"In the next three years mobile commerce will constitute more than 25 percent of the total traffic in e-retailing," HomeShop18 CEO and founder Sundeep Malhotra told PTI. Elaborating his statement, he added India has about 800 million mobile connections and is growing at 25 percent year-on-year (y-o-y).
"It is the second most mobile-populated country globally. I understand there are about some 60-70 million smartphones and they are growing at around 150 percent y-o-y and why because their prices have come down," Malhotra noted. According to a report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB, India is expected to have close to 165 million mobile Internet users by March 2014, up from 87.1 million in December 2012 as more people are accessing the web through mobile devices and dongles.
Besides, independent experts pegged e-commerce segment to have doubled to about $14 billion in 2012 from $6.3 billion in 2011, fuelling more investments from e-commerce firms to step up their presence in this segment.
Experts estimate that e-commerce companies in India raised over $500 million (about Rs 2,743.3 crore) in 2012. Malhotra said HomeShop18 is prepared to serve the rising demand for m-commerce in the country. "In the last one year a lot of people have started using smartphones to search. These categories are now limited like google search for restaurants or movie ticket. But they will move up the value chain in some time," he said.
So for HomeShop18 to be available on handsets and utilise it to complete its entire e-retailing business was critical, he added. "So far we have launched two apps for i-phone and android, we also launched a website to enable smartphone users to surf over 14 million products on our website and we also came out with a our own app for a live HomeShop18 TV channel for smartphone users," he said.
The company recently launched a ‘Scan N Shop', India's first virtual shopping wall, at T3 Terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport in the national capital, he said. "We were the first to come out with shopping experience on television four years back and if we go by the latest TAM data, HomeShop18 is now in about 50 million households. Then, two years ago we launched our website, which gets around 5.5 million unique visitors every month," Malhotra said.