50 per cent of online marketplace Snapdeal's total sales are now happening through mobile phones, essentially making it half an m-commerce company. Snapdeal claims that it has seen an exponential 25x growth in mobile-based transactions, since a year ago, mobile based transactions were only 5 per cent of its total orders.
The key macro factor driving this growth remains the increased penetration of smartphones- considering their reducing prices, as well as mobile being the first and possibly the only point of entry to the internet for millions of consumers in India. In the past three months, 45 per cent of the transactions seen on mobile came from the company's native applications for Android and iOS platforms, while the majority (55 per cent) came from its full featured mobile site. However, the average ticket size of orders placed through the mobile apps was higher than those placed through the mobile site.
During the same time, 20 per cent of all app users opened the Snapdeal app on a daily basis, and Android turned out to be the more popular operating system accounting for 80 per cent of the total users, followed by iOS. In addition, fashion and home related products were the most popular among customers buying over mobile, owing to the impulsive buying patterns for these products.
"Given the increasingly higher consumption of data on mobile phones, we think that the next wave of digital commerce customers will come from this medium. Our ability to build browser and device specific experience as well as the rapid introduction of user experience enhancement features on our mobile platforms have played a key role in driving this growth for us," said Ankit Khanna, VP, product management at Snapdeal.com.
Delhi-based Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, which runs the online marketplace Snapdeal.com was founded by the duo of Kunal Bahl (CEO) and Rohit Bansal (COO). Started as a pure online deals site, it later pivoted to a full-fledged horizontal e-commerce company via a marketplace model in September 2011. The site currently offers over 500 product categories from more than 30,000 sellers across the country. It claims to have over 25 million members and delivers to 5,000+ cities and towns in India. The current team size is 1,300.
In Feb this year, the Snapdeal raised $133.77 million (Rs 830 crore) led by existing investor eBay Inc with participation from other existing investors, in the third-biggest funding round in an Indian tech firm. The new funding came less than a year after it scooped $50 million from eBay, Japan's Recruit Holdings, Intel Capital, Russian venture fund ru-Net and Saama Capital. This round also saw participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Kalaari Capital (erstwhile Indo-US Venture Partners). The latest deal took the total funding for Snapdeal to $237 million across five rounds.
Around the same time, the company forayed into services commerce by launching an education marketplace on its portal. Last month, the company acquired Doozton.com, a curated and socially-nurtured fashion shop that offers hand-picked fashion-finds and seeks to help people make better shopping decisions and discover fitting apparel. The details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Home grown e-commerce giant Flipkart.com, also the biggest competitor of Snapdeal in the country (apart from Amazon.in), is also trying to get its users to shop from their mobile phones. For the same, the company is currently providing free shipping, as well as Rs 150 discount for users that shop via Flipkart's mobile applications.