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The festival season is upon us, and with it comes the shopping frenzy usually associated with prosperity-related festivals like Dusshera and Diwali. In fact, in India, the festival season lasts for several months, right from Durga Puja in October through Dusshera, Diwali, Eid and Christmas, finally culminating in New Years. Naturally, with urban India finding itself flush with prosperity and money to spend, this three-month window sees a flurry of shopping activity, much to the delight of vendors, retailers and merchants. However, along with the joys of festivities comes the onerous activity of actually braving the over-crowded marketplaces and shopping malls. This puts a lot of people off shopping, especially added to the recent danger of terrorist attacks at crowded places.
It is against that background that e-commerce in India has seen a spectacular rise. India’s e-commerce market was estimated to be worth around R50,000 crore in 2011, according to data from the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IMAI), with around 10 million online shoppers. IMAI data also shows that the e-commerce market in India is growing at a red-hot 40-45% CAGR compared to a global growth of 8-10%. The advantages of e-commerce in India are obvious: the cash-on-delivery feature pioneered by Flipkart and now adopted by many others, the convenience (and safety) of home delivery, to name a few. With this rapid growth and
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