By Sumedha, Altudo and SimilarWeb|| Market Intelligence Insights || January 23, 2019
The Indian shopping industry has truly experienced major strides in traffic in the past few years. Consumers have developed their trust in online shopping due to the amazing deals, convenience and security offered by the retail shopping sites. Their sales strategy during the festive season or a public occasion has brought marvels in terms of revenue and hence they continue to hit the iron when it’s the hottest.
With Republic Day around the corner, top web retailers in India could be seen gearing up for the occasion with interesting marketing strategies to promote sales. In the following post we will take a glance at the digital shopping industry over the past 15 months, look into industry leaders, their traffic channels and digital strategies, and conclude by looking at last year’s Republic Day sales – giving us an overview of the impact these festive/public occasion sales have on the traffic figures. This data has been provided by SimilarWeb’s unique website data and insights platform.
The seasonality in user engagement shows major hike in the traffic during last year’s festive season (October – December, 2018) which includes the Big Billion Day sale, the Diwali sale season (15th October – 7th November 2018) and the Christmas and New Year’s sale season. The maximum visits with a significant impact in the entire festive season was during the Big Billion sale duration (wherein almost all of the top Shopping websites offered major sales) i.e. 07-13 October, 2018, with total visits reaching to 417.4M and the Respective week’s visits indicating 2.45 % of the total traffic visits in the past 15 Months.
1. A Glance at the Traffic Trend
When it comes to the top 100 shopping sites in India, the monthly visits generated was over 1.14 billion, with mobile devices getting close to 74% of the total traffic. These statistics depict that most Indians prefer to access shopping sites on their mobile device.
Also considering trends in traffic and engagement, it may be said that the category leans highly on the two top traffic attracting websites, amazon.in and flipkart.com, since they generated 382.6M and 229M monthly visits respectively. The two sites experienced significant growth in traffic over the past 15 months – their combined market share encountered a major increase from 43.4% to 48.08% – dominantly ruling the internet shopping industry in India.
Where on one hand, the two leaders acquired majority of the traffic share, other websites like snapdeal.com and paytm.com also worked upon their site performance and marketing strategies, resulting in major hikes in their website traffic. Whereas, Flipkart-owned ebay.in experienced the most significant drop and eventually shuttered, as the parent company launched an alternate service, 2gud.com in August, 2018.
2. Variation in Traffic due to Sources
While growth in traffic is indeed a significant parameter in deducing the digital performance of a website, it is equally important to focus on the source through which the traffic is being generated. Having an understanding of the traffic sources helps businesses to shape up their SEO, SEM and SMO strategies, which can affirmatively be a key factor in improving revenue.
Coming to shopping websites in India, one of the major contributor to the overall traffic are organic channels. Hence when it comes to e-commerce, clearly search plays a vital role. Statistically 31.23% of the overall traffic generated in the shopping category was through organic search. Although a major 45.49% of traffic came to these websites directly, which again is mostly dependent on brand awareness and brand marketing.
Shifting focus to the two leaders among shopping websites - Amazon and Flipkart. Surprisingly both experienced a downfall of 7.59% and 6.09% respectively in the month of December 2018 in site visits resulting from direct traffic source. Whereas Myntra and Jabong substantially increased their direct traffic with an increment of 33.38% and 40.72% respectively. Another significant traffic source in this industry is referrals which is clearly dominated by amazon.in, which received around 4 times more traffic in comparison to flipkart.com.
3. Search being the part of their success story
Concluding from the above, brand indeed plays a vital role for both amazon.in and flipkart.com as majority of their traffic came from direct source. However, in addition to direct, search is a major contributor of traffic to these two sites. Further, for traffic that came from search to amazon.in, 79.69% came from branded keywords. Similarly for flipkart.com, 85.92% of its total search traffic came from branded keywords.
Looking at the non-Branded search stats, Flipkart attracted 30.19M search visits, of which 34% were from mobile web. Whereas Amazon clearly wins this one with a phenomenal 511.4M visits resulting from non-branded keyword search, of which 28% came from mobile web. ”redmi note 5 pro”,” asus zenfone”,”max pro mi1” were some of the non-branded keywords sending traffic to Flipkart whereas “honor play”, “realme 1” and “one plus 6” sent all of their traffic to Amazon. Thus keyword analysis shows that partnerships with the top mobile phone brands helped both Amazon and Flipkart in generating huge volumes in organic traffic.
4. App Performance Underwent major Improvement
When it comes to Mobile apps, its usage was highly inflated in the past year. The industry was working towards improving app performance since a major share of users prefer the mobile app experience.
Considering the case of amazon’s shopping application, it experienced an install penetration of 44.85%, compared to flipkart’s 33.63%, however, in terms of app engagement, Flipkart clearly dominated Amazon, by with a higher open rate (14.42%) and average time spent per user (12 min).
5. Last Year’s Republic Day Sale
To our surprise, no major drifts in traffic were observed in the previous year’s republic day sales. Out of the top 5 websites, only amazon.in encountered a considerable increment in traffic during the republic day sale with an increased percentage of 4.9%. Hence previous year sales strategy during the republic day was not a huge success for the industry.
What’s in store this year? Will we see similar trends being repeated, whether improvements and innovation in digital strategies, app enhancement, etc. will continue, will those lead to a new set of incredible statistics for the industry, is yet to be seen. Looking at the impressive growth, there are some high expectations from the shopping industry post the sale season.
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