Online retail apps are some of the most popular apps around today, with companies too encouraging users to shop via apps rather than desktop websites. A recent report by app analytics company AppAnnie  shows that as far as India is concerned, Flipkart and PayTM have beaten the US retail behemoth Amazon by the number of app downloads in India in 2015.

With almost 192 million active smartphone users and 180 million mobile internet users, India is the largest and the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Not just this, people have now switched to smartphones instead of using feature phones because of the amazing deals they can strike up. And with this increase in smartphone popularity comes the popularity of retail apps.

The analytics show the top 10 retails apps in India recorded 440% YoY growth in their app download figure as follows:


The above companies have shown 440% YoY growth in their app download figure. These numbers are even greater than markets like the US and Japan. In contrast, US showed only a 130% growth and Japan a 100%.

The list is led by the likes of Flipkart, Snapdeal etc which have opted for mobile-first strategy. In fact, 6 out of the top 10 retail app companies go with the mobile-first strategy. The remainder of the 10 (i.e. 4) prefer the online-only model.

Compare the trend with the US or other developed countries and you’ll be surprised. In the US, for instance, Bricks & Online stores accounted for 40% of the total retail apps during the same period. This stands to show that these markets still prefer the online-only model.

The huge rise in the retail app downloads is the direct result of the rise in the smartphone users throughout the country. It is also noteworthy that Amazon is the only online shopping firm that has been able to penetrate into India’s Google Play top 10 retail apps by monthly active users chart. Another reason is the horse race among the network carriers which enables users to get access to data plans for great prices.

The list is led by Flipkart, which means that 5 out of top 10 retail apps belong to a General Merchandise category and the rest 5 top apps in India belong to Apparel product category that are led by Myntra and Jabong.

The list also has a new entry. Voonik, a women’s apparel app which was also one of the first to roll out a unique image search feature, has reached the masses very quickly and is very popular in the country.

The number of downloads may be a great way to test popularity. But what’s even more precise is the number of monthly active users. Stacking this up and reforming the list, we do not see much of a change. The only big changes are that Voonik drops out to make way for the HomeShop18 Mobile app, and Myntra and Snapdeal both pushed Amazon India Shopping app and the primary app of Amazon down in the list.

The huge increase in popularity of retail apps could be the result of companies offering impossible discounts. All major retailers are also offering additional offers on purchased products via the mobile apps to push users towards them.

Currently 15% of Indians using mobile phones are using smartphones. This accounts for 192 million out of 890 million users, according to TRAI. Comparing that with developed countries will show you that they already are on the verge of saturation. Also, only 30% of the smartphone population is using the Internet. This means that if these numbers increase, markets could turn completely. In conclusion, we can say that India houses a unique potential to incubate homegrown retail apps and also host global ones.

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