Online businesses are looking for more innovative means to collaborate more closely with business partners and to create a better relationship with the customers. Technology has enabled businesses to recognize analyze the customer behavior and take the advantage of mobile applications. With such apps emerging, more personalized relationships between customers and businesses are possible and this adds value to the brands and helps to extend the market reach even further.
Today, mobile commerce has given customers the satisfaction of effortless and convenient shopping experience and this has transformed how eCommerce companies manage their supply chain. E-commerce, the method of buying and selling products over the internet has changed the outlook of customers. Now, instead of travelling to stores, they enjoy the comfort of buying and receiving the products from their wherever they prefer.
How the World Went Mobile
It was in the year 1991 that the National Science Foundation permitted commercial business to operate on the internet, and this immediately changed the methods companies were operating till then. The e-commerce revolution began and today it has grown into a giant and is expected to generate more than $370 billion U.S sales by 2017.Not only US, other countries like India, China are also expanding their online retail market due to huge annual revenue growth.
With increased usage of mobile devices for online shopping, ecommerce has turned to m-commerce and the trend is growing popular day by day. Ecommerce portals have become more user-friendly and the ease of accessibility has made 2014 a year of tremendous growth for m-commerce. It is interesting to note that most of the marketing money is spent by business organization to grow their mobile base. Internet users are also growing at a rapid pace and with this, India is also expecting to increase its customer base of smart phones and mobile subscribers by 2015. A report has stated that there are about 150,000,000 users of smartphones in India with a monthly addition of 8,000,000 subscribers. There are about 40mn 3G subscribers and 150mn applications are downloaded monthly. This is the m-commerce market size of India, which is said to grow even more in the coming few years.
Let us discuss in this article the success stories of some popular e commerce giants.
Flipkart: The Journey
A start up business with simply 4 lakhs rupees as investment 5 years back, Flipkart has grown into a $100 million online business today. It was started by two IIT graduates who were earlier employed by Amazon in the year 2007. Flipkart is India’s largest online bookseller and has added other products like personal and health care, media and electronics, etc. The company boasts of a 100% growth since it is founded and the sales for the year 2011- 12 were around US $100 million. Flipkart receives about 8 million visits every month and operates in 27 cities. The company ships 30000+ items per day and the products range from fashion, accessories, books, gadgets, electronics and lifestyle. With mobile usage growing, the company has seen a huge growth in the number of users on tablets and smart phones. Mobile applications have helped them to promote their services and products and to increase consumer awareness. This has, in fact, given Flipkart the opportunity to reach potential customers and expand their customer base.
As technology evolved and began to offer internet connectivity on smart phones and other mobile devices, people began to make purchases from their mobile devices. The ability to access the application from anywhere and anytime from a single device increased the opportunities of online purchasing and mobile eCommerce saw a rapid progress.
In 2012, Flipkart’s application was available on Android, but the company saw the maximum growth in the year 2014 when they promoted the mobile app on a various advertisement campaigns. In 2014, shopping via mobile applications has grown by 106%. Flipkart also celebrated the Big Billion Day in October which is the most active time period for shopping in India.
The above chart shows the percent of Flipkart mobile application that is downloaded in the year 2014.
Jabong: Success Story
Jabong.com is a part of the German Rocket Internet Group and is an Indian fashion and lifestyle eCommerce portal. The company gets around 14,000 orders daily and offers more than 90,000 products on the site. The company was launched two years back and has observed tremendous growth in the business. With excessive use of smartphones and internet, the brand has adopted a new approach that has enhanced the shopping experience of customers. Jabong introduced their mobile application in April this year and received about 27% of all orders from mobile devices in the second quarter of 2014. This is increasing at an amazing rate of 25-35% every month. The graph below shows downloads of the application in millions.
The company received 62% orders from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Excess usage of smartphones and lack of branded showrooms in the cities were considered as prime factors that contributed to the growth of mobile shopping for the eCommerce portal.
According to a study, more than 97% customers prefer and ask for a mobile platform for selling and buying of products. Although there are various obstacles and challenges before mobile shopping, yet it is fully embraced by Indian customers as it offers the comfort of purchasing from anywhere and getting it delivered at their preferred destination.
The founder and MD of Jabong, Praveen Sinha stated that on the first day of Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF) Jabong observed a huge leap with revenues rising four times compared to the sales on any normal day. Revenues from mobile have been about six times higher than the last GOSF and the traffic to the site has also risen by eight times from what it was last year.
The Indian eCommerce market, which is $13 billion, is set to cross $90 billion by 2019 that is an increase of about 700% in the coming five years. Research has shown that the most interesting factor in this incredible growth of eCommerce portals is that mobile applications are the key to their success.