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Online shopping sites hit new highs on mobile sales

 It's a net gain for the virtual world. Riding high on the increasing interest of the net savvy people, online shopping portals are witnessing a whopping 200% growth in the sale of electronic items every year. This is driven by the demand for usual suspects like mobile phones, iPods and MP3 players.
"Since electronic gadgets such as cell phones and iPods usually involve an individual choice compared to products catering to the needs of the entire family such as washing machines and refrigerators, online portals remain to be a preferred medium to buy electronics products. The trend is picking up not only in metros but also in smaller cities," said MouthShut.com CEO Faisal Farooqui.
According to the industry estimates, the online shopping business is likely to grow by 150% to touch Rs 5,500 crore in 2007-08 from Rs 2,300 crore in 2006-07. Currently, electronic items contribute close to 20% to the overall e-shopping business.
Sale of electronic products is enhancing the revenue of the online shopping portals. "Electronics items contribute as much as 20% to our overall online shopping business and it's growing every year," said a Indiatimes.com spokesperson.
Popular sub-categories in the electronic category that sell most within the age-group of 16-30 include mobile phones, DVD players, iPods, speakers and MP3 players. At present, mobile phones and iPods alone add 30% to the overall revenue of Futurebazaar.com. The portal is witnessing unprecedented growth of over 200% in the sale of electronic items.
"Though music and books were the preferred choices earlier, the trend has clearly changed now. Electronic items, which contributed just 15% to the overall online shopping business two years ago, now contribute close to 50% to the total revenue," says Indiaplaza.in chief operating officer K Vaitheeswaran.
Huge orders for electronic gadgets are being placed by people residing in smaller towns such as Guwahati, Asansol, Rajahmundry, Bhatinda and Ludhiana. While smaller towns contribute 40% to the overall online sale, bigger cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad contribute the rest.
"The reason why sales are increasing online is the availability of the entire product range at subsidised prices," said Futurebazaar.com senior marketing manager Rahul Sethi.
While cheques and demand drafts are the dominant method of payment in smaller towns, 90% of payment in bigger cities come from online payment channels, credit cards being one of them. As a result, many online retailers have increased credit card security on web.
For instance, Indiatimes.com uses latest encryption technology and other methods to protect credit card information. Customers place orders using SSL encryption (the internet standard for secure transactions). "The probability of credit card misuse is more at physical stores as on online portals the credit card number is entered directly on the bank's website," says a Indiatimes.com spokesperson.

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