As businesses slowly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, etailers are keen to grow their markets in the rural and small towns across India. Companies see agriculture as the driving force in the rural sector and want to bet on it.
Agriculture and the farm sector is set to flourish with a series of incentives and reforms announced by the government, in addition to a bumper winter harvest and a good monsoon season are expected to generate rural prosperity. The e-commerce sector is resting its hopes on rural India. The Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a trust floated by the Government of India to promote Indian trade and commerce globally, estimates that the Indian e-commerce market will expand to $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion in 2017. And this would be pushed by smartphone and internet penetration.
During the nationwide lockdown, Flipkart was boosted by 8,000 new sellers, with more than 70 per cent of them coming from smaller towns. Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer at Flipkart Group, said they are committed to bringing the next 200 million customers online. Amazon India spokesperson said hundreds of thousands of Amazon customers from tier-1, -2, and -3 cities across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh have switched to Hindi shopping experience. He said the adoption of the Hindi shopping experience in the past five months has grown by 3X. With a very good harvesting season, an estimate by Care Ratings states that there could be over Rs 26,000 crore of income that would be spent across various commodities and services after adjusting for investment, inputs and savings. It said over 45 per cent of Rs 26,000 crore could be spent on clothing and footware (25 per cent) and on durable goods (over 20 per cent on automobiles, and electronics etc.) ahead of the festive season.