Amazon gains on Flipkart in India's mobile commerce market
Amazon is rapidly amassing mobile commerce market share in India, accounting for 30.3% of the country’s mobile commerce users as of last month, compared to 30.7% for market leader Flipkart, according to data from research firm 7Park Data emailed to Retail Dive.
Amazon's mobile app engagement rate among Indian customers increased 46% from the year-ago period, while Flipkart’s app engagement rate was down 11.5% year-over-year.
Mobile commerce users in India also are spending about 7.6 more minutes on Amazon’s mobile app than on Flipkart’s app, according to 7Park Data. Overall, minutes per active user on Amazon’s app rose about 14.9% over the last year, while Flipkart saw average time spent on its app slide by 42.6%.
Flipkart is pretty familiar with its foreign foe. The Indian company was founded by former Amazon employees in 2007 and has steadily built up its leading market share. Amazon entered India’s e-commerce market only four years ago, but came with a sense of urgency, pledging to spend more than $5 billion in the country over the next few years, according to Quartz India.
Now, pretty much everything is coming up Amazon in India. In just four years, Amazon’s mobile app has been installed by 40.8% of the market, compared to 38.4% for Flipkart, which, it bears repeating, had a six-year head start.
Of all the interesting data tidbits mentioned, there is another even more telling stat to share: Amazon’s unique purchasers grew 113.1% over the last year, while Flipkart’s grew by just 10.8%. In achieving these numbers, Amazon has stayed true to a recipe that has worked in other markets. For example, it launched its wildly successful Prime program in India last summer.
All of this doesn’t mean Flipkart is prepared to quietly yield No. 1 in the market to Amazon. The company recently made a deal to acquire eBay's operations in India. Under that deal, eBay also agreed to invest $500 million and is being joined by Microsoft and other investors to contribute a total of $1.4 billion in new funding to Flipkart.
The company, which also was rumored at one point to be an acquisition target of Wal-Mart, is now rumored be discussing a possible merger with fellow Indian e-commerce giant Snapdeal, which is No. 3 in the market. That would certainly could give Flipkart a bit of a cushion with a bigger user base as it looks for ways to keep Amazon at bay. There is an interesting competitive battle happening between Amazon and Flipkart. The latter has some new funding that should help it fight back, but of course it depends on how Flipkart puts that money to work and whether it can assemble something close to the customer experience and refined logistics capabilities that Amazon so often uses to lure shoppers and stay ahead of the competition.