Defining scale in mobile: experts speak
At Mobile Sparks 2015, Yourstory spoke to Satyajeet Singh, VP Products, Zomato; Rakesh Kapoor, Founder and CEO Process9; Kamal Tripathi, Director of Engineering, Snapdeal; and Sunil Rao, Country Head Developer Relations & Startup Ecosystem, Google. We wanted to understand their take on the best ways to define scale and growth in mobile.
Creating a mobile platform and its learnings
Zomato’s Satyajeet says, "When we launched our HTML mobile site at Cleartrip, we saw more transactions on the mobile than on the desktop". He adds that with the mobile site the interaction simply keeps growing: while people first head out to the mobile sites, they switch to the app after a few interactions with the brand.
While India is heavy on the mobile app market space, other markets like the US and Europe are more evolved. "Mobile helps us gain data easily and improve our products based on our learning," says Satyajeet.
Learn and change architecture
With several different apps and mobile sites growing, it's imperative to take your learning and change your architecture to make the end-consumer experience more smooth. "Don't assume that your design or architecture will stay for life; they will change. We've done five to six pivots, and intuitively changed our architecture accordingly," says Snapdeal’s Kamal. He adds that experience is the key to the consumer and is, therefore, important to scale mobile architecture in accordance to future plans.
Rakesh Kapoor of Process 9 says that it's important to have a multilingual approach from day one. With the company’s experience from working with several players like Snapdeal, Rakesh says, "Adding a multilingual approach to a platform has several layers to it. So it's important to have a design plan and time in place."
He adds that it's important to keep at least a resource structure for a multilingual platform in place, to make it easier to define this in the app development stage.
Change in quality
Speaking about how the quality of talent in model applications has changed, Sunil of Google says that initially there weren't many good product managers in place. Now, however, he says that the quality of the apps has significantly improved. "Earlier, the designers joined in a stage after the product stabilised. Now, the new-age startups have UI and UX people as a part of the core founding team," he adds.
Scale or product
Rather than focusing on scale from day one, it is important to turn attention on the first 10,000 customers. "If you get your first set of customers you can auto scale and later focus on tweeks and gradually increase the number of users," adds Sunil.
Has discovery too gone to the app stores?
When it comes to discovery, people look at the web, even though the number of visits and engagement are higher on mobile apps and sites. This is because they tend to first transact with a brand on the web and then go to the mobile platform. But, these parameters are changing. People are comfortable with starting their first transaction on the mobile, which is good for on boarding people. There also is an interesting trend of having apps within apps.
Kamal believes that it's important to deep link at least a few pages. Apps, today, he says are closed and guarded, making it difficult for discovery. He adds that to take discovery to the mobile phones, it's important to have a few pages of the site exposed, to make it easier for search engines to pick them up, and thereby making it easier for the consumers as well.