The app-only strategy bursts!

In recent past, many ecommerce players came-up with app-only shopping campaigns for mobile phone users i.e. no mobile web! But day-after-day, ecommerce mobile apps are losing their novelty and hence, users are uninstalling the apps from their devices in order to free memory. In some cases, uninstall rates are as high as 90%, as per a report.

Earlier this month, one of the ecommerce giants – Flipkart had to restart their mobile website to retain the customers. After going app-only on May 15, Myntra also has witnessed a sudden drop in shoppers and ultimately, they’re also planning to come back with a mobile version of their website.

Snapdeal gets almost 70-75% traffic from their mobile website. According to the Chief Product Officer at Snapdeal, the mobile web era had never died and it was a faulty decision to move to the app-only strategy. For ecommerce service providers, going App-only was never an option, you have to go parallel with the both (mobile web and app).

As per a report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and market research firm IMRB International, India is expected to have around 400 million mobile web users by June, 2016.

It was known that although marketing heads and entrepreneurs rushed to maximize the app downloads, they didn’t necessarily result in higher growth. Ultimately, their emphasis moved to customer engagement and in this scenario, their high expectations of an app-only strategy couldn’t be materialized. As a matter of fact, there are two key reasons behind this:

  1. In small cities and towns, there are many first-time internet users who don’t have those expensive smartphones with massive memory storage. So they prefer using their mobile web browsers for surfing and probably buying something instead of downloading multiple applications on their phones.
  2. Due to an inconvenience of frequent app updates and notifications, customers like to get rid of applications and are ready to uninstall several apps from their mobile phones.

That is why now, in order to improve their mobile web offerings, both – ecommerce startups and majors are focusing more towards investing resources in mobile websites rather than going with applications only. They are moving to build mobile web apps with some extra features which customers were given with the mobile apps so that they can have superior experience and convenience. Once again they are paying same attention to the mobile web because for a successful return on their investments, it is essential to have a strong presence across all the platforms.