Number of Internet Users in India 2024

The number of internet users in India is 0.8 billion as of 2024. Which is twice the population of the United States. According to the data by major Global Data and Business Intelligence platform Statista , the number of Indian internet users saw 52% growth in 2024. The growth of the internet in India brought a new change in today’s era. Businesses and companies started growing in e-commerce, social media marketing, digital advertising, e-payments, etc.

What is Internet Penetration?

The number of internet users in each country with its demographical data is known as internet penetration. According to the Kantar IMRB report (based on STATISTA 2024) found that Rural India drives more than 50% of Internet usage in the country.

internet penetration in India

(Picture Courtesy: Statista 2024 report)

What is Driving Internet Penetration in India?

Country-wide lockdown due to pandemic increased the Internet usage in India, Digital Transactions has increased to more than 80% in the last two years. Entertainment and communication like OTT, Online transactions, Digital Payments, Online Shopping and Social Media has driven Internet Penetration in India.

Growth Rate:

In India, internet penetration was only 2% (40 million) in 2006. It increased to 4% (80 million) in 2009. In 2016, it was 27%(405 million) and at present in 2022 we are almost 52% including both rural-urban users its around 0.7 billion. Internet penetration in India will reach over 2 billion by 2025 as per the report.

Social Media Users in India by 2029:

The number of Social Media Users will increase by 500 millions between 2023 and 2029. There are more than 800+ million Social Media active users in India as of 2023.

According to STATISTA reports the number is 862 million users on social media.

social media internet users

(Picture Courtesy:

Urban-Rural Digital India

According to the Financial Express, report says in urban India internet penetration is about 69% and in rural villages it’s 37%. According to the report, rural internet penetration in India seemed to be higher. It has grown from 18% to 20% in the same year. The total number of Internet users in India is 692 million, and in Urban India 341 million of them use the Internet.

Today the popularity of the internet is among youngsters and students in the field of entertainment, social networking, etc. of around 60% of users in India.

Cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai are in the top 3 that have the highest penetration. and Imphal, Jagdalpur, and Fatehpur come in the bottom list of over 170 cities from the survey. Online transactions, e-commerce activities, digital payments, etc. are low in rural areas compared to urban areas because of poor network quality, not able to buy internet packs and lack of electricity.

In rural areas, smartphones not laptops are becoming the primary consumption for use. The users are mostly truck drivers, farmers, shopkeepers, etc. They mostly use mobile phones for communication and entertainment.

The World has gone Mobile!

On a daily basis, users’ like, and dislikes are constantly changing. Nowadays users generally search on a mobile phone for local restaurants or nearby or reading reviews. They opt for this because they really want to go for this one or not. Smartphones have changed the world with a new evolution.

The age between 18-30 group hardly uses desktop computers anymore. Age under 18’s uses mobile phones compared to pc or laptops. In today’s era, even kids under 10 are also using smartphones.

Hence, all are the statistics of Smartphone Mobile Network Subscriptions from 2016 – 2028.

(Picture Courtesy: Statista)

The above data is the number of mobile phone users worldwide from 2016 to 2028 (in millions). As per the report from Statista, the number of smartphone users is expected to cross 700 million by 2028.

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What Indians are doing online?

Let us discuss in detail what Indians are doing online.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms with 330 million Indian users using their phones. Similarly on YouTube currently, Indian users are 467 million. 230 million Indian users on Instagram, 87 million on LinkedIn and 390 million Indian users use WhatsApp daily to send millions of messages globally.

The sudden drastic change in the usage of mobile phones is because of low-cost mobile phones and the launch of Jio brought a big difference in development.

Different Industry Top Online Shopping Category Preferences

As per the above table, given by Statista the online shopping category preferences of product categories by consumers worldwide as of 2024. It was found that users prefer shopping Fashion, Electronics, Toys, Furniture, Beauty, Health, Personal and Household care etc. Fashion ranks as the top category in online shopping preferences as per Statista.

