Mobile is taking over the Internet commerce in a big way. With the mobile penetration hitting the Tier-II and Tier-III cities majorly, considering everyone today has a smartphone or at least a mobile for that matter, and the cumulative population in these cities is above 80 per cent of the total Indian population, mobiles would drive India’s commerce in the years to come.
The stage is set
India certainly is becoming a mobile-first country, owing to users taking to the Internet paranoia via mobile phones and not the earlier popular and expensive desktops. They get their first exposure of the Internet space increasingly through mobiles and not desktops. What’s more, the self-confessed giants in the eCommerce space riding the entire conversation on their mobile Apps, completely shunning the medium they started out from speak volume of the space which is accessible, available and for most of us, affordable. Take Myntra, Flipkart and OLA as recent examples.
“It’s an interesting side of the spectrum we are in today. While I would say online payments are still a challenge and people are reluctant to go online for transactions, a lot of people are opting for cards,” says Rahul Narvekar, Founder & CEO, IndianRoots.com, the apparel and jewellery company with a clear focus on ‘ethnic category’, also popular for selling a Rs 19 lakh Shawl recently through their online marketplace. Although the company isn’t in the mobile space yet, chances are bright considering the shift of shoppers’ habits from e- to mCommerce.
Innovating engagement plausible via mobiles
These are exciting times and the space is not only considered to drive sales, one can vouch for having a last-mile interaction and commerce with the user. Because it is being touted as a space that will offer a lot of opportunities, a lot of interesting avenues have opened up in a bid to capitalise on the traction. A mobile advertising and commerce company InMobi is one such example. To put it simply, when a user logs in on an App and comes across an ad, in an additional window or using 10 per cent of the App screen space, the ads that one sees are how mobile advertising functions.
“Companies like Flipkart and Jabong are getting 60 per cent of the traffic through their mobile apps. Mobiles, because of a lot of use cases which are much different from desktop, PCs. For example, via mobiles you can send a lot of re-notifications and you can engage the users,” says Ankit Rawal, Head- Emerging Market Business (IN, SEA, MEA), InMobi. Which also implies that digital companies run mobile-specific campaigns and mobile-specific offers, which are only for mobile users and because of cash on delivery (COD), it can be give way to a lot of impulse buying, which in times to come will only increase.
India riding the mComm wave
According to Adlift.com’s CEO and Co-founder Prashant Puri, whose company is a global digital marketing agency operating in North America and APEC markets, essentially a consulting and client facing firm, with clients such as Paypal, OLX, Quikr, eBay, Walmart, “We help these firms strategise their online spend across social search and display. A total of 120 million people have access to mobile applications or are active in the Internet space.”
So, this would result in close to 5 billion dollar of eTailing, eCommerce spend in the Indian market. It will be a 40-50 billion dollar spend in the next 5-7 years, with India emerging as one of the largest penetration of smartphone users in the world.