Consumers are continuing to shop online despite footfall as well as sales at offline markets and large retail establishments returning to pre-Covid levels, according to latest financial statistics from numerous major companies.
Due to limits on the development of brick-and-mortar businesses and malls, and individuals preferring to purchase from their homes, e-commerce sales for consumer products have been galloping since the outbreak in 2020. However, due to a greater base, fewer constraints, and a drop in Covid infection rates in phases, the rate of expansion slowed slightly in 2021-22.
Despite modern trade normalizing during the year, consumer products businesses including Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consumer Products, and Dabur reported e-commerce contribution increased by a couple of percentage points in FY22.
Reliance Retail, India's largest retailer, claimed a 17 percent contribution from online sales to customers and smaller shops for orders placed digitally, up from 10 percent a year ago, while Tata-owned Trent Ltd recorded a 7 percent increase from 5 percent in FY21.
Nonetheless, the contribution of online platforms increased. In its earnings release, Hindustan Unilever noted that digital sales across platforms such as e-commerce channels and internal ordering app Shikhar accounted for more than 20 percent of its overall sales in the March quarter.
Dabur's online sales climbed by 1.5 percent to 6.5 percent over the previous fiscal year, while Tata Consumer Products' contribution from e-commerce channels increased from 2.5 percent in FY20 to 5.2 percent in FY21, and then to 7.3 percent last fiscal.
Daily essentials, apparel, shoes, televisions, refrigerators, and mobile phones have all seen an increase in e-commerce participation.