Five Industries Which Saw the Maximum Shift Towards Mobility Post-Demonetisation
With cash having become a scarce commodity post-demonetisation, digital transactions became part and parcel of everyday lives.
Demonetisation – the effect that this single word has had on the Indian psyche has been unprecedented in recent times. Debates and fiery discussions have raged about the efficacy of the move, but what is indisputable is the telling impact it has had on the country’s digital readiness. More specifically, on the way services are consumed and delivered. Mobile apps have emerged as the preferred medium for brands and consumers to interact in an economy where demonetisation has fast-tracked digital adoption. But while this mobile-first approach continues to find greater traction across all segments, here are five industries which have witnessed the maximum shift towards mobility since the announcement:
• Banking and finance
With cash having become a scarce commodity post-demonetisation, digital transactions became part and parcel of everyday lives. Mobile-based services led the change for the sector; while the number of daily downloads for Unified Payment Interface (UPI) shot up from 2 million to around 3.5 million, private fintech players such as Paytm, Mobikwik, and FreeCharge have all registered exponential growth in terms of the number of users and transactions processed as well as the overall volume of transactions. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology estimates digital transactions in the country to have increased by 400%-1000%, led largely by mobile apps.
As footfalls in offline stores dwindled after November 8, fashion brands looked at mobile-based innovations to retain their consumer base. Several renowned fashion brands and individual designer labels launched their own mobile apps to tap into the benefits of mobility, which allowed them to move away from static in-store inventories to dynamic app-based interfaces that showcased the latest trends. This paved the way for faster inventory movement, greater operational efficiency, and quick marketing rollouts. Data sourced through mobile apps also allowed businesses to enable greater personalisation for end-users based on their likes and purchase patterns, augmenting the user experience and fostering greater brand loyalty.
• Online Retail
According to a recent report by eMarketer, online retail accounted for barely 2.5% of the overall retail sales in India in 2016. In a market segment which could well be worth $1 trillion by 2020, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), this lack of digital penetration was alarming.
Demonetisation, however, altered this dynamic by driving offline consumers towards digital commerce. Mobile app downloads shot up, as consumers took to ordering everything from groceries to electronics on their smartphones. Cash-on-delivery (CoD) payments also decreased significantly post demonetisation with a concomitant rise in online payments. Retailers – both offline and online – rushed to capitalise on this opportunity through mobile apps. According to App Annie, 75% of the top 10 online retail players in India had a strong mobile-first approach, a number much greater than that of more developed economies such as the US or the UK.
With a large section of Indian consumers migrating onto a mobile-led platform for their day-to-day functioning post demonetisation, over-the-top (OTT) entertainment also witnessed a massive surge in user numbers. This was aided by the increasing smartphone penetration, more affordable high-speed internet connectivity, and a push for delivering highly-relevant content to regional audiences. Mobile entertainment apps, as a result, largely replaced television as the primary medium for entertainment consumption in the country; Deloitte estimates on-demand entertainment services to command 74% of the total mobile data traffic by 2020.
The sudden move to pull high-denomination notes out of circulation meant that travel enthusiasts around the country were left worrying about their holiday plans. This area of opportunity was leveraged with impressive acumen by online travel service providers. Armed with state-of-the-art technologies such as machine learning and heuristic algorithms, mobile-based travel apps offered tailored packages to aspiring backpackers to ensure their travel plans were not derailed. With hoteliers, transport service providers, and end-users all choosing mobile apps for facilitating reservations, travel bookings through mobile apps witnessed significant growth after November 8, 2016.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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