Indian Surf and Search Habits

A recent interview with Rajan Anandan, managing director and vice president, sales and operations, Google India threw up some interesting tit bits on the surf and search habits of Indians. 

  1. 100 million Indians have access to the Internet
  2. Average online time spent is 16 hours per week
  3. 30 million access Internet from home, 40 million from office and remaining 30 million from cybercafes
  4. 72% of the people research for things online but buy offline in physical stores
  5. Only 34% of airline ticketing happens online
  6. 54% of travel related searches are for hotels
  7. India is the 5th largest online video market

The most hard hitting and something that I thought was the norm was the 4th point that says that Indians still prefer to buy offline in physical store. I am one of them and I would like to reiterate to my readers that this is not born out of a fear in online purchase. I have purchased online but my experiences have been far from satisfactory at some of the leading online stores. A vacuum cleaner that I purchased online had to be exchanged twice, each time the product being couriered having a crack. The hassle of getting it replaced is enough to let you give up online shopping.

The other factor is the online spending on high end items like laptops, cameras. Indians still are hesitant to spend hard earned money online without a physical experience of the product. With affluence growing, this is bound to change. Again, I speak from experience. While in the US, I did not hesitate to order a Acer laptop online. However, in India, I preferred a brick and mortar Acer to buy my second Acer laptop. 
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