Online retail getting more & more upwardly mobile

Jul 20 2014, 18:59 IST
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Retail sites registering 30-60% sales via mobiles from single-digit numbers a year ago Retail sites registering 30-60% sales via mobiles from single-digit numbers a year ago
SummaryRetail sites registering 30-60% sales via mobiles from single-digit numbers a year ago

India’s over 100 million smartphone users are beginning to shop online at such a pace that the country’s biggest e-tailing companies are expecting the mobile traffic to surpass their desktop user base soon.

Currently, several e-tailers are registering close to a third or nearly half of their sales via mobile devices, while a few others have already crossed the halfway mark. Increasing affordability of smartphones, special mobile sites and apps, improved data coverage and reduced costs, plus the overall mobile ecosystem in general, have created favourable conditions for m-commerce to grow impressively in the country.

In a recent statement, online marketplace Snapdeal announced that over 50% of its sales were now coming via mobile devices. The company said it has seen an exponential 25x growth in its mobile-based transactions compared to a year ago, when mobile devices accounted for just 5% of its total orders. Mobile transactions are expected to touch 75% by end of this fiscal, says Ankit Khanna, senior V-P, production management, Snapdeal.

Similarly, at Flipkart, just over a year ago, the daily traffic from the mobile platform was in single digits. Today, that number stands at over 50%.

“Clearly, e-commerce is moving rapidly towards m-commerce. More and more online shopping sites are adopting the mobile-first route today. At Flipkart, the growth rate is twice that of desktops. In fact, the pace at which this medium is catching up with desktops is faster than what we have seen in the US or China, where the concept of mobile commerce has been around for longer,” says Mausam Bhatt, director, mobile marketing, Flipkart.

Fashion e-retailer Myntra is almost there with close to 35% of its business being driven by m-commerce. With the launch of its mobile app, the company is expecting that figure to grow to 50% by end of this fiscal, says Prasad Kompalli, chief revenue officer, Myntra.

Some mobile-only startups like Paytm, too, are also showing an increase in the trend. As per Deepak Abbot, AVP, Paytm, mobile transactions have been growing almost three-fold every year. “The past year has been particularly great for m-commerce when not only smartphones captured the market but a lot of push on m-commerce was made by several players, including Paytm, which launched its mobile marketplace earlier this year,” he explains. Paytm already sees 55% of its orders coming through the mobile platform.

There are a number of factors that have led to this growth. “Mobile penetration is

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