Indian firms turn to apps

17 December 2012

NEW DELHI: Brand owners in India are set to boost their investment in mobile and tablet apps during the period to 2015, reflecting several major trends reshaping the market, a study has argued.

Tata Consultancy Services reported that the average large company in India currently boasts 29 apps for their customer service teams, alongside 26 for sales departments and 24 for consumers.

In three years' time, it predicted, customer service units would possess 40 such offerings, ahead of sales staff with 33 and shoppers on 31.

Satya Ramaswamy, global head of mobility at TCS, suggested the rapid acceleration in smartphone and tablet adoption fuelling this shift held considerable potential for companies.

He said: "Consumer-facing businesses need to develop strong, well-executed digital mobile consumer strategies in order to capitalise on the tremendous sales, marketing, and service opportunities that are now unfolding."

At present, some 30% of big Indian corporations have apps capable of running on both smartphones and tablets, a figure which was pegged to reach 36% by 2015.

"Smartphones are becoming the preferred computing devices for consumers while they are out-and-about, whereas tablets are taking an increasingly central role for these consumers while they are within their homes," said Ramaswamy.

"As a result, these mobile devices are transforming customer experiences into anytime-anywhere contextual interactions, and are becoming the new battlegrounds for attracting and retaining profitable consumer segments."

The forecast boom in corporate app development will also be driven at least in part by the fact the number of transactions completed using mobile devices is due to rise by 20% from 2012 to 2015.

Similarly, the volume of customer service interactions with shoppers undertaken via this route is likely to jump by 24%.

When discussing the amount of marketing campaigns created specifically for this channel, an expansion of 23% was projected to occur over the next three years.

Ramaswamy said: "Across several industries - transportation, travel, entertainment, media, telecom, retail and others - top executives expect sales, marketing, and service interactions via mobile devices to increase dramatically."

Data sourced from Tata Consultancy Services; additional content by Warc staff