A study by Assocham and ComScore has found that India is one of the three fastest growing Internet markets globally. Among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations, India has emerged at the top by adding more than 18 million Internet users till July 2012, an annual rate of 41 percent. India now has 125 million Internet users.
China added over 14 million Internet users, taking the number up to 336 million by the end of July 2012. Russia was found to have patterns similar to India in online usage, as also in e-commerce and payment types.
India now has 125 million Internet users (Image Credit: Getty Images)
Quoting Assocham secretary general D S Rawat, the study added further, "Interestingly, about 75 per cent of online audience between the age group of 15-34 years, India is one of the youngest online demographic globally". Rawat expects this trend to continue in the future, keeping in mind the age distribution in the company.
The study found that the age group of 15-24 years is the fastest growing age segment online, and the user growth was driven by both male and female segments.
The top five popular categories accessed online were found to be social networking, portals, search, entertainment, and news sites. "Out of the approximate 125 million Internet user base, the female population accounts for almost 40 per cent". The online travel segment saw growth across car rentals, online travel agents, airlines as well as hotels and travel information sites.
"1 out of 5 online users in India visit the Indian Railways site," the study said. The study found that the retail category reach increased to 60 percent, while growing to 37.5 million unique visitors a month.
"Apparel has been the fastest growing subcategory in retail and reaches 13.4 per cent online users in India," the study added. "Among the payment types, American Express has the highest average bill value per transaction at USD 110 followed by Visa and MasterCard. Direct debit transactions come from IRCTC," the study added.
Among other things, the study shared that the average transaction size online in India across both travel and retail category was USD 31 between April and June 2012. "This amount is set to increase with consumer confidence in buying high priced products in the coming months", it said.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its recent report highlighted that the broadband segment in the country doesn't disappoint for the subscriber base increased from 14.68 million at the end of July 2012 to 14.82 million at the end of August 2012, registering a monthly growth of 1.37 percent.
As of August 31, 2012, there are 149 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing broadband services in the country. Out of them, only 115 ISPs provided data to the TRAI for the month of August 2012. For the rest of the ISPs, data from previous month has been retained. Data from the top 10 ISPs, which constitute 93.57 percent of the total subscriber base, have been received for the month of August 2012. The top five ISPs in terms of market share, based on subscriber base are: BSNL (9.47 million), Bharti Airtel (1.37 million), MTNL (1.06 million), You Broadband (0.68 million), and Hathway (0.37 million).