Get a demo Do I subscribe? News sign-up
Print

Indians embrace mobile commerce

News, 09 March 2015

MUMBAI: Online purchases made through mobile phones have more than doubled in India over the past two years according to research.

The MasterCard Online Shopping Survey 2014 covered 7,000 respondents in 14 countries across Asia Pacific and found that Indian mobile shoppers were second only to those in China, with 62.9% of respondents having used the device to make online purchases, compared to 70.1%.

India was just ahead of Taiwan on this count, where 62.6% of respondents had made this type of purchase via mobile, followed by Thailand (58.8%) and Indonesia (54.9%). Overall, 95% of Indian respondents with a mobile phone had access to the internet through it, up by 20.2 points since 2012, The Hindu reported.

And the proportion making a purchase via mobile in the three months preceding the survey had risen from 30.3% in 2012 to 62.9% in 2014.

The main factors driving mobile shopping included the ability to shop on the go, cited by 47.7% of respondents, the availability of apps making it easier to shop this way (45.3%) and convenience (38.1%).

In a rather self-referential mode, mobile phones and mobile apps topped the list of items purchased through smartphones, being bought by 28.8% of respondents.

Tickets for cinema and movie theatres (26.7%) and clothing/fashion accessories (24.0%) were also popular buys.

Despite the growing propensity of Indian consumers not only to buy online, but to buy via mobile, several factors loomed large in preventing even faster uptake, including payment security (86.8%), the value of would-be purchases (86.6%) and a lack of convenient payment methods (86.2%).

Currently, debit cards and cash are the most commonly used payment methods, but Vikas Varma, MasterCard South Asia area head, said that "Digital payment solutions like mobile banking apps and digital wallets will go a long way to further enrich the purchasing experience for the evolving consumer".

Flipkart was the site visited most often by respondents. Almost three quarters (73%) had been there, compared to half (51%) at Amazon and 42% at Snapdeal.

Data sourced from The Hindu, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff