Different types of online shopping in India

Different types of online shopping in India

Online shopping is attracting more people every day. India has the third-largest online shopper base globally, with 140 millione-retail shoppers in 2020, only behind China and the US. With the acceleration in number of online shoppers, the formats of shopping online have increased as well. People are now looking for various options to save time and money while purchasing online. While shopping at the comfort of your house and lightning fast delivery times are the major reasons why people shop online ,the engagement and satisfaction to shop that offline shopping provides is still missing in the current online channels. In this article, we cover the different formats of online shopping in India and how new options are evolving.

p.s.: We will uncover, how you can still shop offline from the conform of you home.

What are the Types of Online shopping?

  1. Search based online shopping
  2. Browsing based online Shopping
  3. Interactive online Shopping

1. Search Based Online Shopping

Majority of indian ecommerce marketplaces are search driven. You open the app, searches for the product they are looking for, compare prices and reviews from different sellers and make a decision. This way to shop is best suited for items needing little to no browsing to make a decision. Products such as household items, electronic accessories, common stationery etc. are mostly bought using this format of online shopping.


  1. Search based shopping saves time. The search to checkout time is the least as compared to other shopping formats.
  2. Availability of reviews and prices offered from different sellers on the same items makes it easy to decide what to buy.
  3. A detailed description of item is available along with color and size variations.


  1. Sometimes, customers don’t know what exactly to search. This makes discovery of new items difficult as merely 17% people browse till second page on marketplaces like amazon.
  2. There is no engagement involved like offline shopping. If you have a question, they will have to go through the QnA section andcustomer reviews.
  3. It is difficult to grow and get sales for small businesses because of high competitive prices from big brands and the platform’s in house brand.

2. Browsing Based Online Shopping

Remember when you were looking for sneakers and scrolled through pages and pages of multiple apps, still ending up not buying anything because the offer notification that made you open the app is now expired? Browsing based shopping is amazing to explore, discover new products and be in sync with what is trending around you. But the decision paralysis hits when you have 50 suites in your shortlist and you can’t make up your mind about which ones to buy. Browsing based shopping is most known for lifestyle products such as apparels, shoes and beauty products etc.


  1. Product categories where looks are more important than utility are best suited for browsing based shopping.
  2. The options to choose from is in large number and there is something for everyone on these kind of ecommerce shopping websites.


  1. How the products looks on a model isn’t the same as how it looks on you when the item is delivered.
  2. Because of unavailability of reviews and enormous number of options available, it is hard to make a decision sometimes.
  3. It is difficult for small sellers because of priority being given to bigger brands and returns rates on items being very high.

3. Interactive Online Shopping

More than 80% of India still shops offline. Ever wondered why? Is it because of internet availability? Probably not because internet panetration stands at more than 60% in India. There are multiple reasons, but the hesitancy of being frauded and not getting the same item as showed on the image is one reason. Another reason is, people like the feeling of experience of shopping offline - asking questions and making sure they are buying the right product before paying comes natural as this is way we have been shopping for the last 6 decades.

Interactive shopping is just like that. Sellers showcase their products to a community of interested buyers where buyers can ask questions around the product, ask for variations in colors and sizes, talk to the community and see the product in action before they make a purchase. Isn’t this exciting? No more being unsatisfied with the delivered product not matching the expectations. No more endless browsing pages on apps to look for the right product. No more getting cheated from fraud channels on social media. You see the product LIVE and alive on your mobile screen and you get the exact same product delivered.

Interactive online shopping is best for items where item reviews are generally not available and you can take suggestions from the seller in terms of what you should buy. For eg. A mother would like to understand how a toy would effect her child’s learning abilities and help her grow but be entertaining at the same time. Who else to get the right products than a seller who has been doing this for the last 10 years and knows the right set of toys?


  1. Interactive shopping is the best if you like the experience of offline shopping and love to interact with like minded shoppers.
  2. The discovery to checkout time is very good.
  3. You would be supporting a small shop instead of buying from the biggest ecommerce marketplaces.


  1. You may have to wait to view a certain category of products or may have to wait a bit for your favorite sellers to host the live show but come on, all good things take time, right! ;) sometimes waiting is worth it
  2. What else? Well, as of now, that’s about it!

So, What is The Solution?

At Grabbit Live, we are building India’s first community live shopping marketplace for the shopper in you. Our goal is to get the best and most innovative shops and social sellers of India host live shows, tell their story and help them reach a community of like minded shoppers. We are currently a community of 30 awesome sellers hosting weekly live shows around toys, collectibles and fandom merchandise. We are adding more passionate sellers every week. Signup for early access to our app for loads of fun, interaction and ofcourse, Shopping :)