1. E-commerce: Amazon, Flipkart, other players wary of going the ‘app only’ way

E-commerce: Amazon, Flipkart, other players wary of going the ‘app only’ way

With many customers still on PCs, companies not ready to close option

By: and | Published: August 2, 2015 12:31 AM
e commerce

We have not decided whether we should go app only or not, said Mukesh Bansal, head of commerce at Flipkart.

Ever since online fashion retailer Myntra went ‘app only’ in May, there have been talks whether other e-commerce players, including its parent company Flipkart, would follow suit. However, major players in the market —Snapdeal, Amazon, Paytm and Flipkart — are currently wary of going ‘app only’.

While for consumers on-the-go, shopping through hand-held devices is a major benefit, the screen size of mobile phones and the app storage space acts as a negative. Also, going ‘app only’ ignores a particular segment of consumers who shop online, because of which companies are taking a cautious approach of not shutting their desktop version.

“We have not decided whether we should go app only or not. But we are thinking seriously about how to win on mobiles. M-commerce will be a huge focus area for us,” Mukesh Bansal, head of commerce at Flipkart, told FE.

Talking about Myntra, he said: “Initially the revenue dropped by 15% after we went app only, but recovered at a later stage.” Myntra had shut its website in May, and customers are now forced to shop through the app.

Gr3

“The Indian internet market is still evolving and mobile internet is driving growth. As much as 50% of the $7-billion e-commerce business is coming through the mobile. However, this does not mean shutting a particular mode will benefit companies. There are consumers who still prefer to shop through desktop, compare prices online and prefer
a bigger screen. Also, it doesn’t cost much to run multiple platforms,” said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail and consumer products, Technopak.

At the same time, mobile internet is driving the growth of smartphone use. Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics reports that India’s app usage is growing at a rate of 131% year-on-year, outpacing global growth. As per the report, the phablet is the fastest-growing mobile device globally, with growth in India outpacing growth in the US. According to an IAMAI & KPMG Report, India On The Go: Mobile Internet Vision Report 2017, India is projected to have 236 million mobile internet users by 2016,with the number reaching 314 million by 2017.

As per information provided by ecommerce companies, currently, two-third of the transactions of major e-commerce players happen through app and mobiles. But keeping in mind customer choice and internet penetration in tier-II and III cities and rural areas, companies do not want to shut the desktop version yet.

“Snapdeal has seen robust traffic via m-commerce, with over 75% orders coming through the mobile platform. At the same time, our data shows that there are still many customers who use PCs to shop online. Our belief is that we need to be where users are and, therefore, we do not want to force our customers to use one specific medium to shop on Snapdeal,” said Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer, Snapdeal.

Paytm also believes that it would want customers to have a choice in terms of mode of shopping. “We don’t think we will go ‘app only’ for now. We believe that consumers should have a choice as to how they want to shop. Most of our spending would be on the brand, and it would be platform agnostic,” Shankar Nath, senior vice-president, told FE.

  1. Karishma Tannna
    Aug 7, 2015 at 11:31 am
    This is really fantastic article for me. Online Shopping India @
    Reply
    1. G
      GK Kamati
      Aug 2, 2015 at 9:52 am
      In my opinion, dual platform is better. In the app only, users are forced to install the app deleting other apps to accommodate the new apps, since the scarcity of storage. And after every few days, the company force user to update the apps. When apps are installed, lots of unwanted updates keep on coming. Due to scarcity of storage, I all the apps in the apk form and install it when required. That is not in the case of desktop. There we use only one browser to access different websites. Browsing on desktop is always better than the mobile phone. So, I will go for desktop version, since it also gives access through mobile too when on the go.
      Reply
      1. G
        GK Kamati
        Aug 2, 2015 at 9:54 am
        In my opinion, dual platform is better. In the app only, users are forced to install the app deleting other apps to accommodate the new apps, since the scarcity of storage. And after every few days, the company force user to update the apps. When apps are installed, lots of unwanted updates keep on coming. Due to scarcity of storage, I all the apps in the apk form and install it when required. That is not in the case of desktop. There we use only one browser to access different websites. Browsing on desktop is always better than the mobile phone. So, I will go for desktop version, since it also gives access through mobile too when on the go.
        Reply
        1. Rajiv Unnithan
          Aug 5, 2015 at 11:28 am
          Too early for companies to move to app only platforms, while some are testing it out. The industry will surely have some exciting times ahead with changes in the telecom domain & Indian consumer's constantly evolving buying habits. Even on the app platform, innovations, advers,etc need to be constantly & continuously added to engage with the customer regularly.
          Reply
          1. Simon Pegg
            Aug 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm
            Smartphone users has been increased up to each and very day they are targets only on Users who using who widely used App. Through the app they also provide multiple no of discounts too. Casperon -
            Reply
            1. Avanthika R
              Aug 3, 2015 at 8:45 am
              In this technological world most of the people preferred to shop in online through the mobile app than through the desktop version. This is the reason for ecommerce companies to think about app only way. Avanthika Ecbilla
              Reply
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