Why India is Becoming an App-First Economy

With its economy soaring and marketplaces showing big signs of success, it’s clear U.S.-based merchants should revisit the notion of selling cross-border into India.

During a break last week at eTail West 2016 last week, Udayan Bose, Founder and CEO of NetElixir, pointed out that 3G networks and mobile penetration have helped ecommerce take off in India. In 2011, consumers in India made $6 billion in ecommerce purchases. Five years later, that figure reached $12.2 billion.

“The number of consumers under the age of 25 is quite substantial, and they have grown up in an Internet generation,” Bose said. “It has become a second nature for people to browse. And that is why ecommerce has taken off in a very big way.”

Bose said Indian consumers are ahead of U.S. consumers when it comes to mobile commerce. While consumers in the U.S. have finally adopted mobile commerce, consumers in India are making it an app-first economy.

For example, Myntra, which was acquired by Flipkart, decided to stop its website and focus totally on the Myntra app.

“How cool is that?” Bose said. “Just think if Macy’s decided tomorrow they’d no longer have a website and would only have an app.”

Bose will speaking about doing cross-border ecommerce with consumers from India at Multichannel Merchant’s Growing Global 2016 on April 13-14 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. Bose’s session, “Passage to India: Growing Your Sales in this Emerging Economy,” will be held on April 13 at 2 p.m.

Tim Parry is Multichannel Merchant’s Managing Editor, and the lead programmer for Growing Global.

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