Currently estimated at $13 billion, the Indian E-commerce industry’s primary focus is on the millions of consumers who prefer to shop online. In the last five years, the E-commerce industry has witnessed transformations that were unpredictable and unknown. However, being the dynamic industry that it is, the E-commerce sector has been extremely flexible and has also kept up to the ever increasing and largely changing market trends.
As smartphones and tablets become routine for the average consumer, retailers find this trend as a great marketing platform to reach out to the masses. In his interview a few months ago, Mr. Sachin Bansal, the co-founder & CEO of Flipkart quoted about the organization’s intention and ambition to increase it’s market focus by preparing the e-commerce platform, to be mobile oriented. Snapdeal, which has been promoting it’s mobile shopping application all over the country, recently stated that it receives almost half of it’s orders from mobile phones. This aspect at Snapdeal, has logged a growth of approximately 20 times in multiples as compared to the previous years. The marketplace has taken m-commerce to the next level by letting sellers manage inventory and orders with their recently launched android app.
Several other companies such as Paytm, ShopClues and LimeRoad have also claimed that majority of their transactions come from mobile phones. ShopClues, a Gurgaon based marketplace recently unveiled it’s Android application in the market. For Paytm, 60% of their transactions (mobile, DTH and data recharges) are logged in from mobile phones.
So, what has transpired such a dynamic change?
Internet bandwidths are predominantly 3G focused and with their tariffs on the lower side. Therefore consumers are highly motivated to shop online on a greater scale. The GPS functionality in mobile phones helps consumers to locate target based offers and product services. With step by step notifications via SMS and e-mails, the user can thus keep track of their transactions and orders as, there and then, until they actually receive their product.
We all love anything and everything that’s free. Anyone would. This infact becomes a target based marketing strategy to marketplaces who push consumers to mobile phone shopping by offering splendid discounts and additional freebies. Online mobile recharge companies such as Paytm and Freecharge have been offering a variety of free coupons and discounts on any amount of recharge that the user does. While freebies remain one such aspect to motivate M-commerce in India, users are highly motivated to shop ‘m-shop’ due to the 24×7 shopping availability, anytime/anywhere on their mobile phones.
Jeff Schueler, President of Usability Sciences Corp., an e-commerce and m-commerce research and consulting firm says that in five years, e-commerce on desktops and laptops will still exist, and m-commerce on smartphones and tablets will still exist, but to consumers, online shopping will mean researching and buying wherever they may be on whatever device is best suited to the moment or whatever device is simply handy.
We all love our mobile phone/s. It is one of/the most important devices in our lives. This becomes an highly inspiring factor for marketplaces to invest and increase their revenue via M-commerce. Specifically in several tier II and tier III companies, a large amount of consumer base uses a mobile phone as compared to a PC which enables marketplaces to penetrate far greater than the desktop based shopping.
With the M-commerce industry becoming a second highest platform for online shopping, what transpires next is yet to be seen.