eBay has released its census guide for 2009 and here are some interesting data points:
- eCommerce in India : India had over 2,471 eCommerce Hubs in eBay Census 2009. With Lakshadweep making its debut in eBay Census 2009, all 28 States and 7 Union Territories witnessed eCommerce Transactions. The IT Hubs of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat were the most wired states in India with the most cities where eCommerce originates.
- Rural Indians are active online shoppers: Online shopping is active in 747 rural towns in India. Rural India featured in eBay Census for the first time with towns like Bundi (Rajasthan), Thevaram (Tamil Nadu) and Tezpur (Assam) witnessing active buying and selling trends. In fact, 181 rural towns are active entrepreneurship hubs – selling to buyers in India & worldwide.
- Global Trade is well established: India has 226 Export Hubs where Indian entrepreneurs sell a variety of products to millions of eBayers in 172 countries around the globe. Indian exports include horse saddles, Freemason collectibles, Bollywood memorabilia, Steel Dabbas and cricket bats.
- Category mix – Technology dominates India, Lifestyle dominates Exports: Technology is India’s favourite traded vertical category contributing to 44% of transactions in eBay Census. Lifestyle category at 35% came second in popularity for online Indians. For Global Trade, Lifestyle is the clear winner at 64% of all transactions followed by Media & Collectibles at 15% each.
- Region-South buys, West sells: South India has the most active buyers at 41% of all transactions, followed by West India at 27%. West India has the most active sellers at 46%, followed by North India at 28%.
- Bharat, India & Rural India displayed different online shopping behaviour: Distinct product preferences emerged amongst eBayers in Bharat, India & Rural India. Metro India bought the most blackberry and dual sim handsets, Bharat bought the most touch screen cell phones while Rural India bought the most value handsets.
- Profit Buying: Entrepreneurship is the new mantra for India as 4 out of the 6 metros –Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai & Kolkata- are all profit buying cities which sold more items on eBay than they bought.
- Bridging Distribution gaps: Online marketplaces like eBay help create trade between Rural Towns, Tier 2 and 3 cities and metros as well as Global countries. Artisans of wooden ethnic furniture in Jodhpur used eBay as a distribution channel to sell to buyers in metros and export internationally to USA and Singapore. Craftsmen in Ludhiana exported golf clubs to international eBayers in USA, Germany and France. [details | Link]
While data does throws great insights (especially on Internet penetration and adoption of eCommerce acrosss different states), I am not sure whether it makes sense to call it ‘2009 guide’, since the research findings are based on analysis of all online buying and selling transactions between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.