Flipkart’s decision to be available to customers only through its mobile app by next year, a growing crop of startups is considering tracing the path charted by India’s most valuable online retailer.
At least half-a-dozen startups are firming plans to channel efforts and marketing dollars entirely on their mobile applications.
Among these are local services startups Zopper, Doormint and LocalOye; online-first restaurants Holachef and Spoonjoy; online dating startup Truly-Madly; and on-demand grocery delivery firm PepperTap.
More startups are likely to follow, especially those providing repetitive hyper-local services such as food delivery and home services firms, as they rush to capture key real estate on smartphones even at the risk of losing some customers, according to startup founders and investors.
Large ecommerce firms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Quikr, Ola and Myntra get 70-80% of their traffic from mobile devices, a key factor influencing Internet companies and startups to consider being app-only platforms. Flipkart and its fashion affiliate Myntra began the trend, shutting their mobile websites and relying instead on their apps to encourage repeated use and be able to push targeted discounts and notifications more efficiently.
“Our conversion ratios of customers making a purchase are much better on mobile application at 2-3% while on desktop and mobile web they are at 0.3%,” said Neeraj Jain, cofounder of Zopper, which shuttered its website a month ago to become a mobile app-only platform.The four-year-old startup, backed by Tiger Global Management, helps users buy electronics and durables from neighbourhood merchants.
India’s smartphone market grew 54% to 140 million devices last year, and is expected to reach 651 million in four years and be the largest mobile-first Internet market, according to Cisco.
As a reflection of this market growth, Ola, India’s largest taxi-hailing company, saw cab bookings through its mobile app double in the past 12 months. In contrast, its “website as a source of bookings has been negligible, as 80% of the bookings come through the app and around 20% through the call center”, said Annand Subramanian, director of marketing communication at Ola, which registered more than 2 lakh rides a day in January.
Several fast-growing startups such as food delivery firm TinyOwl and on-demand delivery firm Grofers began as mobile-only applications.
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Source – Etretail