Top 5 Online Marketplaces in India compared

If you’re looking to get into online retail, subscribing to an online marketplace is arguably the quickest way to do so. The market for online retail in India has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. In fact, this Nasscom report says that the Indian e-commerce industry will touch the $100 billion figure by 2020. It is no wonder that there are innumerable online marketplaces for a retailer to choose from. There are online megamalls that let you sell virtually anything under the sun, and there are niche marketplaces like this one that lets you sell only socks. Each marketplace has its own pros and cons, and in this post we are going to compare the top 5 largest marketplaces in India.

Every retailer has a basic set of queries before subscribing to a marketplace. In fact, we have written about the things you need to consider before subscribing to a marketplace right here. There’s subscription fees, packaging and logistics support, payout periods, popular product categories, size of the marketplace, competition, etc. Here, we’ve done a hands on comparison between Flipkart, Amazon, eBay, Snapdeal and ShopClues. These five online sales channels eat up a lion’s share of the Indian online retail market. So let’s see how they match up against each other.

Indian Online Marketplaces: A Head-to-Head Comparison

  • Basic Comparison


Although eBay is the oldest player in the Indian market among the ones that we are looking at, it is Flipkart and Amazon that are the most popular marketplaces in terms of the number of sellers. A common trend can be seen while analyzing the most popular product categories – apparel, footwear, mobile and consumer electronics seem to be the most sought after products in the Indian marketplace.

  • Pricing


Flipkart, Snapdeal and Shopclues do not ask for subscription, listing or payment gateway fees. While eBay looks expensive as compared to its competitors, it makes up for this by offering really low commission rates on sales.

  • Logistics


All the marketplaces that we are considering offer shipping assistance, although only Amazon and eBay allow self-shipping. While Flipkart does not offer packaging assistance, its shipping charges are slightly lower than the rest of the competition.

  • Miscellaneous


Flipkart seems to be running the game when it comes to social media presence an m-commerce. With m-commerce slated to be the future of online retail in India, these numbers become extremely important.

To know more about these online sales channels or in case of any other query, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce solutions experts, and we are always happy to help!

Which Part of India is Contributing The Most to E-Commerce Growth?

E-commerce has seen a lot of firsts this year. New trends have come about; myths have been busted; new markets have emerged; but all of these point towards a brighter future for the e-commerce industry in general.

With no intentions of bursting any bubble, we analysed some data, that points to facts which may be surprising for some and yet useful when included in the business strategy planning.

We compared data from over 700,000 orders made across multiple marketplaces and various categories in 2014 and found some notable trends.

South India Buys More than the North

As would be expected, the 5 metros in the country are also the top 5 spenders in the country. And from this, you can see that the top amongst these is South India (Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai) as compared to the North.

Sno City State % of total orders
1 Bangalore Karnataka 14.12%
2 Delhi Delhi 11.65%
3 Mumbai Maharashtra 6.98%
4 Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh 5.73%
5 Chennai Tamil Nadu 4.12%

 Contribution to overall e-commerce sales are as below:

  • South India – 41%
  • North India – 32%
  • West India – 21%
  • East, North east – 6%


According to eBay’s statistics, West India has the most active sellers at 46%, followed by North India at 28%.

Kolkata, the remaining metropolitan, was not in the top 10 and accounted to only about 1.32% of the total orders.

Tier 2 Cities with Satellites Vs Without Satellites, and Tier 3

In the top 15 cities, there were as many Tier 3 cities as Tier 2 (classified according to the Sixth Central Pay Commission classification of cities.)

Sno City State % of total orders
6 Pune Maharashtra 4.07%
7 Kanchipuram Tamilnadu 3.99%
8 Gurgaon Haryana 3.18%
9 Rangareddy district Andhra Pradesh 2.51%
10 Thane Maharashtra 2.14%
11 Gautam Buddh Nagar District Uttar Pradesh 2.09%
12 Ahmedabad Gujarat 1.63%
13 Ghaziabad Uttar Pradesh 1.52%
14 Kolkata West Bengal 1.32%
15 Jaipur Rajasthan 1.28%

Let’s drop the Government’s classification and look at these cities from a different perspective, as we can’t call most of these as tier 3:

  • Thane – just an extension of Mumbai
  • Noida, Gautam Buddh Nagar – part of Delhi NCR
  • Kanchipuram – part of greater Chennai region
  • Rangareddy district – part of greater Hyderabad

It is clear that tier 2 cities with satellites contribute more than those without satellites.

Tier 2 and 3 Cities collectively brought in more than 56% of the total orders

With more Internet connectivity and increase in DTH and pay TV penetration in India, exposure to new age gadgets and fashion is growing. Youngsters from less developed cities and districts with limited or no access to branded products are turning to online stores. COD has made it very convenient for people to pay for products even if they do not own a debit or credit card. All these factors could have played a role in this growth.


5 States to Cater to

While it’s a good idea to reach out to as large a consumer base as possible, if you had to focus your attention based on who spends more, these are the states to cater to:

  • Karnataka
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Delhi
  • Andhra Pradesh

These make up for almost 65% of the e-commerce pie. The top 5 metros are part of these states and we have already seen the significant contribution they make to overall sales.

5 States You can Ignore

Despite the potential of these markets, certain bigger states like the below generate less than 1% online sales each, either due to connectivity issues, laws and restrictions, or even cheating customers:

  • Kerala
  • Bihar
  • Orissa
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Assam

Although India Post is said to be sprucing up its operations to match up to the requirements of e-commerce, solutions to issues related to e-commerce regulations and cheating customers don’t seem to be round the corner yet.

This article of ours was published in iamwire.