marketing services, including but not limited to market tracking, market sizing, stakeholder satisfaction, analytics, and opportunity assessment studies.

A part of CyberMedia, South Asia’s largest specialty media and media services group, CyberMedia Research (CMR) has been a front-runner in market research, consulting, and advisory services since 1986. CMR is an institutional member of the Market Research Society of India (MRSI).  Email: