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From ecommerce to m-commerce in India: bumps on the way

As ecommerce players and research agencies continue to release data tracking the growth of mobile in the ecosystem, m-commerce is seen as the future of ecommerce industry in India. Several ecommerce companies have witnessed a surge in online traffic on back of increased smartphone penetration in India.

However, there are a few roadblocks which have to be tackled before the benefits of mcommerce are evaluated in India. “The biggest challenge for m-commerce is the low retention as everyone is still focussed on distribution,” said Arjun Ravi Kolady Head of E-commerce, Local, and Travel at Facebook India. Therefore, we need to move beyond distribution and focus on customer retention and personalisation based on data, he added.

As a subset of personalisation, “it must be taken care that a user who comes online with a specific intent is able to find the product and purchase it without any hurdle. This will enhance user experience,” added Saran Chatterjee, Vice President –Products at Flipkart.

Further, specific to the Indian context, the ecommerce player must acknowledge the fact that shopping in India is not an individualistic experience but the customer seeks opinion of his peers which making a purchase,” Mr Chatterjee pointed.

The Indian ecommerce story for travel websites is not hunky-dory either. Sharat Dhall, President of Yatra Online emphasised that it seeks to transform its platform from a booking destination to a planning destination. “If we are able to help a consumer in planning his trip than just booking for travel, the experience will be more engaging and lead to higher retention,” he said.

Going forward, ecommerce consumers can expect standardisation in the format of website that will enable a comfortable browsing experience, ease of payment, and relevant content at the time of consumption, according to Sachin Kapur Chief Marketing Officer of Groupon India.

E-tailers are not exploring the application of audio-visual content for pumping sales on the platform. Digital media serve as a better platform for audio-visual content as compared to worded text and it is high-time that marketers leverage this feature to improve sales figures for their ecommerce clients.

The experts were discussing these points at the recently concluded ad:tech in India.