The two Indian online retail giants Flipkart and Paytm have beaten the US retail behemoth Amazon by the number of app downloads in India in 2015. According to the latest data out from app analytics company AppAnnie, the top 10 retails apps in India recorded 440% YoY growth in their app download figure, outpacing few developed markets such as the US and Japan.
The drastic rise of 4.4x in retail app downloads can be attributed to the exploded adoption of smartphones and mobile internet, which has helped online retailers to bet on mobile-first strategy. With nearly 192 million active smartphone users and 180 million mobile internet users, India is the fastest growing mobile market. The first-time mobile users are preferring smartphones over feature phones, thanks to the low price Android phones from Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Huawei, and few others. Besides, the cut-throat competition among network carriers has further helped smartphone users to come on the internet at very competition data-plan pricing.
This is the first time ever when India recorded a greater number of retail apps downloads than the US. The later received only 1.3x growth during the same period while the number of app downloads grew by just 1x in Japan.
It has also been observed that 6 out of top 10 retails app companies in India have opted for mobile-first strategy while the rest of top app companies still preferring online-only model. The trend is quite different from developed markets like the US, where Bricks & Online stores accounted for 40% of the total retail apps during the same period.
While Paytm has started looking beyond being just a mobile wallet, the growth of Indian eCommerce giants Flipkart and Snapdeal in the retail app segment highlights the changing equation in the mobile industry and users’ behavior in India.
Led by Flipkart, 5 out of top 10 retail apps belong to a General Merchandise category and the rest 5 top apps in India belong to Apparel product category, led by Myntra and Jabong.
Voonik, a popular app for women’s apparel, is the only new entry in the list this year. In fact, it stands at the third spot in the filtered list of top Apparel apps in India.
The overwhelming growth in the number of app downloads in India can be attributed to the jaw-dropping discounts being offered by retail companies. In the bid to push shoppers to mobile apps, almost every major retailer is offering additional discounts on product purchased through mobile apps.
Top Retail Apps by Active Monthly Users
While the number of downloads is an important element to understand the popularity of an app, the active monthly users of an app actually tell the real story in a more meaningful way. The scenario doesn’t change much when we rearrange the list by the number of monthly active users of these popular retail apps in India. While Flipkart and Paytm retain the top position the list, Voonik drops out to make way for HomeShop18 Mobile app. It is also interesting to learn that the Myntra and Snapdeal both pushed Amazon India Shopping app and the primary app of Amazon down in the list.
Retail Mobile Apps: Future Growth
According to the latest data from TRAI, there are 890 million active mobile subscriptions in India. However, out of those, only 192 million are using smartphone and the rest are yet to upgrade. The penetration of smartphone in India (population) is just 15% unlike the other two developed marketers such as the US and China which are already on the verge of saturation. Only 30% of the population is on the internet and the percentage of online shoppers is even meager. Therefore, India holds a big window of opportunity for both homegrown and global retailers to grab a sizable chunk of the big pie.