The Future of Mobile Growth in India
The Future of Mobile Growth — a panel discussion hosted by Branch.io and YourStory, which Subhadeep Mondal was invited last year in September. My fellow panelists were from BigBasket, GoIbibo, Branch and Little App and it was moderated by Rohit from Wowlabz.
Before we got started, it was important to define future (highly subjective). Since the space is very dynamic and is evolving at a rapid rate, we all agreed to call the next 6–12 months as the future.
These were the top 3 takeaways from the discussion:
Google recently released pointed out that it has seen 10x growth in local language queried over the past 1.5 years. 650 Mn Indians are expected to be using the internet in India by 2020, a whopping over 61% of them(~400Mn) will be accessing it in local language, forming the majority of the online population. It’ll be wise to start keeping your product ready for these users coming online in your space and cater localized content to improve your app’s adoption rate. If you are building a consumer product, do keep this as a part of your roadmap for 2017–18.
2. App Discovery
77% of the urban users and 92% of rural users in India consider mobile as the primary device for accessing the internet, largely driven by availability and affordability of smartphones. Hence getting yourself discovered from Google Search and among 3Mn apps on Play Store becomes key to your survival. If you are present across web and mobile, make sure you integrate deeplinking of Branch.io or Universal links of Google & Apple to reach to your user’s device. For getting discovered on Play Store, make sure you are running constant Store Listing Experiments, keep your app size small, optimize for 2G networks, maintain a rating of 4.4+ and have a good user experience to have higher app retention. Apart from these, final innovative ways of reaching out to your users, apart from spending your investor's cash, by collaborating with other products/services. WeChat is a great example of product discovery outside PlayStore and AppStore.
Google has recently started attributing retention to app ranking for Games on Play Store, won’t be surprised if it comes to other category apps as well. Retention is the key and the only growth metric that should matter for any app developer. Build relationships with your user by personalizing their experience and giving them proactive recommendations. Users are not gonna wait for you to deliver them value, one should remember that you are not just competing with other apps in the same space but with user’s inattention. Hence delivery your value as soon as you can and keep doing it until you become a habit in your user’s lives. Here is a matrix to let you know the industry standards for user retention across various category applications on Android.
Overall it was an exciting panel discussion where I believe everyone left the room at-least an ounce smarter than when they arrived.