MUMBAI, INDIA: The e-commerce players have had an amazing season. What made it most interesting is that most of these players took a big risk and announced an app-only sale? Not surprising actually since the app market in India is expected to reach Rs 3,800 crore by 2016. And this is just the beginning, more so as the festivities will continue till the end of 2015 or even early into the new year.
While due credit should be given to the sales and marketing teams, praise should also go to the developers who designed the apps to make them more interactive and user-friendly. In other words, offered customers a seamless shopping experience over their mobile phones.
Nishant Jain, CEO, Design For Use, one such developer, who enabled many such e-commerce companies shares his views with CIOL.
Since many e-commerce companies have gone app-only, what are the specific challenges they face with regard to an apps-only policy?
A major challenge faced by these enterprises with regard to applications is their inability of envision app design separately from the website design.
Even though there are a lot of similarities between the two, the mobile ecosystem uses a lot of features like gestures, high-end cameras, GPS, etc which are not used on the desktop. Using these features successfully without hampering the familiarity with the desktop version, I think is the biggest challenge.
You have made an interesting observation on app designs, how important are app designs to boost sales?
It’s not just the design of the app which will make the difference. we feel that the experience of the user on the app is what makes the difference.
Our observations have been that only aesthetic changes to the design of the product are not enough and the design changes need to be implemented at the functional level as well. Most of the apps have similar designs expect for visual changes but the ones which stand out are the ones which focus on user experience. Sales can get a boost once the process of buying is fun and captivating, it shouldn't be just a click away but rather be something which the user looks forward to as convenient, simple and easy.
How many customers have you enabled? What have been their business outcomes?
We have worked for a lot companies from different sectors. Be it travel, hospitality, education, e-commerce etc. Working on the user-experience combined with the usability of the product has led to atleast 10 percent increase for our clients.
Focusing on design at a functional level has enabled us to better our clients’ progress and in turn helped them meet their objectives.
Take the following instances:
MakeMyTrip: Increased their total number of bookings on hotel deals
Qikwell: Increased the number of conversions on appointments
Apollo Sugar: Increased the interactions with the app. The number of people using the app to track their sugar levels has increased
Differential imaging: Increased the number of sales leads
Groupon app: Increased the number of deals purchased
Whole Foods: Improved their Thanksgiving shopping process
Travel Triangle: Improved their conversions on mobile
A lot of these companies have seen almost 100 percent increase in their business.
What are the trends you see in the segment in the next two to three years?
At the moment App designs are mostly an extension to desktops designs for most of the companies. Even though the trend is shifting towards app but the focus on design is not app specific.
In the next 2-3 years with the advancement in technologies and introduction of better gestures, voice and camera features we believe the trend will shift to making more app specific designs.
Companies will start working on apps as a unique identity more than it being merely an extension of the desktop.