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Mobile shoppers in India embrace app-only trend

  • 54% smartphone users used shopping apps in May 2015
  • 45% growth in popularity of shopping websites
  • Monthly, women spend 16 mins more than men on shopping apps

India is riding high on the smartphone wave in the country as it has redefined the phase of ecommerce and paved way for several other start-ups in the country. As India is emerging as a mobile-first country, there are far more mobile internet users than desktop users. A study by Nielsen reiterated the claims of marketers. Tracking the growth in mobile penetration in India, ecommerce players too launched discounts and attractive deals for mobile users.

Leading ecommerce players such as Myntra and Flipkart have also ditched their browsable version and embraced the app-only route as majority of their traffic is accessing the site from the mobile device. Meanwhile, other players are attributing almost 50 per cent of their audience to mobile.

According to the study, availability of cheaper handsets and ecommerce campaigns have spurred the evolution of mobile shopping apps. Ecommerce players are closing tracking the Indian festival season and public holidays to sync their campaigns and use aggressive app promotion and launches as catalysts.

The number of smartphone users, using shopping apps, has jumped to 54 per cent in May 2015, from 21 per cent a year back. In comparison, the growth in popularity of shopping was seen increasing from 28 per cent to reach 45 per cent.

Analysing the consumer trends in the Indian society, a widespread belief emerged the women will be the key drivers of mobile shopping in India but alternatively, men were seen driving the adoption and growth of mobile shopping. The trend was evident from two key factors – male appetite for technology and the fact that men are often the ones who make the payment.

Men can be attributed as the largest driver of electronic on ecommerce platforms. More often, when women make a purchase decision, they ask men to compare costs and complete the transaction, according to the report.

However, over the last 2-3 months, women have stepped up contributing significantly to the trend of mobile shopping apps in the country. The Nielsen report pointed that women are spending 16 minutes a month more than men on mobile shopping apps.

Contrary to the general perception, non-metros are slightly more engaged against their counterparts in the metros. The non-metro residents or users in Tier II and Tier III cities have limited shopping alternatives, especially in the electronics and apparel category, but metro users enjoy higher spending power. The cash-on-delivery option has also led the adoption of shopper apps in smaller towns,, the study added.

The report also highlighted the correlation between the price of mobile handset and engagement on mobile shopping. The report said that the time spent of mobile shopping apps is largely similar across India but more expensive handsets, specifically over INR 15,000 lead to 1.6 times the time on shopping apps compared to those with cheaper phones. Therefore, higher time spends are causing higher spending power in mobile shopping.