The journey of a mobile device has seen an incredible growth trajectory in the past two decades. Today, a mobile device has become a primary need for consumers. They use this device for multiple purposes including various utilities and entertainment, and not just communication. Indian smartphone users on an average spend 169 minutes per day on their devices, with this user base growing at a 26 per cent CAGR from 2013 to 2017. Research shows that by 2017 about 80 per cent Indians will use smartphones to access the internet, which in turn will increase digital commerce substantially. Statistics such as these reflect the huge mobile opportunities for advertisers and marketers, waiting to be leveraged.
As consumers choose convenience and simplicity while purchasing, online shopping is gaining momentum in India. E-commerce companies are observing that a large number of consumers are now using their smartphones to view, select and purchase products.
Additionally, today's consumers spend a large amount of time in transit and smartphones serve as a go-to medium for internet access. Observing this trend, marketers have now started to realise the "one-stop shop" power of the mobile. Take for instance Grofers, the instant delivery app where you place an order for anything from ice cream to mosquito repellent and have it delivered at your doorstep within 90 minutes. Such formats are vying for customer attention, as they move from being a part of your special occasions to being an integral part of your daily routine. Today, 20-25 per cent of business by e-commerce firms in India is generated through mobile phones, and this is likely to gain momentum due to the growth in mobile technology and connectivity of shopping and payment platforms. With these factors in mind, it is inevitable for mobile commerce to go mainstream in the near future.
The next phase is to leverage this massive m-commerce opportunity, by offering end-to-end solutions to consumers. M-commerce is all set to overtake e-commerce. Owing to the increased use of smartphones and apps, mobile internet usage is overtaking that of desktop internet. Consumers are now looking at options that allow them to use the same device to search for products as well as purchase them while making the process faster and convenient. M-commerce caters to this very need, and helps shorten the purchase routine. With the purchase option now increasingly available, apps have gained traction due to the convenience offered, decreasing the time spent while making the purchase and making it less tedious. This enables companies to target consumers based on several parameters.
This is true for companies across sectors. Telecom service operators or telcos have to sell segmented packs across data and voice. Direct-to-home (DTH) cable service providers have to sell channel packs segmented by genre such as only movies, sports or entertainment instead of all channels, and consumers even request for these packs on hourly or daily basis instead of paying for the entire month. The challenge for telcos and DTH service providers is reaching out to the relevant consumers with segmented pre-paid offers.
Heralding the next phase of the mobile revolution, M-commerce is evidently the future of mobile marketing. Most companies will be seen adopting this new development to keep pace with the evolving times and advancing consumer preferences. The mobile platform is one to watch out for; the question that needs to be asked, however, is how soon will marketers take advantage of this huge opportunity with multiple possibilities and to what extent.