India is the next market that both global and local retailers should watch out for, as a new report by App Annie reveals that India’s top 10 retail apps grew 4.4 times year over year, beating developed countries like US and Japan.
India’s retail app economy witnessed “the height of annual shopping season” as October and November’s Dussehra & Diwali season garnered peak sales, says the report.
“With smartphone penetration quickly expanding and a unique mobile-first mentality, India is the next market to watch for both local and global retailers.”
Mobile-First Retail Apps Takes The Lead In India
India is witnessing a rise in digital technology in several industries, the uniqueness of India’s retail app economy reflects this larger trend as 6 out of the 10 apps maintain a mobile-first retail strategy, while the rest of the top apps are online-only.
The pattern is very different from other, more developed markets such as the United States, where Bricks & Clicks—retailers who sell goods both in physical and online stores—accounted for roughly 40% of downloads.
There is dramatic rise in retail app downloads in India due to the rise of “first-time smartphone users throughout India” says the report. Smartphone shipments, especially the High-end yet cost-effective Android devices, have risen sharply in the country in 2015.
Q3 market index observed by App Annie reveals that Google Play downloads across different app types and categories increased dramatically in India.
Download growth in India was driven by mobile-first apps like Flipkart and Paytm, as well as global giant Amazon, respectively. While, Flipkart bagged the lead in the retail apps sector in terms of Monthly Users (MAU); followed by Paytm and Snapdeal, respectively.
How Retail Apps Are Capturing The Digital Economy
The growing number of first-time smartphone users in India presents a huge market opening for several etailers. Mobile-first retail apps have implemented specific strategies to engage ‘new-comers’ to online shopping—by offering mobile-specific promotions, and integrating features from popular apps into other categories
For example, Voonik, a popular app for women’s apparel, uses the swipe mechanic feature 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,” says the report.
India’s smartphone penetration rate still remains in the 10–15% range. There is still a lot of growth potential in mobile shopping; “Homegrown retailers as well as global retailers needs to seize the true mobile opportunity,” adds the report.