App Commerce in India — Enabling Millions of Businesses

India went from a desktop era to a mobile era very fast. And from a mobile era to a smart phone era. India witnessed some of the following trends in the past decade, that point towards app commerce as the future:

  • Desktop → Mobile → Mobile internet → Smartphone with internet
  • Smartphones → Getting cheaper every few months
  • Mobile internet → Getting cheaper every year
  • Mobile internet → Getting faster: 2G, 3G, 4G
  • Google as home page on desktop → Chat as main app on smartphones
  • 50% of smartphone users not performing searches
  • Commerce moving from cash → online payments

Proof of love for the Internet

Data source

Proof of Smart Phone usage

Data source

Proof of Internet on Mobile

Data source

These trends are resulting into changed habits across the table. Be it the consumer side or the business side.

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Consumer trends

  • Getting used to app usage
  • Getting used to chat for communication
  • Accessing information on the mobile
  • Prefer chatting instead of calling
  • App fatigue → Don’t want too many apps for multiple things

They are happy to download an app that they will use frequently. But not for low frequency categories. There must be good reason why e-commerce giants reversed their decision to go back from app-only to web commerce. Consumers like apps but, not for every thing. Not for the low frequency stuff.

Business trends

  • Offline businesses seeing online aggregators eat their cake
  • Want to sell online but lack technology
  • Don’t understand e-commerce. Don’t understand mobile.
  • Want to be omni-channel — e-presence and e-payments
  • Don’t want to lose money on commission to aggregators
  • Want to build their ‘own’ brand

They are seeing category after category being disrupted by online start-ups. Be it product commerce, bus tickets, hotel reservations, movie ticketing, recharges etc. They realise it’s high time they see the writing on the wall — it’s time to go online and fast.

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Challenges for Businesses

Businesses see the trend of consumers being on mobile. They want to get on app too but face these challenges.

  • Making an app is very expensive
  • Even if budgets permit, they don’t know how to go about it
  • Digital payments are complex to understand and manage
  • Marketing the app is even more expensive
  • Consumers won’t download individual apps for multiple things

Opportunity

The opportunity lies in bridging the gap between what consumers and businesses want. Businesses want to sell on app because their consumers are on mobile. Consumers want to buy online but their trusted businesses aren’t there yet. And they don’t want to download multiple apps for multiple things.

There are mainly two kinds of businesses:

  • Daily commerce businesses: These are businesses that consumers use at a very high frequency. Example groceries, restaurants, canteens, local travel etc. These businesses don’t have sophisticated booking engines. They want to be online but lack the technology. They depend on repeat business and care about customer retention.
  • Long tail businesses: These businesses are used at a lower frequency. Sometimes once in a few years and many times once in a lifetime. Millions of businesses fall in this category. Example yoga classes, sky diving, guitar lessons, notary services etc. These businesses care about new customers thanks to the low frequency of repeats. They care about discovery.

Both these business types want to sell on app — but for different reasons. Consumers don’t want to download an app for long tail businesses or a single daily commerce business. There lies the difficulty for businesses to start selling on app.

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Solution

To enable all businesses to start selling on app with a DIY app-commerce ready solution. And allowing consumers to interact with all these businesses on a single app.

It’s important to enable millions of businesses in India with technology that democratises the ability to sell on mobile. This technology is expensive and needs to be spread across millions of businesses for it to be made available en masse. That’s exactly what Goodbox does — democratizing app commerce in India.

Goodbox Partner App for Businesses — Democratising App Commerce in India

Goodbox has a Partner app that helps businesses create their app presence. They can enter their business details and get a commerce ready app within minutes. It allows them to upload their logo, pictures, business profile, menu / prices and has an in-built payment gateway.

They can invite their consumers to start interacting with them on this app — either to place an order or to pay them online. They can start leveraging the strength of the network — many businesses getting their consumers on Goodbox and consumers finding new businesses on the app — especially long-tail businesses.

Goodbox App for Consumers

Consumers open their smart phone 200+ times on an average in a day. Largely to access a chat app. Chat is something every smart phone user is used to. Goodbox provides them the ability to start buying from their trusted businesses as far as daily commerce is concerned.

For daily commerce, consumers have been used to buying from businesses they have been buying from for decades. These are their trusted local supermarkets, laundry store, restaurant, meat shop, local chemist etc. It’s a nexus that’s difficult to beat because it works on relations. And we are an emotional country that thrives on the human connect.

Ordering over chat allows consumers to use a new method that they’ve grown to love. It allows them to deal with businesses that they trust and pay them online. They can place orders without having to call these businesses. If the business misses their call, they have to call back till the business picks up — leading to an annoying experience. Chat solves that.

For the consumer, Goodbox is a mega app with thousands of booking engines within it — and chat as an over riding layer for unstructured conversations.

A new way of commerce

We see a new way of commerce going forward. A better way. Where the consumer doesn’t spend time to order the daily. Where queues are skipped thanks to better ordering and payment processes. Where payments are digital — with zero to little dependency on cash transactions. Where businesses have access to a lot more data about their consumer and their context. Where businesses are in control. Today they lack the technology to go online but that’s being democratised. Today they lack economies of scale which can be provided by a platform that enables millions of businesses.

We are at the cusp of a new way of commerce. Every business in India can and will be enabled for app commerce and they’ll have the power that aggregators enjoy — without the associated costs. It’s time to fight on strengths of service rather than lament the lack of technology.

App commerce in India is here and it’s enabling millions of businesses. A la Goodbox.