Is mCommerce More Convenient Than eCommerce?

By Shyamal Dave|26th Apr 2012
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In recent times, people have talked a lot about the potential of the eCommerce industry in India. But, mobile broadband seems to be the underdog as far as this sector is considered, serving as the primary driver of overall Internet penetration in India. Of the next lot of Internet users to be added in the coming quarters, more than 66.66% are expected to be mobile-internet users. The growing popularity and affordability of smartphones will work to tend this flow; the lowest priced smartphone available today at just Rs 3,000.Figures to validate the claim

In markets such as Japan 20% of online commerce relies on the mobile phone. With around 30% of mobile-only Internet users, China has an m-commerce level of 12%. The number of mobile-only Internet users is expected to be over 50% in India by 2015.

With smartphones penetrating the market deeply, the size of display would certainly not be a constraining factor for people purchasing on the mobile phone, morever the medium, especially given its ubiquity, would add considerable advantages over traditional eCommerce channels.

Mobile Apps rule

Tesco, UK's leading retailer, offers its customers a mobile app through which they can place orders and opt for home delivery if they wish, something m-commerce startups are expected to introduce in India soon. Tesco has also introduced barcode scanner in its app so that customers can use the app to scan the barcode of a product to add it directly to their shopping cart, a subtle innovation indeed.

App growth- Projections

  • App downloads will grow 38 percent to 23 billion.
  • App spend will grow 30.7 percent to $26.1 billion.
  • Apps will make up 18.9 percent of mobile media outlay.

Near Future

M-commerce in India is no more a fledgling industry with ngpay (a leading m-commerce player) having over 1.5 million registered users, who purchase products through their mobiles. Their mobile mall, as they refer to it, has a daily footfall of 40,000-50,000 unique users, with about 15% of those making purchases with an average transaction size of about Rs 700. Airtel with its huge 243.336 million subscriber base worldwide has great potential if it successfully implements Airtel Money across all 20 countries.

Mobile commerce offers an almost endless freedom of the shopping experience in that it allows users to browse, compare, and purchase regardless of the users’ location. Major markets such as Africa have already observed mobile capture the computer-space as the go-to source for browsing, and globally the market has doubled for four consecutive years. It's high time we accept that mobile is not just a feasible and profitable medium for commerce, but a superior experience too.

All figures are as reported by Economic Times.

Image Credit: mobilemarketingwatch.com

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