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Constantly Connected: India Paves the Way for Mobile Engagement

Constantly Connected: India Paves the Way for Mobile Engagement

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This is a guest post by Ravi Vyas, Vice President of Product at MoEngage

India’s smartphone and mobile app market has seen a tremendous growth in users and revenue over the last 5 years. In August 2015, there was an increase of 5.48M users, up to 988.69M total, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. As the numbers continue to increase at a speed much faster than expected, India seems to be on course to become a ‘mobile only’ market. Looking towards the East, how can mobile app marketers make the United States follow suit?

Markets have been able to establish smartphone necessity through affordable prices, an app for everything, and understanding the largest population demographic. Critical to the overall popularity of smartphone and app market has been low prices with big value. The main phones on the market are cost effective while providing quality service.

Motorola, for example, has seen tremendous growth with over three million phones sold with just three available models. The Moto E sells for around $100 and the Moto G is around $200. Based on our data, two of the top five phones based on internet usage are Motorola Devices.

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The growth is due to dependence. In a continuous cycle, Indians started to purchase the phone, more apps were created, and excitement grew about all the things smartphones could do. According to our research, Indians are using smartphones for everything – social media, laundry, ordering food, finding directions, etc. etc.  Once consumers have their cellphones in hand, advertisers needed to find creative ways promote their mobile app and do so via the medium.

Our research indicates peak traffic and conversions to the brand (and app) happen during holidays and sales. In October, Snapdeal held a five day sale for Diwali, during which time five million people downloaded its app. The online retail giant shipped five million products over the course of the sale.

Infact, most e-commerce apps now have app only sales, doing so makes it easier to personalize the experience of the app and also run relevant campaigns to re-engage & convert users. With apps, Push Notifications have become the most powerful and important tool for marketers. From what we see on the MoEngage platform, untargeted campaigns see under 10% conversions. Whereas if the engagement campaign is personalized, conversions can average around 24% while achieving up to 50% click-through rate on the notifications. But, if I were looking at smartphones and this ad appeared, a targeted and personalized campaign can see 50% conversions.

Faster than ever, the young nation is a smart phone driven power house. It often ranks #1 or #2 in terms of market for Global Internet Leaders. For Facebook & LinkedIn, India is it’s second largest market, for WhatsApp it is the largest market. It has also gotten the attention of Amazon who is pumping $2 Billion into the country. Softbank (owner of Sprint Telecom) and Alibaba also have invested more than $1 Billion into the Indian Ecosystem.

The question still remains, can the US market follow suit and the answer is yes and no. With affordable prices for cell phones, advertisements towards large demographics, and an app for everything, cellphone and app marketers were able to convince Indians to rely on them. In mid 2012, Indians became mobile first and now visit mobile sites 34.86% more than desktop versions. Americans are still visiting the desktop site 41.92% more.

Thus in a way, India is paving the road maps for future and current US Mobile only startups. With mobile as the primary screen, much of the current generation using the internet in India have never touched a computer. In the US this is just starting to happen now. The current generation of teens are spending twice as much time on the mobile than the desktop. As they grow to become consumers, their primary medium to reach them would be their smartphone.

RaviRavi Vyas is the Vice President of Product at MoEngage, a user engagement and analytics platform which helps marketers engage users smartly through personalized interactions. MoEngage was founded by Raviteja Dodda and Yashwanth Kumar in July, 2014. MoEngage is now a world-class User Analytics and Engagement platform that engages millions of users via push notifications, in-app recommendations, email campaigns and other channels. MoEngage currently has offices in Bangalore and San Francisco.

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