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Understanding eCommerce in India
Rapid urbanization is one of the primary drivers for expanding eCommerce websites in India, with the market expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.5% throughout 2027.
The increasing use of the internet and devices such as smartphones to browse these eCommerce websites are also rapidly driving industry growth. This entails purchasing a mobile phone from an eCommerce website to use an eCommerce website ( the infinite eCommerce loop).
A substantial percentage of local India that has the potential to start selling online and contribute significantly to the growing online economy is falling behind as it lacks eCommerce education and financial assistance.
For this reason, an eCommerce marketplace is set to launch soon in India, developed expressly for Indians and operating only in India, Becho.io.
Anyone in India, small, medium, independent, etc., may use this platform to start selling online in India as its plans start from INR 101/- which is affordable and convenient at the same time (rare).
Becho.io is an Indian alternative to the global eCommerce platform Shopify.
Offering a platform for small enterprises to start selling online indicates the potential for improving the eCommerce sector and its burgeoning online economy. However, starting an eCommerce business in India has its perks, such as:
It enables entrepreneurs to operate without a physical presence, conserving money on infrastructure, connectivity, etc. We have a complete guide on how to start an eCommerce business in India; read here (1).
According to the government, 100% FDI is permitted to companies participating in B2B eCommerce via the automatic route, an eCommerce marketplace model. Still, no FDI is permitted for companies engaged in inventory-based eCommerce.
A manufacturer may sell products made in India via eCommerce if the owner of the Indian brand and producer has at least 70% in-house products and, at most, 30% Indian manufacturers.
According to FDI, online stores with foreign capital cannot offer products sold by merchants with an equity stake. Amazon and Flipkart are prohibited from stocking more than a quarter of their inventory from a single vendor.
The government’s “Digital India” project aims to create an online economy valued in trillions by 2025 (2).
It has also led to the construction of a new segment for reviewing and evaluating the expansion of ecommerce websites in the government, highlighting the government’s acknowledgment of this sector and the growing impact on the population.
The pandemic and its mobility restrictions were a major turning point for eCommerce in India, propelling demand to unimaginable heights.
It attracted new customers and merchants to the digital platform, established long-term players, and initiated the online shopping movement in India. We have everything covered about online shopping in India from history and present to the future; read here (3).
Isolation activities during the pandemic exposed people to the convenience of shopping online, pushing sauced online shoppers to spend more and making the Indian ecommerce websites one of the pandemic's primary beneficiaries.
Due to a lack of confidence and security difficulties with online payments, cash on delivery has traditionally been the favored payment option in India. However, due to increasing smartphone use, digital payments are predicted to account for 80% of all payments in India by 2025.
According to ASSOCHAM, the Indian market has embraced digital eWallets much faster than the developed US, UK, or China. We have everything you need to know about payment gateways in eCommerce India; read here (3).
Several companies from the end-user industries are currently investing heavily in 5G technology. Its networking ability holds the ability to bring new use cases, enhancing numerous sectors' efficiency and connectivity.
With the growth of smartphone technology, consumers are progressively expecting digital interaction and a tailored experience in general. The development of 5G has simply added a rising demand for fast-loading eCommerce websites in India.
Rising eCommerce competition in the market has increased customer adoption of direct online sales channels and created a demand for D2C brands that are slowly emerging.
Growing internet penetration aids the growth and adoption of eCommerce. Brands such as Amazon India, Flipkart, and others are broadening their reach by offering a customer-centric service that improves customers' online shopping experiences.
Flipkart is touted as India's eCommerce powerhouse. The company reported that it had broadened its grocery operations to service customers in Tier II and Tier III cities capturing broader India and tough competition to its rival Amazon India.
Flipkart Groceries is now accessible in about 23 states and 50+ cities in India, comprising the seven metropolises and their neighboring cities. Customers in these cities can order groceries online from over 6000 items and get on-time delivery with a difference of 1-2 days.
