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Opening offline stores will supplement online m-commerce: BeaconStac report


Our Digital Payments coverage is brought you by Chillr: India’s 1st multi-Bank instant mobile payment app enabling fund transfers to anyone in your phonebook.


Bangalore based Beaconstac has released a report (written by Sharat Potharaju, co-founder & CEO of MobStac) on changes and developments in mobile commerce and its implications this year. The report defines mobile commerce as any business (which has a mobile app) which uses mobile devices to enable the exchange of money for goods directly or indirectly. Here are the key takeaways of the report:

Financial technology startups can enable much more than just payments:

Financial technology startups are building the foundation of the Indian by enabling cashless, on the go financial transactions, for ex. cab rides, movie tickets, utility bills etc. Mobile wallets can bridge payment with discovery and procurement, by either integrating with existing ecommerce apps or creating their own in app features. This can be demonstrated by Paytm, which has partnered with Saavn, Uber and MakeMyTrip among others, and also split its mobile wallet and ecommerce arm into separate apps, letting it experiment with in-app loyalty rewards, social gifting, marketing etc.

MobStac Indian Mobile Commerce Map

Aggregator apps are greatly outpacing apps for individual businesses:

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Except some business like Dominos Pizza, KFC, Indigo airlines, PVR Cinemas, most large companies have become reliant on aggregators for mobile app presence. Shopper’s Stop, for example, tried to build a loyalty app but did not gain traction, despite its large retailing presence. Many of these businesses struggle with the question of developing their own app or relying on existing and well known brands with strong user bases. Full stack startups, which own the business end to end, present an alternative to the aggregator model. Under Mobstac’s report, businesses like PVR or Dominos sell their own product through their own own channels from their neighbourhood, likening them to hyperlocal by the report’s definition. Full stack model can ensure businesses deliver more reliable and unified user experience, if pulled off correctly.

The ecosystem is moving towards “hyperlocal mobile” commerce:

The ecosystem is likely to shift to hyperlocal mobile mode, driven by two factors: a. India has become a mobile first country and b. a sizeable amount of commerce is happening offline, outside Tier I cities. Companies wanting to tap into the market opportunity will need to develop strategies enhancing the offline world with mobile and vice versa. In cases like Lenskart or Pepperfry, opening up physical centres to supplement their online and mobile shopping. Users can get in store recommendations based on online preferences, social sharing etc. This can also come through aggregating offline vendors and offers and products which are nearby, giving rise to location based deal aggregators, discovery platforms and food tech.

The Indian mobile commerce industry is going to see rapid reorganisation in the coming years.

Image Credit: Jason Howie under CC BY 2.0

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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