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Five trends that Indian E-commerce companies must take note of, this Diwali season


E-commerce companies in India have had a good run during their annual sale season this year. Flipkart had its Big Billion Days 2016 while Amazon saw a great response with its Great Indian sale. Snapdeal, following a major rebrand jumped into the fray with its Unbox Diwali Sale. Although such sales happen each year, the way consumers shop online has also changed over the years. It does play a role in the fact that these companies have seen more uptake forGraph 1 the merchandise that they're offering.

Now that they are at the onset of the annual Diwali sale season, here are a few trends E-commerce companies need to watch out for:

  1. The number of digital buyers (those who made at least one purchase digitally) itself is estimated to increase from 93 million in 2015 to 130 million in 2016, a 40% jump.
  2. What's notable though is that of the total time spent by smartphone users on their devices, an average of 2.5% of this time or 117 minutes per month is spent on shopping apps. This means that for most of the online shoppers, smartphones have become the go-to device for their E-commerce needs.
  3. Graph 2Furthermore, though online shoppers around the country are spending more time shopping on the smartphones, this trend does not apply to devices across all price bands. Users with more expensive devices, those exceeding Rs. 15,000, spend 60% more time on shopping apps than those with devices that fall under this price bracket.
  4. Interestingly though, online shopping which was primarily an urban phenomenon is no longer so today.  People in non-metros (population of less than 10, 00,000) spend more time 116 minutes per month on shopping apps as opposed to those in metros (population of more than 10, 00,000 who spend close to 109 minutes per month.
  5. During the sale week (October 2 – October 8) we  at Vserv observed increased engagement by Indian consumers on their smartphones with demand for pre-roll video ad formats & native in-feed ad formats jump by 29% & 22% respectively.

What this means for the E-commerce players, is that while the addressable market has only grown, a significant chunk of it will be driven by higher-spending population that's increasingly growing in the non-metro areas.

They are the ones who are accessing your shopping apps more on their smartphones, and therefore it only makes sense to go after this mass market with your mobile marketing strategy. When you do, a good idea would be to bank on video and native ads as clearly, users are just more receptive to them.

The sale season kicks off today. Time to draw your mobile marketing weapons out!


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