The Rising Connected Consumer in Rural India

The Rising Connected Consumer in Rural India

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The Rising Connected Consumer in Rural India

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  • Digital’s Expanding Influence on Rural Commerce

    The influence of the Internet on the purchasing process is already becoming a significant factor in rural areas. Almost 15% of rural consumers use the Internet to research products, purchase a product, or register satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product after the purchase is made, compared with 30% of urban consumers. Moreover, among Internet users, the degree of digital influence is as high in rural areas as it is in cities. Today, the purchases of four out of five rural Internet users are digitally influenced, which suggests that as Internet penetration rises in rural areas, so will the influence of digital.

    The amount of actual online commerce in rural India is still small, but it is picking up. From 2015 to 2016, the penetration of online purchasing in these areas doubled from 4% to 8%. Convenience and discounts are the key reasons that rural consumers buy online—63% and 62%, respectively, cite these factors. Product availability is an important factor for 40%.

    The degree of digital influence and actual online purchasing differs across categories. In several product categories, including mobile devices, PCs, and laptops, the Internet’s influence in rural areas is approaching the same level as in cities. In other categories, such as consumer durables, autos, apparel, and entertainment, it is still far behind. (See Exhibit 2.)