Compared to its physical counterparts, e-pharmacy has emerged in recent years as a superior and more practical strategy for addressing consumer problems and delivering excellent customer solutions. In 2021, the market for online pharmacies was worth INR 25.50 Bn. It is anticipated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.20% from 2022 to 2027, when it is expected to reach INR 89.47 Bn.
The market is divided into two categories: acute therapy and chronic therapy. Chronic conditions dominated the market, accounting for 61.83% of the market revenue in 2021. During the forecast period, this segment is expected to lead. But in 2027, its market share will probably fall to 52.34%. The acute therapy market is expected to expand reasonably during the forecast period. According to projections, between 2022 and 2027, its market share will grow at a CAGR of 47.66%, from 38.17% in 2021 to 46.08% in 2027.
Customers who have chronic conditions need long-term treatment and frequently take medication. Due to the availability of a wide variety of medicines at discounted prices, people favor e-pharmacy platforms. In the upcoming years, consumers may select these platforms for treating severe illnesses like the common cold.
The market has grown in recent years due to increased internet and smartphone penetration, the prevalence of lifestyle diseases, and government initiatives. Discounts that harm profitability, data breaches and cybercrime, pharmacovigilance, and bottlenecks in the supply network are just a few of the issues that prevent its growth.
The market has seen several start-ups, top e-commerce companies, and conventional brick-and-mortar stores enter it due to its tremendous growth potential. It saw the entry of significant players like Amazon, Reliance, and Tata in 2020.
Impact of COVID-19:
The nationwide healthcare system was affected heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic and online pharmacies. In this situation, e-commerce platforms like e-pharmacy have grown more with the arrival of the second wave. During the second wave, the market saw a significant increase in sales. After the third wave, it should start to rise once more. To fill the gaps in their last-mile deliveries, key players were able to do so by forming alliances with neighbourhood pharmacy retailers. Additionally, steps were taken to ensure safe and convenient transactions, including working with e-payment platforms. This attracted cash back, discounts, and COD options in remote areas, which also helped draw in customers from rural areas.