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Home Blog The Power of Internet: Internet Penetration in India

The Power of Internet: Internet Penetration in India

The Power of Internet: Internet Penetration in India
The Power of Internet: Internet Penetration in India

Number of Internet Users in India 2022

The number of internet users in India is 560 million as of 2020. It is higher than the US total population. According to the  IAMAI report, the number of Indian internet users will reach 666.4 million by 2023. 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 in 2018, the total population of India is 132.42 crores (1.3 Billion) of which 43 crores live in cities or urban areas and the rest 89.42 crores live in villages or rural areas.

Data given by IAMAI on Internet Penetration in India

( Picture Courtesy:

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 2018, we are almost 35% including both rural-urban users its around 500 million.

Internet penetration will increase by around 829 million Indians by 2021 as per the CISCO report.

Yearly Growth of Internet Penetration in India by 2020

( Picture Courtesy:

Social Media Users: The number of Social Media Users has increased by 1 million new users every day in 1 year.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing is a kind of Internet Marketing that helps you to share your content, post images, videos, etc via different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, etc to increase engagement.

Before you plan for any social media strategy you need to plan the goals and objectives whom you are targeting, your budget if it is a paid campaign and a good understanding of statistics before you target your audiences. Check the data given below to know how social media users are growing.

According to We Are Social and Hootsuite reports the number is 3.196 billion users on social media.

Annual growth of Social Media Users (Picture courtesy: we are social)

Urban-Rural Digital India

According to the New Indian Express, report says in urban India internet penetration is about 64.85% and in rural villages it’s just 20.26%. According to the report, rural internet penetration in India seemed to be higher. It has grown from 18% to 20.26% in the same year. In urban India total population is 455 million and out of that 295 million 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. A total of 16% of financial transactions are done in rural areas whereas 44% of users use the internet for transactions in the urban area.

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.

Google AdWords Expert in India

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 Mobile user growth.

Mobile user growth statistic prediction by 2020

(source: Statista)

The above data is the number of mobile phone users worldwide from 2015 to 2020 (in billions).  As per the report from Statista the number of smartphone users is expected to cross 5 billion by 2019.  By 2019 India was forecasted to reach over one billion or 1.1 billion. About 18% of each market share goes to Apple and Samsung.

Related: Career in Internet marketing, salary & growth 

What Indians are doing online?

Internet Users grew by around 28%  till 2016. And there are about 450,000,000 internet users currently in India as per the socialbeat report.

Let us discuss in detail what Indians are doing online.

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms with 240 million Indian users using their phones. Similarly on YouTube currently, Indian users are 225 million. 50 million Indian users on Instagram, 50 million on LinkedIn and 240 million Indian users use WhatsApp daily to send messages around 50 million 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 in Online Preferences

Online Preferences by users(Source: Statista)

As per the above table, given by Statista the online and in-store selection preferences of product categories by consumers worldwide as of 2017. 60% of users said that they prefer purchasing books, movies, video games, etc online as per the survey.

According to Quartz India reports on e-commerce companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal, 80% of online users make purchases via mobile phones or apps. In 2016 Indians were seen buying high-value products like premium phones, appliances, consumer electronics, etc.
Online Shopping Behavior of Indians


According to the Flipkart ” Sales on Branded products are more across the categories”.

Demographics of Online Consumers in India

( Source: FlipTrends)

As per the above table aged between 25-34 were active shoppers on e-commerce portals, quite a surprising number of older people were also found shopping online.

As per the report by 2020, all age groups will grow exponentially, men under 35 will grow by over 200 million users and women of the same group representing 47.8 million users.

The report was given by eshopworld where total e-commerce revenue is expected to grow by around 17.5 billion USD in all the product categories by 2020.

Projected e-commerce revenue per year(Source: eshopworld)

The electronics product category is leading, Fashion is the second leading close to 4.8 billion USD.

A Pie-chart on Online Payments mode by Indian Users


As per the above data 34%, of online payments are done via credit/debit card. 24% of online payment is made via COD or cheque. Payments like bank transfers, Paypal, prepaid cards, vouchers, etc are also becoming popular payment methods.

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 Advertising 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.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Getting a customer via keyword ranking, organic, etc.

This digital marketing channel will help to bring traffic, educate the customer, sales generation, etc.

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)

Social Media Marketing 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 $4.5 billion by the year 2016.

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. So they look for Digital Marketers experts who have extensive knowledge in Digital Marketing.

However, if you want to grow your career in digital marketing, you should make sure that you learn from the best digital marketing institute in the industry to gain hands-on experience in live projects.

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