online shopping

As Flipkart slips, Amazon is tightening its grip on India’s mobile shoppers

Even though Flipkart captures a marginally larger share of the mobile app market, its overall performance has dipped.

Flipkart is losing its grip on India’s mobile shoppers.

On the face of it, the homegrown e-commerce company is leading the pack. As of March, Flipkart accounted for 30.7% of India’s monthly mobile e-commerce users, according to data intelligence firm 7Park Data. Amazon was almost neck-to-neck with Flipkart, capturing 30.3%. Snapdeal lagged far behind at 10.8%.

However, a closer look at the shifting user base and commitment level among customers reveals that Amazon is gaining at the expense of Flipkart. Bengaluru-based Flipkart, founded in 2007, got a six-year head start on Amazon, which arrived here only in 2013. Yet, it is getting beat.

Even though Flipkart captures a marginally larger share of the mobile app market, its overall performance has dipped. From Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, its app engagement declined 11.5%. During this period, Amazon saw a huge 46% rise. Mobile is a key component of India’s e-commerce market. In 2016, for instance, more than 80% of traffic to both Flipkart and Snapdeal came via their respective apps or mobile sites.

Flipkart’s users also don’t seem as keen on staying on and browsing. The minutes per active user declined 42.6% for the e-tailer in the first quarter of 2017 compared to a year earlier. Time spent by customers on Amazon ticked up 14.9% in this period.

In all, users are spending 7.6 more minutes on Amazon than on Flipkart, according to 7Park data.

In December 2016, Amazon seized the top spot in app penetration – the share of surveyed users who had the app installed – from Flipkart. As of March this year, 40.8% of the surveyed shoppers had installed the Seattle-based company’s mobile app while 38.4% had Flipkart’s.

Both companies attract similar numbers of unique visits, but Amazon had 10 times more browsers turning into buyers then Flipkart did. From Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, Amazon’s unique purchasers grew 113.1%, well above Flipkart’s 10.8% uptick.

Amazon’s upper hand can be attributed to two factors: its breadth of offerings and an ability to adapt its successful model from other countries for India. The Jeff Bezos-led company has committed to spend more than $5 billion in India over the next few years. That trumps Flipkart’s $3.2 billion and Snapdeal’s $1.7 billion put together.

Amazon’s global business is a well-oiled machine with deep pockets, so it can afford to burn cash in India. And as India’s e-commerce industry undergoes consolidation and overcomes a funding crunch, domestic firms are left with two options: bulk up cash reserves or join forces.

These changes are already taking place, Brian Chaitoff, research director of 7Park Data, says. After all, Flipkart just raised $1.4 billion and rumors of a Flipkart-Snapdeal merger are rife.

This article first appeared on Quartz.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Why do our clothes fade, tear and lose their sheen?

From purchase to the back of the wardrobe – the life-cycle of a piece of clothing.

It’s an oft repeated story - shiny new dresses and smart blazers are bought with much enthusiasm, only to end up at the back of the wardrobe, frayed, faded or misshapen. From the moment of purchase, clothes are subject to wear and tear caused by nature, manmade chemicals and....human mishandling.

Just the act of wearing clothes is enough for gradual erosion. Some bodily functions aren’t too kind on certain fabrics. Sweat - made of trace amounts of minerals, lactic acid and urea - may seem harmless. But when combined with bacteria, it can weaken and discolour clothes over time. And if you think this is something you can remedy with an antiperspirant, you’ll just make matters worse. The chemical cocktail in deodorants and antiperspirants leads to those stubborn yellowish stains that don’t yield to multiple wash cycles or scrubbing sessions. Linen, rayon, cotton and synthetic blends are especially vulnerable.

Add to that, sun exposure. Though a reliable dryer and disinfectant, the UV radiation from the sun causes clothes to fade. You needn’t even dry your clothes out in the sun; walking outside on a sunny day is enough for your clothes to gradually fade.

And then there’s what we do to our clothes when we’re not wearing them - ignoring labels, forgetting to segregate while washing and maintaining improper storage habits. You think you know how to hang a sweater? Not if you hang it just like all your shirts - gravity stretches out the neck and shoulders of heavier clothing. Shielding your clothes by leaving them in the dry-cleaning bag? You just trapped them in humidity and foul odour. Fabrics need to breathe, so they shouldn’t be languishing in plastic bags. Tossing workout clothes into the laundry bag first thing after returning home? It’s why the odour stays. Excessive moisture boosts fungal growth, so these clothes need to be hung out to dry first. Every day, a whole host of such actions unleash immense wear and tear on our clothes.

Clothes encounter maximum resistance in the wash; it’s the biggest factor behind premature degeneration of clothes. Wash sessions that don’t adhere to the rules of fabric care have a harsh impact on clothes. For starters, extra effort often backfires. Using more detergent than is indicated may seem reasonable for a tub full of soiled clothes, but it actually adds to their erosion. Aggressive scrubbing, too, is counterproductive as it worsens stains. And most clothes can be worn a few times before being put in the wash, unless of course they are sweat-soaked gym clothes. Daily washing of regulars exposes them to too much friction, hastening their wear and tear.

Different fabrics react differently to these abrasive agents. Natural fabrics include cotton, wool, silk and linen and each has distinct care requirements. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, are sensitive to heat and oil.

A little bit of conscious effort will help your clothes survive for longer. You can start by lessening the forces acting on the clothes while washing. Sort your clothes by fabric instead of colour while loading them in the washing machine. This helps save lighter fabrics from the friction of rubbing against heavier ones. It’s best to wash denim materials separately as they are quite coarse. For the same reason, clothes should be unzipped and buttoned before being tossed in the washing machine. Turning jeans, printed clothes and shirts inside out while loading will also ensure any abrasion is limited to the inner layers only. Avoid overloading the washing machine to reduce friction between the clothes.

Your choice of washing tools also makes a huge difference. Invest in a gentler detergent, devoid of excessive dyes, perfumes and other unnecessary chemicals. If you prefer a washing machine for its convenience, you needn’t worry anymore. The latest washing machines are far gentler, and even equipped to handle delicate clothing with minimal wear and tear.


Bosch’s range of top loading washing machines, for example, care for your everyday wear to ensure they look as good as new over time. The machines make use of the PowerWave Wash System to retain the quality of the fabrics. The WaveDrum movement adds a top-down motion to the regular round action for a thorough cleaning, while the dynamic water flow reduces the friction and pulling forces on the clothes.

Play

The intelligent system also creates water displacement for better movement of clothes, resulting in lesser tangles and clothes that retain their shape for longer. These wash cycles are also noiseless and more energy efficient as the motor is directly attached to the tub to reduce overall friction. Bosch’s top loading washing machines take the guesswork away from setting of controls by automatically choosing the right wash program based on the load. All that’s needed is a one-touch start for a wash cycle that’s free of human errors. Read more about the range here. You can also follow Bosch on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Bosch and not by the Scroll editorial team.