GD Topic - Are E-Commerce Companies Right in Choosing the App-only Option?
Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: June 30, 2018
6 people are having a discussion on the topic (Sahil, Vasu, Muthukumar, Sonika, Shivika, Archit)
Group Discussion Starts
Vasu: Hi All, the topic given to us is: are e-commerce companies right in choosing the mobile-only option? As a customer, I would say, they are not. Apps cannot provide the level of multitasking and user friendliness that a web browser provides.
Muthukumar: Also, mobile apps are still in nascent stage, Is it ready to trust entirely on them?
Sonika: Exactly, on mobile apps we cannot compare a particular stuff, which might be available with various sellers/e-comm websites.
Sahil: Before going into further details, let us see why do it at all? - "if we dont, someone else will!". We have a huge base of 900 million mobile phone users in India.
Archit: That is true, also, India is third largest internet market and is fastest growing mobile internet market
Shivika: Adding the view-point of an e comm player, it has great possibilities, they say that mobile internet is the future
Sahil: Also, number of cell phones used is much more than number of pc users, hence e-comm players see much more profit here, and therefore, wants to put 100% focus on apps only
Muthukumar: I totally agree with your point that mobile platform is the future, however, increase in number of mobile phone users does not mean decrease in the number of PC users
Sonika: Yeah, a PC offers multi-screen and not single screen. Browser gives us the liberty to open multiple tabs with multiple sites.
Vasu: App only restricts the capability to compare prices. Amazon once tried charging more money from mac users!
Archit: That is there, but, apps have some benefits as well: it may be personalized as per user's requirement, payment details etc, can be stored; better wishlist, carts management
Muthukumar: There are benefits, but there are negatives as well, people don’t like installing apps due to battery and perrformance issues and storage considerations also need to be thought of.
Vasu: True that, plus mobile apps still store a lot of data that could be misused if stolen
Sonika: Adding on to that, security is a big concern. Apps have personalized selling, hence intrusion. Mobile apps require permissions - they can have access to your personal information and manipulate into buying stuff
Archit: Exactly, customers still are sceptical about data safety and security.
Muthukumar: This is actually an effort to cash on the free time of people i.e. in metros, traffic, etc
Shivika: Well, then let us have a look on this topic from an e-comm player’s perspective as well. Data analysis done by famous players like Flipkart-Myntra shows that upto 70% of their traffic comes from mobile
Sahil: They will be benefited from app only for sure, for starter, it is cost effective for company to maintain app only
Archit: Also, business research showing most sales(>50%) on mobile platform - top 59% retailers have mobile platform
Shivika: Interestingly, recent move by flipkart to make myntra mobile app , increasing internet access on mobile (20% of subscribers)
Archit: Also apps have simple interface, low maintanance required - 89% of time spent on mobile web is on apps
Sahil: Yeah, and the concept of mobile wallets, quickr on mobile - providing m commerce and on time when need arises without need of desktop
Vasu: It is a move from a pull kind of business to push
Shivika: Yes, it is, and it helps in providing customers with innocous shopper and sale offers via notifications
Sonika: Exactly, customers are segmented, targeted and customised marketing is done utilizing app data
Muthukumar: There is something in for e-comm players here, however, I think there will be a loss of PC customers
Vasu: And mobile web pages are just as good as well.
Sonika: If we take Google for once, it has achieved success from its Maps app, yet it is still available on the PCs as well
Sahil: Agreeing to that, I believe, if they want, definitely focus on apps, however, dont do away with desktop sites, as people like me, who have been associated with desktop internet for a long time now, are better off with desktop versions
Shivika: Yes, mobile web and app-only are two different things - web uses browser - app is your own application for a platform
It is evident enough that the future of internet is on mobile. Pertaining to that, to some extent e-comm players going app only is justified. This will give them certain benefits. This is somewhat benefitial to customers as well; apps can be personalized, notifications can be set for individuals, search summary, payment summary etc. can be stored. However, there is a flip side to this as well, people who are more comfortable with web browsers are less likely to migrate from desktop browser to apps. The extend of multitasking, multi windows facility that is available on a desktop is hard, as of now, to achieve on apps. Apps are still in nascent stage and hence are not that reliable to move business completely on them. The group is okay with e-comm players going to app, however, websites should not be shut down as well.
Facts related to the topic
• E-comm business boomed after the entry of players like Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal etc in India.
• Majority of these e-comm players (read 59%) have mobile apps
• Their data analysis suggests that more than 50% of their sales and more than 70% of their traffic comes from mobile apps
• Myntra.com was bought by Flipkart.com in 2014 for a hefty deal of Rs. 2000 crores
• Myntra.com went app only in May 2015-08-02
• It is rumoured that Flipkart.com will also go app only from September 2015.
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