As e-commerce war between market leaders Flipkart and Amazon continues, the new ‘Mobile Majority’ report by US-based free internet provider Jana has found Amazon dominating Flipkart and eBay in terms of search volume with a whopping 46.0 percent vs. 20.9 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively.
The study takes a close look at e-commerce trends in India and mobile search volume done through Jana’s mCent, the second most downloaded browser in India. Accordingly, Amazon – which has gained popularity with its ‘Prime’ offering – generated nearly half of all searches in Q3 and Q4 2017. The report also said that Snapdeal is fourth at (7.87 percent) and Shopclues is fifth (at 6.77 percent) most searched for sites respectively.
A press release from Jana states that the study also confirms earlier reports of Flipkart loosening its grip on Indian consumers, where changes in user behaviour have been increasingly favourable to Amazon regarding user engagement and time spent in-app.
Notably, Flipkart Group's Singapore filings for FY 2017 show that revenues have gone up by 29 percent to Rs 19,854 crore, but the rise in losses was more dramatic at 68 percent, to Rs 8,771 crore.
The ongoing battle
In FY2017, Amazon almost ran away with the e-commerce market, with the Seattle-based behemoth beating Flipkart in gross sales in July, August and September of 2016. Although Flipkart has got its ground back since, with another $4 billion, this study has interesting revelations.
“Our data shows Amazon’s marketplace is the first choice among Indian consumers, where searches outpace nearest competitor Flipkart 2x and best popular sites like eBay and Snapdeal by a healthy margin,” said Nathan Eagle, CEO and Founder of Jana. He added, “On the product side, it was surprising to see Roku emerge as a clear winner for the streaming device category, nearly doubling the search total of nearest competitor Apple TV and nearly 4x the number of searches over Chromecast.”
On the other hand, Amazon's December quarter results have beaten expectations, with a profit of about $2 billion. Its international sales grew 29 percent to $18 billion; however, international operating losses doubled to $919 million in the quarter. This means the global e-commerce giant's international losses is at $3 billion. Most of this is thanks to its aggressive spending in India.
A The Economic Times report puts Amazon's India cash burn at $120 million a month. Amazon India has received over $1 billion from its parent company so far this fiscal.
Jana is the largest provider of free internet in emerging markets. Their technology is integrated into the billing systems of 311 mobile operators and available to 4.56 billion mobile subscribers across 40 million emerging market users with free, ad-sponsored internet access.
The study also stated that laptops topped the category of shopper searches overall, against cameras, tablets, and smartphones.
Also, searches for iPhone X and iPhone 8 topped the most popular Android models, Vivo V7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in smartphone category, and Alexa has crushed Google Home in smart home category among Indian shoppers.
Jana claims that the research was conducted on mobile search traffic in India over mCent browser from July 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017. More than 1.6 million mobile searches were studied overall as generated by mobile subscribers in India.
Images courtesy: Jana Mobile Majority report