According to a February 2017 report by Forrester Research, Asia Pacific continues to be the largest region for online retail sales. Their data shows that with $681 billion in online retail sales in 2016, globally, China was the largest market for e-commerce, followed by the US; but it is India that is the fastest-growing e-commerce market.
The Indian market is expected to reach $64 billion by 2021, growing at a five-year CAGR of 31.2 percent.
But Satish Meena, Forecast Analyst at Forrester Research, had warned that India will take more than 10 years to reach the level of the US and China markets in online retail. “About 70 percent of our population still lives in tier-3 cities and beyond. Our customer is different: they will evolve at their own pace, in the next 10 years, with more disposable income,” he said, adding that China has a mature market.
This was apparent during Alibaba's Single's Day sale in November 2016, when sellers had recorded $17.8 billion worth of gross merchandise volume (GMV) in a period of 24 hours. In 2015, the 24-hour e-commerce sales event racked up $14.3 billion GMV in total.
"Back in 2013, $5.14 billion was our one-day GMV. Now we can achieve it in one hour," Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang had said on the company blog.
In comparison, Amazon recently hosted a 30-hour Prime Day sale in July 2017 and according to analysts at Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co, generated an estimated $1 billion in revenue during the period. Bloomberg noted that according to its data, $1 billion was triple the average daily e-commerce revenue that Amazon saw in 2016.
With the rapid adoption of smartphones and better internet connectivity, there seems to be a lot more room for growth in the Indian e-commerce space.