Friday, 1 July 2016

Amazon India beats Flipkart in app wars, but lags elsewhere!

Amazon India overtook Flipkart in the total number of app downloads from the app store during the January-March quarter, reports Hita Gupta in New Delhi. However, the number of active users was higher on Flipkart, a report released by mobile app tracker App Annie shows.
Three new shopping apps entered the list of top 10 retail apps in India — Grofers, Bigbasket and Voonik.
The government recently allowed 100% FDI in firms that market food products including e-commerce players. But the business remains competitive and the services have found few takers in smaller cities. Grofers, for instance, pulled out of nine cities while Gurgaon-based grocery hyperlocal PepperTap shut shop in April. On Wednesday, Grofers revoked over 60 job offers citing market conditions and reports say it will lay off 10% of its workforce.
App store downloads in India currently total 7.7 billion and are expected to grow to 20.1 billion by 2020, App Annie estimates. In the report, Kishore Thota, director, marketing at Amazon India, was quoted as saying that over 70% of the firm’s traffic comes in via the mobile route. “As customers are highly engaged on the app, we have doubled our investment,” Thota said. CEO Jeff Bezos announced in June the company was committing an additional $3 billion for the India operations. The investment comes at a time when not too much money is moving into start-ups. Data from Tracxn Technologies show just $899 million has been invested between January and May this year, less than the $1.6 billion in the comparable period of 2015. The number of deals — across series A,B and C — at 73 this year is also smaller than 2015’s 94 transactions. Among those that have seen more money come their way are marketplaces such as Snapdeal and Shopclues, online travel firm Ibibo, online grocer Bigbasket and CarTrade.
More e-retailers are becoming marketplaces since the inventory-led model is turning out to be expensive. Moreover, players have realised that going app only may not be the best strategy; in the fashion and lifestyle category, Myntra decided to relaunch its desktop version. Five fashion and lifestyle apps featured in the top 10 category, by app downloads — Myntra, Voonik, Jabong, LimeRoad and the US-based Wish.

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