With ecommerce spend beginning to hit critical mass, government of India plans to make online shopping a part of the national economic data base, according to the ET report.
From next month, government surveys on expenditure will, for the first time, ask questions on ecommerce spending habits, stated the newspaper report. The consumer expenditure survey, an annual nationwide exercise which provides household level data on spending patterns across commodity and service categories in both urban and rural areas, will start in July and continue till June 2018.
The national expenditure survey will cover almost 1.2 lakh households across 5,000 urban blocks and 7,000 villages. It will provide state level data as well.
Government data managers also want to see whether online prices can impact inflation.
According to RedSeer Consulting, India’s ecommerce sector was estimated to be $14.5 billion in 2016. Though this is small compared to India’s total retail spending of $750 billion, online commerce is expected to grow rapidly in coming years.
US-based market research company Forrester expects around one-fifth of total retail sales to take place online by 2021 in Asia Pacific. China is currently the largest online retail market in Asia, but India is the fastest growing online retail market globally.
Although the size and scope of online commerce in India is currently not big enough to influence price data economy-wide, a survey now will indicate how price indices may get impacted by online retail’s pricing policies in the future, officials said.