Across the globe, eCommerce is growing at breakneck speed. By 2017, 46% of Internet users worldwide will make a purchase online through an eCommerce platform. One area of the world in particular that’s experiencing massive eCommerce growth is India. By 2020, India’s eCommerce market will reach $119B and the average spend (in USD) per online shopper in India is expected to reach $464, almost double the spend of shoppers in 2015. This new eCommerce market it also propelling the Indian economy, creating upward of 12 million new jobs over the next decade. With three new Internet users coming online in India every second, there’s no stopping the growth of eCommerce.
The top players in India’s eCommerce market
Over the last year, eCommerce in India has been dominated by a few key players — Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon India. The three powerhouses have been jockeying for rank through various acquisitions, monster monetary investments, and innovative features that differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. Since so much has been in the news lately about Amazon India’s success in India, we wanted to know how the app ranks among other popular Shopping apps in the country, not only by their sheer number of users, but also how engaged those users are.
Top Shopping apps by daily active users in India
Measuring the top apps in a particular category by their average daily active users (DAU) can tell us a lot. Daily active users signify evaluation of an app, or habitual usage. Many app developers optimize their app to increase DAU, mainly because it can measure loyalty among existing users. A daily active user will come back to the app again and again.
When we looked at the top 10 Shopping apps in India across three months this spring and early summer, from April until the end of June 2016, we found a few surprising and not-so-surprising trends:
Not surprising: Flipkart remains at the top across all months. As one of the three eCommerce giants in India, it’s no surprise that Flipkart remains at the top of the list in terms of DAU. However, one thing to note is Flipkart’s penetration slightly dipped from 40% in April to 37% in June.
Surprising: Amazon India is only within the top five apps in June. While Amazon India is considered a powerhouse today, four months ago, it was barely in the top 10 in terms of DAU. However, the app slowly grew to number five by June as Snapdeal slipped down the list.
Not surprising: Apps that offer multiple payment methods remain in top 10. We already know that the more payment options an app provides, the more usage it gets. Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon India all offer at least four different methods of payment for the user, making transactions easier.
Engagement trumps user numbers
While measuring an app by its average DAU number may signify evaluation, it doesn’t concretely measure how engaged those users are in the app. We were curious to see whether these top apps were also the most used in terms of MB.
Some particularly interesting findings to note:
Less DAU does not always mean less engaged users. It was interesting to see that while Mobikwik, Quikr, and Ultimate FreeB were only ranking in the top lists by DAU for one month, they had sometimes double the usage of other apps that ranked across all three months.
A high DAU rank does not mean users are more engaged. While OLX is ranked higher in the top 10 lists by DAU across all three months than Myntra, Myntra had more usage.
Amazon India has less DAU’s than Flipkart, but its users are 13x more engaged. By far, Amazon India is the most used eCommerce app in India when it comes to MB usage. It’s used over 13x more than Flipkart on average. Yet, Amazon India ranks as low as seventh versus Flipkart’s number one rank in terms of the average number of DAU’s. It goes to show that while DAU is important for all app developers for measuring the success of their app, the ultimate goal is to get engaged users who will come back again and again and spend time in the app — and the ultimate goal for Shopping apps, transacting users.
India’s growth opportunity for app developers
As more Indian users get online for the first time thanks to the availability of affordable devices and the eCommerce market continues to change, we’re interested to see how these rankings adjust over time. If you are an app developer and want to capture some of this growth in India, success only comes when you understand the market, its users, and their smartphone habits. Download our white paper, India: A Growth Opportunity for App Developers to get actionable best practices for success in India.