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Can e-com infuse new vigour into Indian OOH?

By M4G Bureau - June 03, 2021

Rapid expansion of India’s Internet and smartphone user base is fueling e-commerce & m-commerce businesses; OOH could see a surfeit of e-com & m-com brand presence as traffic returns to the streets.

The Indian E-commerce industry has been on an upward growth trajectory and is expected to surpass the US to become the second largest E-commerce market in the world by 2034, posits the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF). “India e-commerce sector will reach US$99 billion by 2024 from US$ 30 billion in 2019, expanding at a 27% CAGR, with grocery and fashion/apparel likely to be the key drivers of incremental growth,” states an IBEF snapshot on E-commerce in India.

The snapshot suggests that as most Indians have started shopping online rather than stepping outside their houses, “the Indian e-commerce sector witnessed an increase. India's e-commerce festive sale season from October 15 to November 15 in 2020 recorded Rs 58,000 crore (US$ 8.3 billion) worth of gross sales for brands and sellers, up 65% from Rs 35,000 crore (US$ 5 billion) last year.

Much of the growth in the industry has been triggered by increasing internet and smartphone penetration.

Internet penetration rate in India went up to nearly around 45% in 2021, from just about 4% in 2007. That is, nearly half of the population of 1.37 billion people have Internet access now. The country is second in the world in terms of active internet users.

Internet User Base in India

Source: Statista

The number of smartphone users in India was estimated to reach over 760 million in 2021, with the number of smartphone users worldwide forecasted to exceed to 3.8 billion users in 2021.

Smartphone User Base in India (in million)

Source: Statista

The e-commerce space is thus spawning unicorns and big brands that are here to stay. These brands in turn are likely to be big ad spenders, including in the OOH space. Indian OOH has seen e-commerce majors like Amazon and Flipkart launching major campaigns to announce their big sales events. Likewise, many e-commerce startups and those at more mature stages have taken the OOH route to expand their consumer base.

Today, some of those commerce that have attained lofty heights in business are setting even higher growth goals. As a case in point, PayTM, India’s leading digital payments provider, is reportedly aiming to raise about Rs 21,800 crore ($3 billion) in an IPO.

The moot question is, can Indian OOH provide the right platforms for all of these brands to tell their stories creatively and in an impactful manner.




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