Perceived Risk in E-Commerce: A Demographic Perspective


  1.  Jitendra K. Sharma
  2. Daisy Kurien


The e-commerce market in India is witnessing exponential growth since the last decade. With the emergence of better marketing techniques, it is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in future. As per IAMAI Digital Commerce 2016, the e-commerce market was valued at INR 1,25,732 crore in December 2015, which is expected to reach INR 2,11,005 crore in December 2016. As per the IAMAI data, the ecommerce market grew at 30% between 2011 and December 2015.

In spite of the growth, one has to accept that the ecommerce industry is still struggling to create a niche in India. The industry is still at a nascent stage of the technology acceptance curve. Majority of its revenues and growth comes from eight metros of India. Huge deviations are found in terms of its acceptance in big cities too. The reason for relatively slow growth of the e-commerce industry is perceived risk that consumers feel while buying any product or service online.

In order to grab the untapped opportunity of ecommerce in the Indian market, marketers need to understand issues related to perceived risk and tactfully handle this sensitive issue.

The research paper tries to identify possible perceived risks that customers feel while buying from ecommerce websites. The paper is based on extensive literature review conducted on e-commerce risk and primary research conducted in Ahmedabad. Primary research was conducted with the help of mixed method research. First, qualitative research was conducted, which was then followed by quantitative research. This paper highlights the impact of demographic profile of respondents on perceived risk.

The study reveals that of the seven identified risks, impact of performance and financial risk were significant among e-users in India. System related perceived risk was found to be negligible among Indian consumers. The research concludes that of the demographic variables, gender and income levels have a significant relationship with perceived risk. It was also found that approximately all risks are perceived equally by different occupation/professional group segments. This research study does not support the argument made in earlier research work that education and risk-taking ability are inversely proportional.


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