Attracting Customers' to Online Shopping Using Mobile Apps: A Case Study of Indian Market

Attracting Customers' to Online Shopping Using Mobile Apps: A Case Study of Indian Market

Baljeet Kaur (Delhi University, India) and Tanya Jain (Delhi University, India)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0236-4.ch006
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The chapter will try to take a systematic and holistic approach to the M-Commerce trust discussing complete issues of trust in E-Commerce from the customer's perspective. It will mainly focus on understanding trust and the elements of M-Commerce trust prevalent in the Indian society. The study will focus on identifying the trust factors pertaining to B2C E-Commerce websites/mobile applications from the perspective of Indian customers. The chapter will primarily discuss a case study of Indian market to explain what trust factors influence the consumers to buy online. The present case study is an in-depth examination of the customers' situation in their daily practice of online shopping. It highlights several valuable lessons concerning the evaluation of B2C E-Commerce investment and ways of enhancing the customers' trust in the e-vendor, thereby increasing the e-vendors' sales along with the ease of the customers. The study is based on the responses collated from personal interviews, questionnaires and experts' judgements.
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The latest advancement in the field of E-Commerce is its wireless form used for conducting business using smart phones and tablets. This form is commonly referred as Mobile Commerce or m-Commerce. The Internet revolution along with the affordability of smart phones, tablets and other hand-held devices has fueled the m-Commerce market in India. Most of the e-Commerce websites in India have launched their mobile apps. Indian banks are also coming into m-Commerce to enable their customers to perform transactions with increased ease. The leading fashion retailer in India, Myntra, has already become mobile based solely. Another Indian e-Business Snapdeal has declared that 65% of the orders placed with them are through their mobile app and they expect this percentage to go up to about 90% by the end of 2015. Similar numbers have been reported by the top management of Amazon. They claim, nearly 50% of their traffic comes from mobile apps. In a study “State of Mobile Commerce in India 2015” by Vizury, it is revealed that mobile commerce in India has grown over 130% within a year. According to the report, online sales through m-Commerce has more than doubled since last year. Only 25% online shopping was done using mobile until last year whereas m-Commerce amounts for about 58% of online sales in India as of now. Exponential growth has been witnessed by mobile commerce in India, Lifestyle and Classifieds being the customers’ favorite domains for m-Commerce shopping. Another report by KPMG on Indian m-Commerce market estimates that the mobile app download would grow six-fold by the end of year 2015 to 9 billion apps. It also suggests that India has been the fastest growing mobile app market since 2013. The report also mentions that due to significant growth in the number of online shopping transactions executed through mobile apps, major e-commerce players are giving serious thoughts in discontinuing their full-version websites altogether. In yet another survey carried out by MasterCard, India emerged at the second position occupying 62.9% after China at 70.1% in terms of number of respondents using a mobile device to do shopping. The survey also gave an insight about the sale of smartphones which has increased significantly. The tremendous hike in sale of smart phones in India coupled with broadband penetration indicate accession to the customer base of e-commerce applications.

This surge in m-commerce is mainly due to the fact that mobile devices are much more affordable, accessible and portable than their bigger, bulkier counterparts that are required to carry out e-commerce activities. Also, an internet connection is required to access a website which may not be available everywhere, every time but this is not the case for m-commerce because internet is available on most mobile devices. The poor state of networks in our country mean that apps work better than mobile browsers because the former are better at caching data. This means that they store user data including frequent searches and purchase history to serve the users faster. This also leads to another important aspect of shopping on apps – personalization of the entire process. The mobile applications are interactive and tend to personalize the shopping experience for the user. The apps take complete advantage of the hardware and software features that mobile phones offer. The availability of camera, contacts and location help the app to make personalized offers for the customer. It is also easier to recommend products to others using apps and hence promote sales for the company. The push notifications act as effective reminders for consumers to know about the latest deals. These regular, subtle reminders allure customers and catalyze business. M-commerce is gaining more value with trending features like pointing nearby stores, quick searches, photographs, graphics, bar code scanning, 3D views, price calculators and ratings which gives it an edge over traditional e-commerce operations.

To promote online shopping through mobile apps, major e-commerce players like Flipkart and Myntra have been announcing app-only sales frequently. Flipkart has also announced to shut down its mobile websites and direct its customers to do shopping on its mobile app instead very much like Myntra. Mobile apps enhance shopping experience for the customers while cutting on website maintenance and advertising costs. Other benefits include in terms of discount notifications. Customer can receive discount notifications from e-vendors without opening the web browser or mobile app.

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