From 2007 to the present, Flipkart has been the primary engine of India's eCommerce sector and rising online purchasing. Flipkart established a trend of eCommerce itself and boosted the online economy and scope for numerous regions to shop online in India.
Now that we've had our breakfast and covered most of the necessary starters, let's go on to the main course, dig in, and see what's served on the list of India's 10 best eCommerce websites in India.
10 best eCommerce websites in India 2023
Business Model: B2C, C2C, B2B2C
Monthly Visitors: 286.4 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 1st
Amazon started in the US as an online bookstore, making it a simple and affordable online store for users to buy books on various subjects. Eventually, it escalated its operations in several countries to increase its market.
Amazon entered India and began operations in 2013, and currently, Amazon India is the best eCommerce website in India. It evolved from selling only books to gadgets, software, food, household goods, jewelry, etc.
Amazon was a full-fledged firm that thoroughly researched the eCommerce sector before expanding to India. Eventually, the company built an audience and created huge competition in India's unique online shopping sector.
Amazon has grown to 322.54 million monthly visitors in India since its inception, thus becoming the country's most visited online eCommerce website. According to Statista, it has a total viewership of 89% in India today.
Most of its visitors are drawn to the electronics sector but with a similar weightage on other Amazon-available categories, such as men's and women's clothes, grocery, Amazon Prime, sports, etc.
Amazon Seller Self Registration is another feature supporting the expansion of this powerhouse as it enables suppliers to self-registering in the marketplace no matter where they are and catalog their products on its marketplace to start selling online without any requirement for third-party assistance or an eCommerce website.
Business Model: B2C, C2C, B2B2C
Monthly Visitors: 161.1 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 2nd
Flipkart is an eCommerce website in India launched in 2007 and specializes in online shopping in India, including smartphone eCommerce, fashion eCommerce, and other sectors.
After a significant $16 billion acquisition in 2018, Flipkart is now acquired by Walmart Inc., Amazon's biggest competitor in India, with a 39.5% market share in eCommerce India. It is well-known for its big billion days, which provide steep discounts on a broad spectrum of products.
It has an extensive online presence, and Flipkart is the best eCommerce platform in India for many Indian shoppers, local retailers, and third-party sellers. Because it is India's largest domestic enterprise, it has obtained the title of King of Indian eCommerce.
Flipkart strives to strengthen its mobile commerce in competition with Amazon. Numerous industry analysts believe that while mobile commerce is the next way of the future, it is too early to ignore the website business as it has driven most of the audience for eCommerce stores in India.
Flipkart is valued at about $37.6 Billion at the time of writing. It currently leads the Indian eCommerce race but is also facing pressure to preserve its position since Amazon, a worldwide rival, is not that ahead.
Flipkart is more popular with customers for products in the electronic industry and the discounts it offers, following the same patterns as the online retailer Amazon India. Still, it also has a varied assortment of products, including cameras and refrigerators, Fashion, literature, and so on.
Flipkart is also planning an IPO in the United States in 2023, with an anticipated capitalization of up to $70 billion. Since 2007, Flipkart has been a main driver of India's eCommerce business, pioneering most of the industry's discounting mechanisms and online shopping trends.
Business Model: B2B, B2C
Monthly Visitors: 60.5 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 3rd
IndiaMART is a well-known B2B and B2C platform for Indian enterprises, connecting customers and manufacturers directly where suppliers, dealers, manufacturers, and exporters in India can list their items on the IndiaMART eCommerce website, and customers can reach out to them by email or phone.
It is a direct rival to Alibaba since it allows consumers to connect with and order products from vendors, producers, and exporters without third-party meddling. It has been running its Tolexo eCommerce retail platform since 2014.
IndiaMART offers diverse products ranging from construction materials to manufacturing machinery, clothing, electronics, machines, chemicals, dyes, and lubricants.
