Technology Ecommerce Influencer Marketing

Pandemic sees Indians spend more than two hours a day on social commerce sites


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

September 30, 2021 | 4 min read

The pandemic has increased e-commerce adoption in India, with consumers shopping online trying at least two new e-commerce shopping sites and apps in the past year.


E-commerce destinations are now competing with social media networks and OTTs

Every month approximately 620,000 searches take place for social commerce, increasing month-on-month, and the average Indian today spends about 2.25 hours on social media every day, according to a report by GIPSI, Tonic Worldwide’s HI+AI (Human Intelligence + Artificial Intelligence) division.

“Who knew that the biggest barrier to ‘contactless shopping’ will become the biggest trigger for the rise and rise of e-commerce? With abundant data, there is no looking back on the reasons to adopt commerce on digital,” said Anjali Malthankar, the national strategy director at Tonic Worldwide.

“Trends are available to all but brands that identify undercurrents will have an advantage. Our GIPSI report is for anyone who is riding, considering or fearing the rise and rise of e-commerce.”

What did the report find?

  • The digital audience of India today is approximately more than 620 million, which consists of fans, friends, followers, subscribers and passive surfers.

  • There are 1103 most-used e-commerce apps in India, and shopping apps have today captured the mobile home screens and have made it to the Top 4 categories in the list of Most Used Mobile Apps in India in 2021.

  • About 54% of product searches take place on Amazon, with respondents attributing to the same, rather than using a search engine.

  • Inclination toward conversational commerce is on the rise, with a 79% increase in industry-led conversations on decoding conversational commerce and the technologies involved. Furthermore, top conversational AI platforms see steady growth.

  • E-commerce destinations are now competing with social media networks and OTTs, with customers spending more and more time on these shopping destinations.

  • Preference for ‘Instagram shopping’ rules the roost, followed by Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. There’s also a strong inclination toward Pinterest shopping, with 799% growth.

  • There is a rise in the ‘creator economy’ as there has been a 1447% increase in conversations, with three times the positive sentiment and a further 25,000 conversations specifically on reviews and recommendations on e-commerce.

  • The boom of small commerce has seen immense growth with creators, home businesses and local stores, which have moreover taken their consumer experience completely online, with a 155%+ increase in adopting WhatsApp catalogs and a 46%+ increase in Shopify app downloads.

  • It has seen over 1.5m searches on topics related to building e-commerce websites, free tools and related queries. Furthermore, there has been a growth of 73%+ in monthly active users of popular hyperlocal delivery players from the beginning of 2021 to now.

  • The rise of eco-activism in e-commerce has seen a 50%+ surge in conversations around the topic, and specifically 833K conversations on eco-friendly and sustainable packaging.

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