While Myntra’s decision to turn ‘app-only’ didn’t go down too well with many a user, there appears to be a very strong push towards mobile apps in the ecommerce space globally. According to Flurry, the Yahoo-owned leader in mobile analytics, shopping is the biggest growth driver for mobile apps in Asia followed by news and productivity apps.
Christopher Klotzbach, head of product marketing at Flurry, justifies the mobile-only approach that apps like Myntra have taken of late, saying it all depends on the e-commerce destination’s business. “If they want to streamline the channel through which users are coming in, then it is a great thing. If you want to provide the best experience for the user, then it makes sense to focus on one thing,” he says, adding that it not always a good idea to split your engineering and other resources.
“We are particularly excited about the Indian market-place as developers here like PayTM and SnapDeal were particularly early to the shopping segment. They have been around for close to four years. We are also excited about the shift from e-commerce to mobile commerce and apps like Myntra are leading the way,” he says.
And Flurry has the data to prove this. In 2014, two-thirds of users in the US preferred the mobile online shopping experience. “Of the two-third, 63% shop via apps. Even globally people now prefer the mobile app experience,” he says, adding that, in the US, 88% of mobile time-spend is on apps — the “we are almost done with mobile web”.
Another interesting piece of data about the Indian market is the fact that India is driving the dominance of the phablet, or the large smartphone sized between 5 and 6.9 inches. India has 38% phablet smartphones compared to just 20% in the US. “Phablet users engage in mobile app 80% more than others and that is good news for developers,” says Klotzbach. This also means the popularity of large-screen tablets is on the wane.
In terms of time-spends in mobile apps in Asia, 25% was on gaming and 19% on e-commerce. Globally, 700,000 apps run the free Flurry analytics, while in Asia there are 190,000 apps running it. About 22% of these apps are built in India, that is, about 42,000 apps built by 7,000 developers.
“We have seen that users in India are moving from using apps just for entertainment to managing their apps. The biggest growth areas are in the utility and productivity uses like shopping and the line. Personalisation apps, news and reading and photography apps are driving the growth in India at the moment and this is very similar to the Asian trends,” says Klotzbach, who leads product marketing for the Yahoo Mobile Developer Suite, which includes industry leading Flurry Analytics, Yahoo App Marketing and Yahoo App Publishing.
India has recorded a phenomenal 131% growth in session, which is almost double the global and Asia growth rates. “Interestingly, we are seeing that the majority of the growth in 2014 was in the mid-to-long tail apps. While the top apps grew 1%, the mid-to-long tail apps grew 21%, and that means there is opportunity for different types of apps to make it big.”