Mobile commerce or M-commerce is riding on the wave of smartphone penetration in India. An added feature of smartphone, which drives internet surfing-is the 4 inch screen size. There are many mobile buyers who are attracted to have their own pocket-size device, so that they can access customized updates at total convenience.
According to Technopak’s estimates, smartphone penetration in India is expected to grow from the current 6% to 33%, by 2020. It is also estimated that, by 2020, 80% of the mobile devices used in the country will be smartphones. In addition, there is a continuous innovation by the lead players in the mobile device industry to entice the users to make a shift to a better experience using their smartphone.
Corresponding to the increase in e-commerce, it was never a far-fetched idea that mobile commerce will be adopted early by the internet addicts. Smartphones are used for internet browsing, navigation, research, and then shopping. The e-commerce giants are keen to tap this growing shopping potential, and have already launched mobile shopping apps to extent help to mobile internet shoppers.
Another report released by market research firm Zinnov, India’s mobile commerce market could balloon to $19 billion by 2019, up 850 percent from its current size of $2 billion. Surging smartphone sales in the world’s second most populous country amid a tidal wave of low-cost handsets is the key driver, the report said
Another interesting fact to note is the affordability factor associated with smartphones. It is not just the high-end phones which are making news in the mobile world but many smartphone users are incidentally the first time internet users also. In other words, a smartphone is their first point of contact with the World Wide Web. As per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data released in December 2013, of the total 237 million Internet subscribers in the country, 92% are mobile wireless subscribers which fact highlights the importance of mobile Internet services.
The Technopak research states that the retail e-commerce in India is expected to grow from USD 2.3 billion at present to nearly USD 32 billion by 2020. It is also estimated that the share of mobile commerce will rise sharply with internet users slowly migrating to access internet using only mobiles.
India is sitting on a gold mine of online shopping, ready to be exploded with its unique characteristics of selling variety of products. It is being made accessible to many people, at attractive price margins — giving brand shopping in India a new shape and meaning.
India is also investing in the internet infrastructure. With the advent of new technologies like 4G finding users in India, there will be more to explore in the internet world. Only if the data packages are made more affordable and the internet bandwidth increased in deeper corners of India, the true potential of M-commerce can be realized. In addition, the increase of smartphone dependence such as use of digital wallets will give more flexibility to mobile users.
Already, a lot of action is happening in the mobile analytics space by leading online players. They are investing their time and money to do a quantitative and subjective analysis of the consumer behaviour while making purchase through the mobile internet. Going forward, the trend of a completely customized shopping experience on a smartphone, where his/her likes and preferences are better understood can make the headway for growth in M-commerce.