The m-commerce segment is on the cusp of rapid expansion with the number of smartphone users expected to double to 104 million by the end of the current year. It’s no surprise that several e-commerce players are rapidly integrating their online ‘platforms’ with those relevant for smartphones and androids via apps in local languages and deal generators.
A recent report by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) also pointed out that annual sales in the m-commerce segment are valued at $ 1.5 billion (nearly Rs 9, 000 crore) and growing at 55 per cent on a year-on-year basis. And, in the omni-channel strategy of retailers, m-commerce is playing an increasingly important role.
Echoing a similar view, Sachin Bansal, Co-Founder, Flipkart, in a recent media interaction, pointed out that mobile phone users account for one-fifth of their sales, and three-fourth of these shoppers access there site via handheld devices.
Similarly, Snapdeal, a leading e-retailer, launched its mobile app about three months back and has already got close to a million downloads via this distribution channel, accounting for nearly one-third of its total of customer base.
The key customer segment for this segment includes college students and young professionals, and leading players like HomeShop18 have integrated their entire product catalogue on android applications.
Sandeep Malhotra, Founder and CEO, HomeShop18, said, “We expect mobile-related traffic to account for one-fourth of our total customer base over the next few months.”
Striking a similar view, Deepa Thomas - e-commerce evangelist, eBay India, said, “One-fourth of our total online ‘traffic’ originates from mobiles, and this segment is growing aggressively.”
Thomas also highlighted that they retail over 2,000 product categories via mobiles.And, it is not just limited to this e-retailer, but several other players are expanding their range of products offered via this channel.
Clearly, retailers would need to ensure their relevance amongst mobile phone users, in a bid to ensure their future growth