Mobile apps gain currency among Indian shoppers

In a survey led by Criteo, around 74% respondents said that they have installed at least 2 or more shopping apps on their phone. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Mobile shopping apps are becoming popular among Internet users in India, with more than 60% of them buying goods from online marketplaces at least 2-5 times a month, according to a study conducted by online marketing firm Criteo.

In a survey led by Criteo, around 74% respondents said that they have installed at least 2 or more shopping apps on their phone. A majority (80%) of shoppers responded that they feel as comfortable and secure using mobile for online shopping as they do while using desktop/laptops.

Additionally, mobile is no longer being used for purchasing low-value items only.

The survey found that Fashion (88%), electronics (78%) and health & beauty (54%) are leading categories in India encouraging about half of the respondents to purchase products online.

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In the last three months alone, close to 34% of Indian shoppers online have clicked on an ad appearing in an app and purchased via their smartphone, the study said. From food ordering, buying groceries, to booking a cab, about 94% of smartphone users in India have discovered and purchased an item using a mobile app.

Rising penetration of smartphones is opening up a whole new channel for brands to invest in mobile apps. Analytics and recommendation engines allow brands to build a targeted marketing strategy to reach the right set of consumers, leading to increased sales.

Expressing his views on consumers shifting to mobile, Siddharth Dabhade, general manager of Criteo India said in a statement that, “In a cluttered retail market, brands need scale and personalization to compete on an equal footing with their competitors. To do so, they must tap into an open commerce marketing ecosystem and use technology and data analytics to help shoppers find products of their choice and need.”

A mere investment to build a shopping app isn’t sufficient to attract and re-target millennial shoppers in India, the study revealed. Around 75% of respondents who took part in the study believe that a bad retail and shopping app experience negatively impacts a brand’s perception. Around 98% said that a good app experience positively influences their opinion of a brand.

Some of the key factors influencing shoppers to use mobile apps include convenience, app-specific promotions, personalization, range of products, flexible payment options, and customer service. Nearly 85% of Indian respondents highlighted that being able to contact a customer service representative through an app is important for them.

Personalized recommendation requires an app to learn user behaviour and other sensitive information. Around 22% of Indian respondents who took part in the survey said that they do not feel comfortable submitting their personal and financial data on retail and shopping apps. Therefore it is important for brands to develop and market themselves as a trusted platforms for online shoppers by prioritizing shoppers’ privacy and data protection.