A study by commerce marketing company Criteo shows an upsurge of 490 per cent in average visitors, leading to an increase of average sales by 140 per cent, on major e-commerce websites pre-Diwali last year. This is a seasonal study anticipating shopping trends this Diwali, based on the analysis of about 4.8 million transactions.
The report can serve as a guide for marketers to understand online shoppers and their buying behaviour. Highlighting the current trend of shopping through mobile apps, the report underlines that although sales begin to pick up from August onwards, it peaks between four and two weeks before Diwali and so does website traffic. Hence, it is important for retail companies to encourage shoppers to download the retail app two months before Diwali and build a profitable pool of shoppers by driving traffic to their websites.
Siddharth Dabhade, General Manager, Criteo India, said, “With the internet penetration, and availability of smartphones at an affordable price, Indian shoppers are becoming more confident to make purchases online. They are taking a leap forward, and dismissing traditional shopping habits. As compared to last year, this festive season is expected to bring a large number of shoppers online, promising great sales results for e-commerce giants.”
The festive season in the last few years has seen a trend of large number of shoppers shifting from traditional modes of shopping to online shopping. According to the report, the top performing online retail sub-verticals during Diwali are jewellery, luxury goods and apparel.
He added, “To attract maximum traffic, each e-commerce company is offering products at throwaway prices. Thus, the attention span of online shoppers quickly shifts to other offers, without completing a transaction on a particular website. It is important for retailers to help potential customers complete their transaction by offering them relevant products of their choice across devices. Mapping the shoppers’ browsing behaviour, Criteo’s data analytics help retailers build their digital advertising strategy focused on customisation and personalisation, ensuring that maximum online traffic gets converted into actual sales.”
M-commerce at its peak before Diwali
With a rapid increase in the number of smartphones and data revolution in India, smartphones have become the first point of brand interaction for users. It is in fact now the most personalised medium to reach Indian shoppers.
According to the data gathered by Criteo, during the festive season last year, up to 66 per cent of increase in the share of mobile sales was seen, as compared to average weekly sales during April-May (2016). The upsurge in the share of sales through mobile phones is significantly higher than usual during the weeks leading to Diwali, which was the highest at 79 per cent on the day of Diwali (as per the recent report). This is also because shoppers can easily access smartphones for last-minute shopping.
Retail mobile apps driving increase of m-commerce during Diwali
The in-app availability of e-commerce websites has further triggered the rise of m-commerce in India and has made it the largest mobile apps market. In 2016, Indian users downloaded about 6 billion mobile apps, up from 3.5 billion in 2015.
According to Criteo’s data, during the week before Diwali (in 2016), the share of sales that occurred on apps was 45 per cent higher than the average sales. And particularly on the day of Diwali, the uplift was seen up to 61 per cent.
Seeing an upsurge of shopping via mobile apps, it is vital for retail companies to start the in-app interface, considering major buying behaviour is shifting from desktop to mobile.