India slowly gets to grips with ecommerce

MUMBAI, May 16, 2010 (AFP) – Vipul Modi is a busy high court lawyer in India’s financial capital Mumbai. Like many people, he uses the Internet to buy rail and airline tickets as well as pay his utility bills. Yet when it comes to buying other products online, the 44-year-old has misgivings, particularly about the security of his bank account details and other personal data.

“Online shopping is not something that we feel comfortable with… because the responsibility of something being misused is on the consumer compared with the United States, where it’s on the credit card companies,” he told AFP.

“And I’d still not buy some things online because I still like to go and see what it is.”

From books to groceries, Internet shopping has become popular in many Western countries for people with disposable income, busy lifestyles and unpredictable working hours.

As Indian society, particularly in big cities such as Mumbai and the capital New Delhi, changes along similar lines on the back of the country’s economic expansion, retailers are now looking to follow suit.

Gift shop chain The Bombay Store last month became the latest outlet to launch an online facility, following in the footsteps of