According to App Annie, a company that deals with app market data, the total number of mobile applications downloaded in India in 2018 is around 194 billion, up from 178 billion in 2017. In fact, India is the number one market globally for combined downloads on iOS and Google Play, ahead of the US and China. The rapid spread of internet services that has been emboldened by the launch of Reliance Jio and higher internet usage and penetration, is contributing to a change in consumption habits and patterns. In terms of consumer spends and downloads, globally 2018 has emerged as the strongest ever fiscal for the app economy.
Shopping apps experienced a substantial growth in their market share of downloads in 2018. The retail and service markets have also strongly taken to the app economy. Online retail giants like Flipkart and Amazon paved the way for the emergence of various online retail apps that are now catering to specified segments. Now there are apps like Bigbasket catering to the groceries segment, offering a vast range of products including farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, groceries, home and household essentials, pet care needs, organic products and beauty and hygiene products.
Nandini Sharma, Vice President- Revenue, 9x Media, who is a regular user of the Bigbasket app, informed BE, “In today’s fast-paced life, the work of a woman has tripled. An app like Bigbasket has really reduced our work load. Buying monthly groceries and daily vegetables has been largely simplified by Bigbasket as they are delivering the products to our doorstep. For me, it is a boon because it saves my time and energy and I do not need to carry the heavy load of groceries. Also, when I am touring, I can order whatever is needed at home and things get delivered conveniently. The easy payment options are added benefits.”
Urban Indians are also increasingly taking to the internet to buy clothes, garments, shoes through fashion and lifestyle apps like Myntra, Jabong, AJIO and Rustorange. Attractive discounts and special offers from such apps have led to their popularity. There has been a significant penetration of app based business models in the services sector. UrbanClap has transformed the urban living experience for many millennials. UrbanClap is the one stop platform of numerous services which include plumbing, construction and renovation, pest control and others. They source trusted professionals. In addition to providing hassle free-services to time-strapped professionals, the app is also generating employment for service professionals who were earlier unorganised. Similarly, healthcare apps like Medlife and Practo have simplified the healthcare sector by providing advanced health services.
The financial sector has also been transformed by the advent of apps. Many financial apps offer the service of easy banking transactions. A user can instantly transfer money through apps like Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe and also avail the facility of hassle-free bill payments. Google Pay has enabled Indian users to get a direct refund into their bank accounts when the user cancels a train ticket that had been purchased through Google Pay. Additionally, apps like StockEdge have transformed the stock economy by providing detailed stock exchange daily reports to its users.
According to a PwC(PriceWaterhouseCoopers) report, brand loyalists deem it worthwhile to download a retailer’s app because they are particularly eager for that retailer’s content, personalised promotions, speed, and loyalty reward points. The app is more appealing to loyal online customers. This has led to various retail brands to apps of their own.
The Indian economy is poised for more growth and there is a huge opportunity for more app based business models. Technological innovations and innovative business models will hold the key.