I have decent experience of working with management/marketing people who are running e-commerce stores in India as well as in USA and as a hardcore online buyer, here are my 2 paisa comments/review/facts on eCommerce in India.
1. Things are not moving that fast as figures shows (but this is the case in almost any industry)
2. The market is not that huge as figures shows (Never believed in those inflated figures of 1000 crore, 2000 crore etc)
3. Market is still very unorganized and fragmented, most of the bigger online stores are just like a layer over eBay model where the buyer and seller are directly interacting. Infact when I bought my blackberry, I just got the sellername, put his name in google, found his phone number and called him directly and saved Rs 2000!
4. The payment gateway sucks!
5. Only appeal to net savvy people – online shopping still appeals to net savvy people, its not easy to make people to make first purchase
6. Shockingly, majority of people fails to use netbanking too. “Aam Janta” don’t even remember their login/passwords (I don’t remember it too but I have saved it on my laptop)
7. Zero support by online shopping stores – It happened with me twice when I ordered somehting on rediff and seller shipped something else, there was No phone support so I had to mail them, I got an automated reply of thank you for contacting us and one day later I got a mail from them saying to contact seller and shipped the product back. Since it was a Rs 250 bermuda (I think its market cost might be Rs 40 though the seller was claiming it to be of International exported quality), I just kept it instead of wasting time in sending it and going through all the hassle.
I can probably stretch the list to 20 but no point in doing it. The biggest problem is, the cost of operation in running an e commerce store is very high as compared to returns but I still see potential for small players, people who are looking to target local market (like online shopping store for delhi/mumbai/bangalore only) and who are willing to take orders on phone and will take the money while delivering the product (not very onlne, huh?)