IndiaMART was started at the beginning phases of India's eCommerce when there were barely 15,000 internet users. We have all you need to know about the history of eCommerce and how it developed in India; read here (3).
IndiaMart is India's largest online B2B platform, accounting for 60% of India's online B2B classifieds industry. The platform enables vendors to market and expose their products to one another and also to the customers.
When everyone else was compelled to focus on commodities and B2C commerce, IndiaMART concentrated on the B2B sector by developing a platform to buy raw resources, etc., unique products in the '00s.
Business Model: B2B, B2C
Monthly Visitors: 62.0 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 4th
Did You Know? Myntra began as a marketplace for purchasing personalized gift products and not actually clothing!
Later, Myntra eventually added 350 global and Indian labels to its portals, and the number has risen yearly. After that year, Flipkart acquired Myntra in 2014, and it is now a popular online fashion and lifestyle eCommerce company with products for men, women, and children.
Name one individual unaware of our top three best eCommerce websites in India (if there is one, tell them to read this article, and they will also be aware of who these three are ;) not marketing).
Myntra is already a household name in India and one of the leading eCommerce websites for fashion and leisure products. You can purchase things on Myntra similar to how we do it on Amazon and Flipkart; it offers some fantastic collections for clothing (recommended).
Besides Fashion, Myntra sells home and leisure products such as kitchen supplies, lighting, and home decor. It allows numerous payment ways and offers regular discounts that contribute to the general success of this brand.
Myntra employs conscientious delivery agents and monitors its supply chain. The website features high-profile celebrity collaborations such as HRX by Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone's All About You, and Salman Khan's Being Human.
Myntra also includes a comprehensive guide to your everyday Fashion and the current style trends; MyntraLookGood is another daily dosage of style ideas, beauty tricks, celebrity trends, and non-stop entertainment, conquering the majority of Fashion and associated areas and fully conquering the market.
Myntra claims that Bollywood drives and impacts Fashion in India, and frequent collaborations with celebrities assist them in bringing large customers closer to Myntra.
Myntra is also noted for its dedication to innovations such as Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Commerce and is already forefront of the eCommerce industry.
Myntra also strives to expand its private clothing labels in the Middle East, such as Moda Rapido and HRX. In the age of Flipkart and Amazon, Myntra performed effectively, focusing on a particular industry that drove most of its success.
Business Model: B2C, B2B
Monthly Visitors: 29.4 Million
IndiaTech Ranking: 5th
Ajio is another platform that came to grow and flourish in the period with established competitors. Still, as this eCommerce website in India is Reliance-backed, it wasn't new to the market trends and eCommerce occurrences.
Ajio is a dedicated fashion website that competes with Myntra. It is well recognized for outperforming Myntra during the festival season in 2021.
Since then, both companies have been working on various strategies, and Ajio has brought on other overseas brands to help raise the bar in eCommerce India.
Ajio is indeed the one-stop store for Fashion. It also offers home and lifestyle products made in India, Ajio-branded, and worldwide and it is a part of Reliance Retail's digital/eCommerce initiative.
It has gained customer loyalty over time by offering self-branded products that reflect the current trend in India.
Ajio specializes in numerous fashion brands and has a particular segment for India-specific products, brands, and international with AJIO OWN and AJIO LUXE.
Ajio is now a synonym like Myntra in the garment market, and it is now dominating with its self-branded shoes, clothes, and so on.
Business Model: B2C, C2C
Monthly Visitors: 28.8 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 6th
Surprised to discover all these well-established eCommerce companies starting at a period when there was no competition, but this one startup came so later in the field but still was able to stand out; let's explore Meesho.
Meesho needs no introduction because most of you are already familiar with the platform. Still, for those who aren't, it is an online reseller platform in India that has created a market for itself and gained popularity among consumers and sellers alike by making an online reselling and shopping simple and affordable.
