More and more ecommerce companies in India are seeing a rapid increase in the usage of mobile, as consumers are increasingly becoming mobile savvy and using their devices to shop online.
YStats.com reported in 2013 that mobile data traffic had doubled in India and Southeast Asia. Nearly a third of the traffic on ecommerce sites came from mobile.
Online marketplace FlipKart co-founders Sachin and Binny Bansal told Ystats.com that they expect to be largely an mcommerce company in a couple of years.
The Times of India reported that FlipKart will be shutting down its website within a year and move to an app-only format.
“Last year, we had more on the app, but still did our web and desktop. In the next year or so, we’re going to be only mobile,” Michael Adnani, vice president for retail and head of brand alliances at FlipKart told The Times of India. “A year ago, 6% of our traffic was coming from mobile. In less than 18 months, that traffic is tenfold. That shows the significance of what a mobile phone is doing for the consumers and consequently doing for us.”
The Times of India also reported that smartphones are becoming more affordable compared to a couple of years ago. Six to seven million of them are being brought into India for local sale. It is expected that an app’s consumer reach will be larger than the mobile version of a website or the website itself.
FlipKart does about 8 million shipments a month, and two-thirds of its online traffic comes from users in small cities and towns.
The Times of India also reported that FlipKart has acquired mobile marketing start-up Appiterate as it makes attempts to strengthen its “mobile first” focus.
FlipKart launched its “Thumbthing” campaign, which gives a creative twist to the FlipKart’s mobile app. The app focuses on the shoppers thumb as the central character, according to a press release from FlipKart. The campaign conveyed the ease of mobile shopping and how shopping is more fun when done from anywhere at any time a shopper wants.
Since there are more Indians accessing the internet through mobile devices, the campaign aims to engage with new customers through fun, quirky content, social media contests and merchandise.
Well over 70% if traffic to FlipKart came from the mobile app and a majority of those shoppers were first time customers from smaller cities. With the increase in internet penetration, adoption of smartphones and lower data costs, smaller cities are more active online than ever which shoes that m-commerce is poised to grow tremendously in the next six to 12 months.
“With the ‘Do Thumbthing’ campaign, FlipKart’s focus is to make its mobile app the medium of choice when it comes to shopping online,” said Mausam Bhatt, senior director of mobile marketing for FlipKart in a release.
Bhatt said various elements of this campaign include videos, games, contests, special app offers that will help FlipKart generate buzz about the FlipKart mobile app among its younger audience.
“We are confident that this digital campaign with its fresh approach will establish an instant connect with the new generation of customers, and encourage them to experience online shopping the mobile way,” Bhatt said.
FlipKart has some competition in mobile, as mobile payment services firm Paytm has made its entrance into the ecommerce space. It is putting itself in direct competition with the likes of Amazon, FlipKart and Snapdeal.
Paytm is backed by Alibaba.com and expects its ecommerce entry to help revenue more than double to $4 billion by the end of the year, from $1.5 billion now.
“We were testing the product and already have 33,000 sellers on board,” said Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shkhar Sharma. “The sellers can come on board without paying a fee, the payment for products will be through the Paytm platform, which ensures that it is safe and secure for the end-consumer.”