Deloitte’s Report states that the reach of online retail is projected to grow exponentially and will outpace offline retail by 2.5 times over the next decade. According to this report, “There are various reasons behind the growth in online retail. It has logistics infrastructure covering more than 19,000 pin codes, along with the convenience of ordering and returns.” There are more than 22 crore online shopping customers in the country and they will play a major role in the growth of e-commerce. Private equity and venture capital firms have made substantial investments in this sector. It has been told in the report that in the last five years this investment has been about 23 billion dollars.
There have also been allegations against online retailers of cheating customers. Recently, the central government had said that it was not concerned about flash sales on these retail platforms but was against the unfair pricing practices used to restrict choices for customers.
Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal said that e-commerce In order to take advantage of flash sales on the sites, shopping customers are often diverted to entities that are promoted by online retailers. This is fraud and against the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules. He said, “If someone wants to give discount then why should I complain. Customers are getting good deals so we have no problem.” Goyal, who also holds the charge of the Consumer Affairs Ministry, said the problem is due to two reasons. First, discriminatory pricing through dumping of goods and second, by limiting the choices of customers. Citing the example of China, he had said that prolonged dumping of goods at very low prices hurts manufacturing in the country and customers are forced to buy goods at higher prices.