NEW DELHI: India is the second-largest smartphone market in the world and now Facebook has launched an initiative in the country to help brands reduce the number of consumers who drop out from their mobile purchase journeys.

Called the ‘Zero Friction Future’ programme, the initiative is a partnership with professional services firm KPMG and draws on research and insights conducted by Nielsen.

Facebook and KPMG intend the whitepapers to provide guidance for several consumer sectors in India, but are starting with the smartphone market, which is expected to reach 1.4 billion unique mobile subscribers by 2022.

The first report, entitled ‘Eliminating Friction in Smartphone Path to Purchase’, suggests that ‘friction’ in the path to purchase journeys of Indian consumers accounts for about two-thirds of consumer dropouts when it comes to smartphones.

In addition, the Economic Times reported, around a third of consumer dropouts are attributed to media friction.

Why this matters, the Facebook-KPMG study contends, is because smartphone brands could generate an extra $3.1bn worth of potential revenue by 2022 if they reduced the friction faced by consumers.

The study further revealed that mobile currently influences 58% of smartphone purchase decisions, amounting to $8.5bn worth of sales – and it is expected to reach 73% and influence $15.6bn worth of sales by 2022.

Meanwhile, Facebook influences 33% of purchase decisions, amounting to $4.8bn worth of sales, and it is expected to reach 44% and influence $9.5bn worth of sales by 2022, the report added.

“Consumer journeys are quite complex today. Mobile plays a key role at every step in their customer's purchase cycle while researching for information and buying,” said Sandeep Bhushan, director of Facebook India and South Asia.

“But we have seen not all businesses are prepared to meet consumer expectations, which leads to consumers dropping at different stages of the purchase, deemed as friction, which often result in abandonment of purchase journey – implying loss of revenues for them,” he continued.

“Mobile reduces the probability of consumers from bouncing off the journey by enabling faster and seamless conversion. With the launch of the Zero Friction Future programme, we want to help businesses adopt relevant mobile marketing strategies to offer seamless purchase experiences, to help them win consumers and increasing sales.”

Sourced from Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff