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Online shopping to boost baby care segment

The online baby-care segment has witnessed higher repeat purchases, with over 50 per cent of shoppers being repeat buyers

Nitin Bawankule 

The e-commerce market in India has already attracted $106.66 million in foreign direct investment so far. The market grew at a staggering 88 per cent in 2013 to $16 billion, riding on booming online retail trends and defying slower economic growth, according to a survey by industry body Assocham. As the internet user base grows in India, the consumer comfort to shop online has shown consistent increase with over 20 million internet users transacting online and over 60 million users going online to check for products.

Apart from electronics and apparel, baby-care product segment is really taking off online. At present online baby-care market comprises of segments such as baby food, skin care, toiletries/ diapers, toys, gears and baby nursery. The market share for baby care products is $5 billion of which baby clothing constituents 65 per cent, baby gear and outdoor is about 18 per cent and baby FMCG is about 17 per cent. The share for baby care products online is $100 million in 2014 and is expected to grow to $ 500 million by 2017.

Indian market offers immense opportunities to the players in this segment as India is home to around 50 million children in the age group of 0-2 years and 304.8 million children in the age group of 0-12 years. E-retailers such Amazon, Flipkart, Firstcry, Babyoye and Snapdeal have taken the lead in this segment and are offering great deals.

Baby-care product category is seeing phenomenal growth in search queries - queries originating from desktops have grown 45 per cent year on year while that from mobile phones have grown at 93 per cent year on year. This growth is a reflection of how parents are using the internet to find information online before finalising their purchase decisions.

We are also seeing growth in brands related search queries. The most searched brands for baby clothing are Mothercare, Carter, Snuggles and Mom and Me. Chicco, FisherPrice and MeeMee are the most searched brands for Baby Gear and Strollers. Huggies, Mammy Poko Pants and Johnson & Johnson are the preferred choice when it comes to diapers and pampers.

Unlike other categories, baby-care segment has seen higher number of repeat purchases, with over 50 per cent of shoppers being repeat buyers. In fact, 60 per cent of all buyers are women. As per industry estimates, 15 baby care products sold online every minute in India. Most searches are coming from south west zone. Some of the states which have reflected high searches of 'babycare' keywords are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh with eastern states mostly negligible on queries related to this segment.

As India continues to add over 5 million new mobile internet users every month, e-commerce players will need to evolve their mobile interface to make the platform more attractive. Our data shows a much higher conversion rate on the mobile app than the website. Given the predominance of users from Tier-II and-III cities experiencing Internet for the first time over mobile, 'cash on delivery' will continue to drive more sales.

By Nitin Bawankule, industry director e-commerce & media, Google India

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First Published: Mon, November 03 2014. 00:08 IST