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Mobile-first apps drive rapid retail app growth in India

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With the steep rise in internet and smartphone penetration in India, the top 10 retail apps in the country have seen 4.4x year-on-year growth, outpacing more developed markets such as US and Japan, shows a analytics report by App Annie, an app analytics and app market data provider.
The report highlights that this download growth in India was driven by India’s mobile-first apps such as Flipkart and Paytm as well as global behemoth Amazon. The report also attributes first-time smartphone users across India for such phenomenal growth in retail apps.

Another interesting trend the report reveals is that six out of the top 10 retail apps have a mobile-first retail strategy. This is drastically different from other developed markets such as in the US where retailers who are actively selling on offline and online channels account for about 40 percent of total downloads. Interestingly, Flipkart and Paytm have also beaten Amazon by the number of app downloads in India in 2015.

Flipkart and Snapdeal, which ranked #1 and #4 respectively, are some of the examples of how distinctly mobile-oriented apps are succeeding in retail app space. “Although apps like that of Flipkart offer their mobile web versions for users, both apps offer significant deals and savings for shoppers when making transactions on mobile,” the report adds.
The report further points out how mobile-first retail apps are wooing first-time smartphone users by specific approaches to engage shoppers with mobile retailing.
For instance, Voonik, a popular app for women’s apparel, uses a swipe mechanic borrowed from Tinder to allow shoppers to choose their preferred clothing. These mobile-specific shopping experiences engage shoppers like no online shopping channels that came before, offering a comparative advantage to more traditional e-commerce websites.

Amazon is currently the only global e-commerce enterprise to enter India’s Google Play top 10 retail apps by monthly active users chart.
The report concludes that India’s smartphone penetration rate still remains in the 10–15% range. “As the rest of the country continues to gravitate toward mobile shopping, India poses a unique potential for homegrown retailers as well as global retailers to seize the true mobile opportunity,” the report said.

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