In India, three quarters of people use mobile for discovery – and with mobile uptake soaring, the device is set to drive the future of omnichannel retailing in the country, according to a senior executive at Facebook.

The social networking giant’s research indicates that mobile will drive a majority of all sales in India by 2020 but 90% of these sales will still occur at traditional retail store.

“For all the money that e-commerce companies are pumping in, the overall pie of e-commerce in India continues to be about 3%,” Prateek Sinha, industry manager for retail and e-commerce at Facebook India, said at the India Retail Forum in Mumbai recently.

“What this means is that whenever consumers are using their mobile devices in offline retail stores, technology shifts and tectonic shifts are happening in tandem.” (For more, read WARC’s report: India Retail Trends: Mobile and the future of omnichannel marketing.)

As well as using mobile phones for discovery, Facebook’s research also shows that a similar proportion of people (74%) use it for seeking information post-purchase, for service-related queries or for sharing experiences on social media.

By the year 2020, several product categories will be primarily mobile influenced according to a recent research study done by KPMG for Facebook on the retail sector: 65% of branded fashion sales in India, valued at $66bn, will be mobile influenced; similarly, 81% of automobile sales will be mobile influenced; and so will be 73% of mobile phone sales, valued at $16bn.

“The next phase we are expecting is that of the omnichannel strategy,” said Sinha. “How do we get to a stage where AI, AR and VR start implementing automated replenishments for us; where stores become showrooms – but across all consumer touchpoints, so that, for a brand, the entire retail experience is consistent and synonymous – in other words, a brand experience, not an online or offline experience.

“That’s when omnichannel fulfillment will actually come to be.” 

Sourced from WARC