E-commerce: Mobile penetration drives online sales
More categories draw shopper attention
E-commerce sales continued to climb, driven by increased mobile penetration and the addition of more 4G spectrum. Public policy efforts to increase the use of digital payments also helped boost e-commerce, following an initial decline after demonetization. The removal of certain cash currency from circulation impacted e-commerce, as sites typically expect cash-on-delivery.
The number of online buyers totaled around 73 million during the 10 months ending in October 2017, according to an online shopping study by Kantar IMRB. These shoppers purchased items online an average of around four times during the 10-month period, spending an average of 2,136 rupees ($31.25) on each purchase.
The upswing in e-commerce is best illustrated by sales during India’s fall festival season, which accounted for almost a quarter of e-commerce sales during the 10-month period, indicating that India is developing its own shopping event, similar to Cyber Monday in the US or China’s Single’s Day.
With improved delivery and more liberal return policies, the FMCG and fashion categories are gaining in online sales, as are furniture and home improvement, although mobile devices and accessories remains the category most-often purchased online, accounting for almost two-thirds of total e-commerce sales. Of all categories sold online, FMCG drives the most shopper traffic.
Among the insights offered in the Kantar IMRB India Online Shopping report are:
- To appeal to men, the e-commerce early adopters, focus on male-oriented products to drive immediate sales, but also offer products that will increase online shopping by women.
- To accelerate the pace of online FMCG and fashion sales introduce items that require repeat purchasing, and leverage loyalty programs.
- To increase overall sales, implement programs to increase purchasing frequency, which remains fairly low, with typical e-commerce shoppers buying something online once every 2.5 months.