According to the industry body – Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI), the ecommerce market is expected to cross INR 2 lakh crores in 2016. With more than 370+ millions mobile users in India and smartphone penetration pegged at 140% in urban areas, many e-commerce stores look towards mobile apps as a major tool to push sales. The question is that there is still a sizeable Indian population that uses desktops to make purchases on the Internet. Is it feasible to focus on only one platform to reach customers?
Industry experts and stakeholders feel that the mobile app is the way to go but many disagree that mobile apps alone cannot bring you all success. Businesses are required to put in similar efforts to connect with customers on other platforms, especially desktop users. Let’s examine the argument by looking at retail industry experiences.
Flipkart Tried A ‘Mobile App Only’ Strategy But The Result Was A Decline In Sales
After acquiring Myntra, a leading fashion retailer, Flipkart tried pushing customers to using mobile apps for purchases. The company almost closed the doors for desktop users, with an aim to migrate them to the mobile app platform. After a few months, the company admitted that sales had fallen by around 10% after it adopted the mobile app only strategy. Thus it is clear and evident that Indian users are still not fully comfortable when it comes to making purchases on mobiles. The benefit of the larger screen area (in desktop) and other aspects play an important role in the final decision of making purchases.
Learning from experience, Flipkart was quick to rectify the mistake by re-launching the Myntra website on June 1, 2016. The company mentioned that around 65-70% of users come from mobile apps, while 15-20% of users prefer making purchases from desktop. The Chief Executive of Myntra has said that though the number of mobile app users has increased, the volume of desktop users has not decreased. He further added that customers prefer a bigger screen when making purchases for items in the home and furnishing section, where the larger screen has a big advantage.
Snapdeal Will Continue to Engage Users Using Both Platforms
Snapdeal, a leading online retailer has iterated that their company has always followed customer-centric policies. The company mentioned that their data shows a large number of consumers still prefer desktops for online purchases. Hence, Snapdeal has plans to continue using both platforms to engage customers and does not want to force their customers to one platform only. Similarly, all other retailers seem to follow the Snapdeal strategy and continue to give importance to the desktop ecommerce platform.
Time Is Not Ripe to Follow An App Only Policy
According to a leading survey report, the number of ecommerce transactions through mobiles has grown in recent years. According to Google India, around 500 million people will be online in the country by 2018. Most of these new consumers will be from the rural region. Today’s Indian consumers follow the path of research when buying or ordering online. The research is mainly done on desktops while the purchase platform could be either desktop or mobile. Hence, e-retailers need to facilitate easy transitions from desktops to tablets and mobile platforms to ensure they do not lose customers due to the restricted platform of mobile app only.
Mobile App Will Play A Significant Role In The Future Of Ecommerce In India
The arrival of payment wallets is going to help mobile commerce in India. The era of mobile shopping has truly arrived as you can see more than 50% of orders are placed through mobile apps. The launch of 4G services pan India, will bring in more rural consumers. These online consumers are the ones who will be accessing the Internet from smartphones for the first time and the mobile will remain the primary computer for them. Having said that, other ecommerce platforms will continue to hold importance in the Indian ecommerce setup despite the significant rise of mobile apps.
Mobile app is a need of business as it reduces many costs and also saves user’s time. Users do prefer mobile app than websites because it also saves internet data. Users can be aware of offers we are offering by mobile app notification; it saves investment in email and sms marketing campaigns.
We have already created many mobile apps (Read More: http://imt.in/Work.html) and please let us know if you want to create a mobile app for your business. Please do post your queries to email@example.com or http://imt.in/contact.html