Our recent State of the Mobile Web report revealed that Indians are warming up to e-commerce from their mobile devices. Of all the various domains related to e-commerce, Quikr.com stood out to be the most popular among Opera Mini users in India.
Quikr is an online marketplace where buyers and sellers meet and transact. For this India Buzz column, we had a quick chat with Pranay Chulet, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Quikr.com about shopping on mobile phones, user preferences, Opera Mini and Quikr’s fun campaigns.
1] What is your perspective on Indians warming up to e-commerce from mobile devices?
Mobile data usage is growing in the country, thanks to the availability of affordable smartphones and an operator push to grow data revenues. As such, people are finding out that commerce can be done easily even on a mobile phone. A mobile device is with you 24×7, so you can use it buy that flight ticket in an emergency, shop in your free time during your commute back home or use it to compare prices online while you are at the mall. In the case of a marketplace like ours, users are able to seamlessly connect with sellers via phone call or SMS to quickly get additional information and get closer to the transaction. Mobile phones also make it easier to target deals & offers to users based on their location. Perhaps the only weak link in mobile commerce in India at present is mobile payments, but its only getting better every day. So, we think the stage is set for massive growth in commerce on mobile.
2] From the total number of your users, how many come from mobile devices?
We have about 20 million users on a monthly basis, and 25% of our users are coming from mobile devices. More users come from mobile browsers than apps, though app users tend to be more engaged than browser users. We see app usage picking up due to the growth in smartphone users.
3] What are the top 3 categories of classifieds from which users visit/ transact e-commerce from mobile devices?
The top ecommerce categories for us are electronics (mobiles, laptops, etc) and household items like furniture, baby products, etc. The big reason for their popularity is the diversity of products, sellers and deals that we offer. This type of diversity is thanks to our engaged users who actively contribute new product listings and help keep the platform vibrant — it’s really difficult to get on any other online platform.
4] Would you share some of your key insights about the Indian consumer, for which you design marketing campaigns?
Some of the core brand values of Quikr are “young, street smart, trendy and optimistic”. You could even call us a bit quirky. Helping others get their stuff done “quikr” is something we strive for and have a lot of fun doing.
We recently initiated the unique “Quik India Movement” campaign to celebrate the impatience of young India. The youth want to live life on the fast track and see no merit in waiting endlessly for things to get done. We wanted to give them a platform to vent their ire against slow things and share their wishlists for Quikr India. Raising a voice against the “chalta hai” attitude that has become second nature to most, we invited followers on Facebook, Twitter and on radio to share their views and opinions about the importance of things being “quikr”. Some very interesting conversations were generated on Twitter through various hashtags created for the Movement: #SlowThingsIhate, #ThingsIWishWereQuikr and #TheQuikIndiaMovement. These got Indians tweeting about things — small and big — –that should be “quikr”. The combined number of impressions all 3 hashtags garnered was over 1.2 million, with each of them trending at the #1 spot in India for several hours.
Simplicity is another value we hold very dear. Research showed us that the act of creating an ad online is perceived to be time consuming — even daunting — for many people. There is tremendous inertia when it comes to writing a description, taking pictures, uploading, etc. With that in mind, we launched the Missed Call service, which has now opened up our platform to many users who haven’t tried us before. A Missed Call to buy or sell — it really doesn’t get “quikrr” than that.
5] What is your favorite Opera Mini feature and why?
There are a number of proxy browsers in the market today that do a decent job of compressing data and creating a fast, lightweight experience for users. However, we have seen that, through this process, many browsers distort the user interface. Opera Mini, in my opinion, does the best job in maintaining the integrity of the user experience. That’s the best thing for the end user as well as a publisher like us!