MUMBAI | BENGALURU: In what seems to suggest a shift in online users’ channel preference for big ticket items like home furnishing and furniture, online-to-offline platforms are increasingly seeing a significant rise in transaction volumes through their mobile channels including the mobile site and app.
Online furniture, home furnishing and designing platforms like Pepperfry, Urban Ladder and Livspace are seeing a surge in both volume of traffic and transactions on the mobile channel, including their mobile site and app with volume growth almost doubling over the last 18 months.
For omni-channel furniture firm Pepperfry, about 58% of its transactions are now contributed through the mobile platform having grown significantly from the 29% that the platform contributed in 2016. A bulk of the volume in traffic at about 75% of Pepperfry’s 7 million monthly user base comes from its mobile platform, reflecting a growing trend of comfort amongst Indian internet users to transact and pay for big ticket purchases on mobile channels.
“In January this year, we redesigned the entire mobile site and app to support rising traffic on the channel, having taken a complete plunge towards investing in this channel through artificial intelligence and 3D cataloguing,” said Abhimanyu Lal, chief product officer at Pepperfry.
The furniture platform’s peers including Urban Ladder and Livspace have also seen a tremendous rise in sales via the mobile channel reflecting a similar trend amongst global firms like Ikea and Amazon which see a large part of their large ticket category purchases being done via mobile.
For Urban Ladder, about 55% of its transactions are made via the mobile platform with transactions across complex categories also seeing a surge. “In the mobile app, we have seen a higher ticket size of at least 5-6% when compared to website. However, the number of items per transaction have also been much higher, which leads to an overall higher transaction volume and value,” said Ashish Goel, founder of Urban Ladder.
The firm claims sofas remain its top selling item on both channels with average order values touching Rs 21,000 on mobile, significantly higher than on their website. Interestingly for Livspace, while no direct transactions are done on the platform, the number of customer leads generated on the mobile soared 85% since January this year, reflecting a rather high conversion rate on the channel.
This shift in customer preference and transaction conversions on the mobile site and app have helped some firms redirect their focus towards growth of certain categories for the channel in specific.
For instance, Pepperfry’s mobile channel garners more transactions for its utility, home decor, appliances and bath categories. Hence while the average order value may be half of its website platform which garners a ticket size of Rs 18,000 for its furniture category, the high conversion rates of almost 80% as compared to that on the desktop has led the firm to invest towards scaling its utility category this year.
About 1/3rd of the firm’s overall spends across categories has been earmarked for utility and home decor in a bid to scale it to form upto 35% of the revenue share within one year from the 20% it currently forms.