The fast adoption of smartphones by younger generations in India has helped to create a climate where online shopping is as easy as pulling out a mobile device. India is already a market with a lot of smartphone users, but that group is still growing very quickly. eMarketer estimates that there will be 267.1 million smartphone users in the country this year, an increase of 19.5% over 2016's figure.
Younger consumers in India, in particular, have taken to digital shopping on smartphones in droves. According to a September 2016 survey of adult smartphone owners under 35 in India conducted by digital marketing firm Regalix, the vast majority, 83%, had used their advanced handset to do some online retail shopping.
Despite this, only a minority of smartphone shoppers were actually making a purchase with any significant frequency. Regalix found that just 28% of respondents made a weekly purchase using their device. One-third of those polled bought something via smartphone monthly, while one-quarter did so on a quarterly basis.
Regalix's survey group also showed a strong preference for mobile apps, with 94% reporting that apps were more convenient than mobile websites. Apps provide retailers with several advantages, allowing them greater control over the user experience while letting them communicate directly with users through push notifications.
However, users in India have indicated they still prefer the flexibility of having the option of using either the mobile web or a native app. Myntra, an apparel-focused ecommerce platform owned by Flipkart, learned that lesson the hard way after taking its platform app-only in 2015, only to reverse course later and relaunch its mobile site in early 2016.
Interestingly, Regalix found that only a small number of smartphone users, just 19%, admitted to being influenced by mobile advertising. Nearly half of respondents claimed ads never influenced them, while just over one-third didn't even notice mobile ads.