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M-commerce to drive businesses for e-tailers in India

The rise of mobile commerce is impacting businesses in India on back of affordability of mobile handsets and improving internet access. Market experts have acknowledged this uptick in the smartphone penetration in the country which currently stands at 74 million and is expected to cross 440 million by 2020.

“Smartphones currently account for nearly 20 per cent of the mobile handsets market. However, over the next five years, the share of smartphones is estimated to increase to over 80 per cent of the total mobile phone market,” said a report titled ‘e-tailing in India’ by Technopak Advisors.

Ecommerce industry is estimated to have a consumer base of 243 million with 185 million accessing the services via a mobile phone, according to the report. Also, leading mass e-tailers are already registering close to a third of their sales via mobile devices, the report added.

As mobile penetration in India surpassed wired telephone network to transform voice communication in India, rise in mobile phone penetration is expected transform the e-tailing industry in the country. But the low penetration of broadband services have been attributed as bottleneck which obstructs the growth of mobile commerce. Internet penetration in India stands at 20 per cent as against 80 per cent in US and 45 per cent in China.

Nevertheless, traces of change have been seen in the industry as mobiles are driving a large chunk of internet traffic for e-tailers in the m-commerce space which is expected to surpass the traffic generated by personal computers or laptops. E-tailers are not shying away from the transformation and have introduced mobile optimised platforms to make the user mobile experience seamless and appealing.

Further to push m-commerce, e-tailers are seen offering attractive discounts and other offers for purchases through the mobile platform. In order to ensure that the shopping experience is not lost across different devices, it requires attention to be paid to device operating systems, varying device resolutions, different browsers, wireless networks, and payment solutions.