India Set to Overtake U.S. as the World’s Largest eCommerce Market

Online and mobile shopping in India is poised for explosive growth during the next 20 years, according to the new Global Payments Report from Worldpay

India, December 2016—The Indian eCommerce market is set to overtake the U.S. and become the second largest in the world in less than two decades, going head-to-head with China for the position of biggest eCommerce market; this according to new research from Worldpay, the leader in global payments.

For its Global Payments Report 2016, Worldpay analysed 30 markets around the world, including India, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia in Asia-Pacific. The Global Payments Report is an annual Worldpay report compiled using a combination of Worldpay’s data and insights, external findings from Euromonitor, Datamonitor and, and secondary data from other independent sources. This year,Worldpay’s research has discovered increasing complexity in the global payments market and found that eCommerce is expected to grow exponentially. This growth will occur around the world, but emerging markets are leading the charge — particularly India, where eCommerce is predicted to mature by28% per year from 2016 to2020. According to Worldpay projections, India will be the world’s second largest eCommerce market by 2034, thanks to massive surges in internet penetration, a swelling millennial population, and the rising uptake of mobile phones.

Ron Kalifa, Vice Chairman atWorldpay, said:“Our research has uncovered a number of trends that point to India’s potential for astounding eCommerce growth in the next two decades. The market is predicted to reach US$63.7 billion by 2020 and overtake the U.S. by 2034. This enormous development will in turn open up enormous opportunities for companies who sell online.However, it is essential that merchants stake their claim today in order to win over India’s commerce-hungry population and capitalise on future eCommerce growth.Leading companies such as Amazon and Alibaba are already making their move, indicatinga clear incentive for merchants to gain their foothold within India’sbudding eCommerce market as soon as possible.”

Much of India’s eCommerce growth will be the result of rising internet penetration. Roughly 350 million Indian citizens are already online, according to Worldpay’s research, and that number is expected to nearly double to 600 million by 2020. Google’s ‘Next Billion Users’ team estimate that three Indians are coming online every second.As India continues to invest in new technical infrastructure — such as the National Optical Network, originally scheduled for completion in 2013 and now undergoing trial roll-outs — millions of Indian consumers will get wider access to fast internet.

Another major factor driving eCommerce growth in India is the country’s huge uptake of mobile phones. India is the world’s biggest consumer of mobile phones, with the price of data plans running two times cheaper than in China and three times cheaper than in the United States.As the country’s middle class switches over to 3G and 4G networks, both offered at affordable prices, India is expected to see more mobile shopping, especially amongst millennials. Young people shopping via smartphones are already responsible for sharp increases in India’s online spend; and with70% of the population below the age of 35, millennials areexpected to continue driving rapid digitisation even further

To position their business for future success, merchants must recognisenot only India’s enormous potential for eCommerce growth, but also its unique payment preferences. Transfers and cash currently dominate the online payment landscape, with 27% of the market preferring bank transfers, followed by cash on deliveryat 22%. However, as the country’s payment infrastructure develops, new methods are expected to rise in popularity. E-wallets, the most popular payment method worldwide, are slated for rapid growth in India. Although just 8% of India’s online shoppers use an e-wallet today, the country’s mobile wallet market is projected to reach US$5.1 billion in 2020, according to Worldpay.

Kalifa added: “Our research shows that at the moment, a stunning 75% of India’s population doesn’t have a way to pay online.However, as more Indians get access to the internet and bank accounts, they will in turn develop confidence in buying online — at which point we can expect to see a decline in cash on delivery, accompanied by a rise in new, alternative payment methods such as e-wallets. In this rapidly changing payment market, merchants must adopt the right payment technology and work with experienced payment partnersin order to keep up with the demands of India’s fast-expanding population of online and mobile shoppers.”

For more information from the Global Payments Report, and to download a copy, visit:



[1]Global Payments Report 2016, Worldpay, November 2016