Startups Follow In Footsteps Of Flipkart's Shift To App-Only Business

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BANGALORE: The heated deliberation for ecommerce to drop their websites and switch to mobile apps has produced a growning number of startups to act similarly.

Flipkart's verdict to be accessible to customers only through its mobile app by next year has stirred at least half-a-dozen startups to follow in the path laid down by India's most valuable online retailer, reports Economic Times  

These local services startups include Zopper, Doormint and LocalOye; online-first restaurants Holachef and Spoonjoy; online dating startup Truly-Madly; and on-demand grocery delivery firm PepperTap.

The startups that are more likely to follow are those that cater to hyper-local services like
food delivery and home services firms.  Well reputed E-commerce firms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, Quikr, Ola and Myntra get a large 70-80 pct of their traffic from smartphone device. This is the key factor that has lured budding startups and Internet companies to consider joining the app platform.

Flipkart and its fashion associate Myntra started the trend by putting an end to their respective mobile websites and shifted on apps. The act of which would help boost the frequent use as well as increase targeted discounts and notifications more effectively.

"Our conversion ratios of customers making a purchase are much better on mobile application at 2-3 pct while on desktop and mobile web they are at 0.3 pct ," said Neeraj Jain, cofounder of Zopper, which closed down  its website a month ago to function purely on the mobile app-only platform.

However for some eminent companies like the classifieds firm Quikr, which derive a major 80 pct of its traffic from mobile devices are still not keen on ending their websites. "Mobile is clearly the most important channel for us, but for our business, which has a lot of customers in rural India, the browser is important as well," said founder and CEO Pranay Chulet.

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