Meesho delivers secured and quick transactions with low-cost returns and delivery, with more than 2.6 million resellers around India trusting Meesho. This Bangalore-based firm aims to create an atmosphere where anyone may start a business without financial commitment.
Together with its 2 million+ resellers, the company boasts over 20,000 Meesho suppliers from over 500 locations. It operates on a roughly 10-15% commission, and sellers can earn money by adding a profit margin to every transaction.
Meesho has grown to become India's largest reseller platform. Manufacturers can sell their products to merchants via social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and the products can range from clothing to cutlery to cosmetics.
Independent resellers can sell any products on Meesho utilizing the social media channels specified. It's as simple as uploading a photo of an item and writing down the product's specifications and simple market and selling it on Meesho.
After the purchase is completed and the consumer and reseller have approved the purchase, the product is delivered to the buyer's home. The buyer can pay for delivery online, by card, or in cash, making it adaptable for every Indian household.
Business Model: B2C, B2B, B2B2C
Monthly Visitors: 16.4 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 7th
Croma is a well-known brand in urban and Tier I, India. This consumer and electronics retail chain outlet is sponsored by Infinity Retail Ltd, which is a 100% subsidiary of Tata Sons. It has over 150 storefronts in more than 40 locations and is a modest shop in most high-traffic malls.
Croma covers every location in India with its brick-and-mortar stores and a full-fledged eCommerce website for online shopping in India, covering the majority of postcodes. It has a diverse product line, including household appliances, gaming software, phones, etc.
Under its brand name, Croma also launched Android tablets and various devices, including vacuum cleaners, smart watches, fridges, and hard disks. The company has a revenue of 3000 crores and sells over 6000+ products and also intends to broaden its footprint in the future.
Croma has seen extraordinary growth in the seven years since its inception in 2006. It was awarded as the "most admired retailer" in 2012-13 by India Retail Association and is also host to other awards.
The company also developed an e-commerce store with 24-hour access to its products to boost its credibility and gratify its customers. The portal has taken advantage of the broad diffusion of its outlets in numerous places.
Croma has grown decent in recent years with its label but has managed to stay on top for keeping quality for the price. Despite factors such as inflation, etc., the availability of other brands in its store has also demonstrated a 30% growth rate.
The changing customer profile, such as the younger generation becoming more knowledgeable, spending more on gadgets, and women's propensity and purchasing power, have boosted the number of products under its brand name in electronics, personal grooming, and domestic appliances.
It has been a pioneer and a leader in supplying new devices. It has even introduced inspiration and the latest gadgets to the country by collaborating with Apple and Amazon, resulting in high customer traffic and high-end revenues.
It has also established a 24-hour customer service center with Tata Business Support Services. The merchandise and outlets have grown significantly over time, and it is now regarded as one of India's most reliable shopping destinations.
Business Model: B2C
Monthly Visitors: 14.3 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 8th
Nykaa is another native Indian brand that defied the odds, debuting as a pure eCommerce website in India and then expanding to build a brick-and-mortar store in the Indira Gandhi International Airport in 2015 has 100+ offline stores in India.
Nykaa started as a web store selling skincare products in cosmetics, face, hair, appliances, hygiene products, and LUXE in 2012. The brand has grown its portfolio by bringing on new brands and launching its beauty and cosmetics line.
It is a well-known online eCommerce portal for cosmetics and beauty products in India, including over three lakh products from 2000 international and Indian businesses. In recent years, it has also become India's first eCommerce company for men's grooming.
The company also released 20Dresses.com, a premium styling platform for women, in 2019. It is now a one-stop store for beauty and cosmetics, and it achieved a strong public market debut, listing at a premium of more than 79% above the issue price.
Business Model: B2C, C2C
Monthly Visitors: 35.47 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 9th
Snapdeal was founded in 2010 and has gradually risen to the top eCommerce website in India owing to its good bargains on everyday essentials such as electronics, kitchenware, apparel, etc.
