Government wants to know all about your online shopping spree
Every day more Indian consumers are moving from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce sites for their needs due to the ease of use, availability of options, larger inventory etc. Noticing the shift, the government will now keep an account of the e-commerce spending habits of its citizens via consumer expenditure survey that will be carried out by National Sample Survey Organization. Here's all about it.
What led to this move?
Online shopping is now quite popular and the e-commerce sector has managed to reach a noticeable high of $14.5 billion in 2016, as per Red-Seer Consulting study. Although it is considerably less than the total $750 billion that India spends on retail, it is important enough to keep an account of it in the national economic database for future references and mapping choice patterns.
Why is this important now?
Mapping the trajectory of this spending has become more important with the advent of "Digital India" and with the penetration of technology, the online spending numbers will continue to rise in the coming years. Indian e-commerce majors are also currently working on elaborate plans and innovative schemes to tap into the rural areas that are slowly warming up to the idea of shopping online.
Extent and scope of the survey
The national expenditure survey covers around 1.2 lakh households across 5,000 urban blocks and 7,000 villages and provides the government with insights on the spending patterns of Indian citizens in both commodity and service categories. National Sample Survey Organization, which falls under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, will kick-start the survey in July and this will be completed, tentatively, by June 2018.
Keeping up with the times
The government data managers will also try to gauge if online prices are capable of influencing inflation and if price indices will get affected by future online retail pricing policies. Market research firm Forrester says, in 2021 one-fifth of the total retail sale in Asia Pacific will be online and since India's online market is growing the fastest globally, it'd be a prudent move.