India’s internet story is losing some of its steam inversely affecting online commerce, reported The Economic Times. The development comes, the report said, at a time when the growth in the internet user base is set to come down for a second consecutive fiscal year.
While the final figure will be released only in August, the growth in internet usage for 2018-19 fiscal year, the report added, is expected to be lower than the 8 percent growth witnessed in 2017-18 fiscal. This, the report said, is a sharp fall in comparison to the 12 percent growth witnessed in 2016-17 financial year.
“I suspect new internet user growth will decelerate even further and will reach a plateau in the next four to five years,” Subho Ray, president, IAMAI, was quoted as saying in the report. The situation is particularly worrying for the e-commerce sector in the country. The fact that a large chunk of the population is still alien to the internet is set to affect the sector that was expecting to make giant strides in the country. According to the IAMAI only around 12 crore people are using digital payments out of a user base of around 50 crore internet users, said the report.
According to the experts who spoke to the media, the slowing growth in the user base is happening on account of a number of factors. Many argue that internet usage and procuring of a smartphone is still a costly prospect for many in the country. Also, the report said, that the prominence of English in the digital world is also dissuading many. They, the report said, argue that there is a need to further educate users regarding internet usage.