The growth of smartphones and tablets has enabled India to leapfrog from the desktop era to a mobile era to a smartphone era very fast. In the past decade, the country witnessed some of the following trends that point towards app commerce as the future:
Be it the consumer side or the business side, these trends are resulting into changing habits across the table.
Users tend to download apps that they use frequently, and not the low frequency categories.
They are seeing category after category being disrupted by online startups. Be it product commerce, bus tickets, hotel reservations, movie ticketing, recharges, etc. They realise it’s high time they see the writing on the wall – it’s time to go online and fast.
Businesses see the trend of consumers being on mobile. They want to get on app too but face these challenges:
The opportunity lies in bridging the gap between what consumers and businesses want. Businesses want to sell on app because their consumers are on mobile. Consumers want to buy online but their trusted businesses aren’t there yet. And they don’t want to download multiple apps for multiple things.
There are mainly two kinds of businesses:
Both these business types want to sell on app – but for different reasons. Consumers don’t want to download an app for long tail businesses or a single daily commerce business. There lies the difficulty for businesses to start selling on app.
The solution is to enable all businesses to start selling on app with a DIY app-commerce ready solution. And allowing consumers to interact with all these businesses on a single app.
It’s important to enable millions of businesses in India with technology that democratises the ability to sell on mobile. This technology is expensive and needs to be spread across millions of businesses for it to be made available en masse.
We see a new and better way of commerce going forward. Where the consumer doesn’t spend time to order the daily. Where queues are skipped thanks to better ordering and payment processes. Where payments are digital – with zero to little dependency on cash transactions. Where businesses have access to a lot more data about their consumer and their context. Where businesses are in control. Today they lack the technology to go online but that’s being democratised. Today they lack economies of scale, which can be provided by a platform that enables millions of businesses.
We are at the cusp of a new way of commerce. Every business in India can and will be enabled for app commerce and they’ll have the power that aggregators enjoy – without the associated costs. It’s time to fight on strengths of service rather than lament the lack of technology.