Electronic commerce, commonly written as e-commerce, is the trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. E- Commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction's life cycle, although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail. Data showed that India has an internet user base of about 354 million as of June 2015. Despite being third largest user base in world, the penetration of e-commerce is low compared to markets like the United States, United Kingdom or France but is growing much faster, adding around 6 million new entrants every month. The industry consensus is that growth is at an inflection point.
In India, cash on delivery is the most preferred payment method, accumulating 75% of the e-retail activities. Demand for international consumer products (including long-tail items) is growing much faster than in-country supply from authorised distributors and e-commerce offerings. Flipkart, Snapdeal, InMobi, Quikr, Amazon India, OlaCabs, and Paytm (wing of, One97) are the seven Indian e-commerce companies who have managed to achieve billion-dollar valuation in closing of Q1 2015. According to Assocham-Price water house Coopers study India's e-commerce industry is likely to clock a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35% and cross the$100-billion mark over the next five years, from $17 billion at present. Market Research also showed that e-commerce sector is estimated to see a 72% jump in the average annual spend on online purchases per individual in 2016, compare to the current level of 65%. In contrast, shopping malls are suffering from lesser footfalls leading to around 25% vacancy rate, along with a 30% drop in rentals in the last one year. It observed that the trend in Indian malls is in line with the declining number of footfalls in retail space in over 200 shopping malls across the US, the UK and other countries. In the US, malls are facing a 46% vacancy rate whereas it stands at 32% in the UK. "Online shopping has shown a handsome growth while brick-and-mortar malls are witnessing a slowdown. The growth in e-commerce looks impressive because of a low base and rising penetration of the Internet. The study also shows that besides, with improvement in infrastructure such as logistics, broadband and Internet-ready devices, there is likely to be a significant increase in the number of consumers making purchases online. The findings predict around 65 million consumers in India to buy online in 2015, as against around 40 million in 2014. Some 45% of malls in India are expected to be converted into non-retail space in the next 15 years, which would be replaced with movie theatres, restaurants, discount retailers and the like.