Internet users in India may grow to 730 million by 2020

By: | Published: August 18, 2016 6:17 AM

Internet users in the country are forecast to grow to 730 million by 2020 with 75% of growth in new users coming in from rural areas, a study said on Wednesday...

Internet users in the country are forecast to grow to 730 million by 2020 with 75% of growth in new users coming in from rural areas, a study said on Wednesday, thanks to the falling prices of smartphones and declining prices for internet subscriptions. Of the 730 million users, about 702 million will use internet on smartphones, a joint study by YourStory.com, Nasscom and Akamai has predicted.

“India’s internet consumption has already exceeded the US to become No. 2 globally,” R Chandrashekhar, president of Nasscom, said. “By 2020, the internet is expected to penetrate deeper into the hinterland of the country, helping to create more opportunities for everyone”.

The country is currently the second-biggest market in terms of internet users after China, with over 400 million users and 71% of them coming in from bigger cities and towns. The 2020 forecasts would mean that India will remain the fastest growing internet market, growing 3X the global average growth of about 6% annually when 4.17 billion users will be using internet worldwide.

The growing internet user base especially on smartphones will also impact the e-commerce sector, says The Future of Internet in India report. About 70% of e-commerce transactions will happen via mobile phones, with fashion and lifestyle emerging as the largest category with a 35% contribution to the total e-commerce GMV overtaking consumer electronics. About half the travel transactions by 2020 will also go online, down from 61% in FY16, the report says.

Among other sectors influenced by the growth i internet n users will be financial technologies, which is predicted to grow 1.7X between 2015 and 2020 from about $1.2 billion now. However, cash-on-delivery will still remain the preferred mode of payment for new users rather than credit or debit card payments, the report said.

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