Snapdeal is accessible in 3,700 towns across India. Its online range shopping platform has piqued the interest of customers and investors since its inception; it has received funding from investors Alibaba Group, Softbank, and Foxconn.
Snapdeal entered the largest eCommerce category, directly competing with Flipkart and Amazon. Snapdeal is well-known for its top and ongoing discounts in various service categories such as restaurants, spas, Fashion, infant care, home decor, etc. It has embraced and nailed the marketplace business strategy.
It came up with allowing local vendors and manufacturers to publish and sell their product catalogs on its site, bypassing the high expenditures of establishing their inventory.
Snapdeal, which runs considerably faster, focuses heavily on logistics and efficient delivery to its clients. Every 30 seconds, a new product is added to its eCommerce website in India.
Snapdeal was on the verge of being acquired by Flipkart in 2017, but it withstood the acquisition by focusing on products with lower ticket sizes in over 90% of its products; the company now concentrates on Fashion and home with an average price of INR 1000.
Business Model: B2C
Monthly Visitors: 8.3 million
IndiaTech Ranking: 10th
FirstCry is another pure eCommerce portal owned by Mahindra Venture that specializes in products for infants and kids up to early puberty. It is also Asia's largest children's merchandise eCommerce website and has multiple brick-and-mortar stores nationwide.
This platform has everything you need for your children, including garments, toys, feeding, nursing, and so on, as well as pregnant supplies, and so on.
It is backed by Softbank, which raised $740 million to fund India's largest children's product platform. At the time of writing, 200,000 products across 500+ manufacturers are registered on its website.
When you compare all of the best and leading eCommerce websites in India listed above, you can see how they all found a niche and expanded their empire.
Even while Amazon is the market leader, homegrown competitors like Flipkart and Myntra, both owned by Walmart Inc., are not far behind and also have the potential to overtake Amazon at any moment.
However, the eCommerce sector has witnessed increasing pangs recently. Rising internet penetration has brought eCommerce to tiny pockets across the country, but still, cash on delivery remains the favored means of payment, typically leading to more product returns.
Also, counterfeit products continue to plague the e-commerce sector. At the same time, last-mile delivery remains difficult due to inadequate infrastructure, a problem that top logistics providers such as Xpressbees and Delhivery attempt to remedy.
The eCommerce sector still has a long way to go, accounting for only 6.5% of India's retail market today (5).
Another plague that pulls small businesses back from entering the eCommerce space is "finance" for establishing high-end websites to start their eCommerce website in India.
This is also why most ideas fail before they even start, but during such times, people should be aware of tools like Becho.io. If you know about this tool, educate the other person, grow their knowledge and join the eCommerce loop.
This tool allows consumers to host and develop their own eCommerce website in India, competing with pre-existing giants at affordable pricing and accessing the essential tools required to start selling online in India.
These websites function in the same way as typical e-commerce sites in India. You have your domain, product, and team; the only difference is that Becho.io and its tool give you access to building a full-fledge eCommerce website with:
- A website to host your products
- A backend dashboard to manage your inventory
- A personalized template for enhancing the UI/UX
- A platform for connecting with customers directly and eliminating third-party commissions, etc.
All you need to do is upload your product, configure your website, manage inventory, and start selling online on your own eCommerce website in India.
Companies such as The Hustle Company, which sells several natural flavors of coffee, established their website using Becho.io and are entirely self-sufficient. Being entirely self-sufficient means that you oversee and own all of your company's operations (4).
Linking to a marketplace means the portal earns a commission on every order. They use this strategy because a 10-20% commission per product is substantially less than a monthly commission.
This technique should not be overlooked and is a key reason everyone becomes independent. If you wish to sell or resell something, you can easily run your eCommerce website using these tools.
D2C eCommerce websites in India will drive the sector's future as the market accelerates, with startups such as The Hustle Company, Mamaearth, and Licious carving their way through every corner of the country.