Founder's Diary: How millennials will change mobile shopping in India

Saahil Goel, CEO and co-founder, Kraftly
India is changing at an unimaginable pace. Figures reveal that every second, at least three Indians experience the internet for the first time. By 2030 more than 1 billion of them will be online. Last year one in four mobiles used in India was a smartphone. To add to this, India boasts of the world’s fastest-growing economy with the biggest millennial population in the world. 

These observations, along with a young generation who is constantly on the go and always on the lookout to save both time and money, see mobile as an increasingly preferred platform. With the number of smartphone users growing and mobile internet penetrating at a rapid pace, switching to a mobile-only platform is the need of the hour.

Smartphones give retailers an opportunity to reach out to a large customer base at a faster rate and offer more accurate customer insights. These insights are a great help to the retailers, who make tailor-made offers to their consumers, which in turn have a higher rate of converting into a purchase. Consumers now have the option to choose from new and easy ways to shop than ever before.

The internet experience is changing the way the millennials plan their travel, entertainment - or for that matter every aspect of their life. They are greatly influenced by the culture and the world evolving around them. They see technology not as a mere device or platform for communication but as a means to improve life, make better choices, and contribute to society. This young generation relies a lot on opinions shared by their friends to make more informed decisions. They use their smartphones to access various social media platforms like the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Social media has transformed the complete mindset of this connected generation in terms of their thoughts and viewpoints, and the way it wields influence over others. They are connected 24X7 on diverse social media sites and prompt in their response to the stars, likes, and comments. They enjoy the power they have to share their notions and pass judgment on the things they approve and disapprove of. They use the social media to support a cause or offer a viewpoint about a product. 

Talking in terms of figures, about 85% of the Internet millennial population in India now owns a smartphone. This generation lives in a world where every piece of information is escalated by social media. They are shifting to new buying methods, namely mobile payments and e-wallets. Interestingly, 11% of millennials in India are already doing it.

When it comes to factors that influence purchasing behavior, the studies show that price is the main determinant of purchase for this group of consumers. Other factors like brand, product features, quality, outlet, availability have less influence on their decision to buy or not to buy. The reason for this could be the ease of instant comparison across sites and instant savings.

In the next 15 years, India will see more people come online than any other country. Last year e-commerce sales were about $16 billion by 2020. According to Morgan Stanley, such sales are expected to grow faster in India than in any other market. 
Today, the real challenge for marketers is to develop offerings based on user groups and customise them to suit their unique and specific needs. My observation tells me that mobile shopping in India will be much bigger than desktop e-commerce. In this scenario, I can see India gradually transitioning from a mobile first to a mobile only country.

The author Saahil Goel is the CEO & co-founder of Kraftly

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel