On two consecutive days we got to read about how important smaller towns in India are for ecommerce and mobile handset companies.
Ecommerce portals have been a great attraction in non-metro cities in India, especially if those cities or towns do not have the name brand showrooms. And the cash on delivery model has been a huge attraction to smaller town residents, however there have been few bad experiences in that model while delivering to the state of Uttar Pradesh [see this]. Online stores are increasingly turning to small towns in India [see this],
- Yebhi.com has seen an increase of 12% in orders from tier IV and tier V cities (I must admit, I haven’t heard of tier IV & tier V before)
- The online retail industry in India is estimated to grow from $1 billion, around 0.2% of the total retail market, to $56 billion, or 6.5% of the market, by 2023
- Growth in ecommerce business from tier II and III cities is mostly due to the increasing use of Internet on the mobile
English language is seen as a barrier in smaller towns, well launch the language version of the store. It is not that difficult technically to do so. If you can believe in the residents of that town why can’t you believe in the language they speak?
Apple Stores In Smaller Towns In India
iPhone & iPads were not available in India through official channels for a very long time. In fact Apple, rather Steve Jobs never considered India as an important market. And look today what is happening, Apple is looking at opening stores in smaller towns of India [see this].
- Samsung leads the India smartphone market with a 36% volume share, while Apple’s was 2% in the April-June quarter. Apple’s value share is higher at 5%
- Apple has realised that if it wants to grow fast in India, it has to look beyond the metros.
- Apple wants to set up 100 exclusive standalone stores under the franchisee model in smaller markets.
- India is a big market for sub-$300 smartphones, Apple doesn’t fall in that bracket.