Mobile apps a huge factor in boosting ecommerce sales and revenue
That mobile is an important factor in the success of online commerce is known even to novice sellers. Especially in India, mobile commerce or m-commerce is significant, owing to the fact that mobiles and smartphones are more widespread than bank accounts or computers. In such a climate, it is essential that online sellers ensure that they create customer friendly apps to keep their cash registers ringing.
The following image indicates that the global number of mobile users has overtaken the number of desktop users.
Studies have also shown that the popularity of mobile app usage is high in ecommerce (compared to other segments like gaming) and is looking at a steady growth.
Shopping on mobile devices in India has gone up by 58% versus the global rate of 49%. What would be more heartening to ecommerce players would be the fact that mobile users spend 90% of their time on their mobile on apps.
However, ecommerce companies need to understand the dynamics behind managing an app. Leading online fashion retailer Myntra has realised that simply shutting down the website will not do; one also has to ensure that the mobile experience is complete to ensure happy customers. Their idea of operating only through an app was fraught with technical glitches, crashes and unhappy customers. The Flipkart subsidiary has now declared that it will be reopening the desktop site, exactly a year after it announced that the site would never be live again.
Mobile versions aid sales
Most stores and marketplaces are finding to their advantage that having a mobile presence contributes greatly to their sales. Sujayath Ali, co-founder of fashion portal Voonik corroborates this as he explains how launching the mobile app helped boost their sales. Ali says, “Our ‘aha’ moment was when we launched our app in August 2014,” he goes on to say that both sales and user number went up exponentially.
A Forrester study has also pointed out that mobile drives close to 50% of the online sales in India. Akshay Sahi, Head – Customer Experience, Amazon India says, “Starting early 2014, the focus moved entirely towards mobile. We said we will serve all customers, but focus-wise, what we would build for first is the mobile app.”
John Dave, a consultant with Rapidsoft Technologies, underlines the fact that timely response to a mobile lead has a greater possibility of turning into a sale. “Mobile is the quickest way for businesses to become available to buyers in the middle of market,” says Dave. He also points out that data collected through mobile can be more useful compared to its desktop version, “Data collected through users’ searches and then processed on the basis of geo-location can help businesses quickly trigger attractive offers to those customers who are entering its radius of 1 or 2 kilometres.”
Another advantage that mobile has over a desktop is push notifications. Using a push notification to encourage a user to buy has promotional power.
Helping mobile on its way to the top
The following reasons have acted as catalysts to push the usage of mobile for shopping:
- Convenience – Shopping on a mobile device enables a person to shop anywhere, anytime. This has contributed greatly to the attraction of mcommerce. It also offers a greater degree of personalisation.
- Growth of 3G and 4G – 3rd generation and now 4th generation of mobile internet offers speed and greater coverage like never before. This in turn ensures a smoother shopping experience. It also reduces shopping cart abandonment due to time consuming payment and check-out because of a snail-paced network.
- Development of safe payment systems on mobile – Over time, monetary transactions via mobile have improved. Not only have they become safer, but the choices are varied. Users can now choose from a range of mobile wallets available in the market.
Not just independent mobile wallets, now leading ecommerce majors are concentrating on having their own wallets. Recently, Paytm decided to operate mobile payments only through its own wallet; leaving out independent wallets like CitrusPay and PayU. Similarly, Snapdeal’s Freecharge launched its own wallet, and became Snapdeal’s only accepted wallet payment method.
Likewise, others like Flipkart and Amazon are realising the merits of operating their own mobile wallet, and are scrambling to apply for licenses. Amazon applied for a semi-closed wallet license recently, and Flipkart launched ‘Flipkart Money’, its own mobile wallet.
- Increased adoption of mobile devices – The number of mobile internet users in India stood at 173 million in 2014, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. The Confederation of Indian Industry notes that this figure will hit 600 million by 2020. This is clearly good news for etailers. The trend is also expected to spike in the Tier 2 and 3 cities, where the youth are catching up with their city-bred counterparts in terms of lifestyle; thus opening up a huge vista of opportunity for online retailers to explore.
Online sellers need to spend a sizeable chunk of their resources (time, money and manpower) to develop and maintain customer friendly mobile apps. Data collection and analysis from mobile will also go a long way in understanding buyer behaviour and making sales predictions.
For more information on how to boost sales, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce experts, and we are always happy to help.