Dynamics of the e-retail market and shoppers

India’s online retail industry has experienced a crucible moment with the Covid-19 pandemic. During the past 12 months, market penetration has accelerated due to the pandemic. India had 180–190 million online shoppers as of 2024, making it the third-largest consumer base in the world. Additionally, India will soon surpass the US as the world’s second-largest shopper market in one or two years.

According to Bian and Flipkart, about 60% of shoppers come from tier-3 or smaller cities. Millennials (18-25 years old) who are digital natives are already transacting online and will be critical to future business growth.

The category mix of online purchases will evolve soon. The majority of e-retail sales have historically been driven by electronic products, mobile phones, and appliances. This is likely to change over the next five years. General merchandise including personal care and groceries have the most penetration headroom compared to mature markets, which means that growth will be fueled by these categories. The e-retail market is expected to account for two-thirds of sales by 2027 if these categories are combined.

Major Highlights on Online Shopping Future:

1. It has been estimated that India’s online shopping base will reach 400–450 million by 2027

2. Made in India innovations & Cash on delivery, for instance, helped build customer trust and drive e-commerce adoption.

3. A number of other improvements were also made to the customer experience during this period, including faster delivery, loyalty programs, and the emergence of digital payment methods.

4. The use of options such as UPI transactions, QR code scanning,  bank transfers, prepaid cards, PayPal, coupons, etc is also becoming more and more popular.

Digital Marketing Channels:

Why are digital marketing channels important?

When a client comes to you with a particular budget and tells you to run a campaign, will you run an individual campaign?

As digital marketers, we all know the number of internet penetration.

Our first goal is to know where is the company today and where it wants to get into and its target audience.

1. Email Marketing

When you are aware of the areas where the number of internet users is more. Email marketing is the best way to make brand awareness, newsletters sign up, engaged them, etc.

2. Display Advertising

Display Advertising is used for lead generation, traffic and branding.

Nowadays internet penetration is growing fast in rural areas. Making use of digital marketing channels we can target such audiences with videos, ads, banners ads, etc.

3. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

PPC Marketing is done in order to earn visibility and traffic. If you know your customers and internet users then you can start bidding. Internet Advertising is one of the best ways to get the right audiences. This digital marketing channel will give the right users or consumers for your internet marketing.

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4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Generating high amount of website traffic to increase clicks and sales with the help of organic keyword rankings.

SEO is one of those digital marketing channel will help to bring traffic, educate the customer, sales generation, online sales & more.

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5. Public Relations

The way the company portrays the image in front of the media to earn branding and traffic.

If your content is good you can make it viral on the internet. When you know how to make use of internet marketing with digital marketing channels you can bring good conversion rates.

6. Social Media Marketing (SMM)

It is one of the happening things in the digital world. Social media and internet marketing go hand in hand. If you are aware of trending and topmost happening things, you can creatively target your audiences via this digital marketing channel.

As Internet penetration is growing with the number the expectation for SMM is high. Through social media, you can create brand awareness of your product and services on different kinds of networks according to your preferences like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

7. Content Marketing

Everything changes but the content is one major element that will remain constant despite the many changes that occur in the digital world. With good content and relevant keywords that speak about your product and services including some graphics, videos, etc you can send the branding message and earn traffic. Internet marketing is helping customers aware of the product and services.

8. Affiliate Marketing

You can sell your product by giving some commissions to reach a wider audience. According to the Forrester report affiliate marketing reached the level of up to approximately $13 Billion in 2022, and by the year 2024 it will reach approximately $15.7 Billion.

Above all most important thing is to know internet penetration and internet marketing, with the help of the figure you can target your audiences with different digital channels whether its location, gender, geography or language and make better digital marketing strategies.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re fascinated, by how internet users are growing rapidly and how it has been utilized, considering this fact, many industries now focus on promoting their products and services online.

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