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Amazon nips at Flipkart's heels with most downloaded app

21 July 2016

India's online retail space continues to witness hectic action as ecommerce firms battle for market share. According to latest reports, more consumers are downloading the app than that of hitherto market leader Flipkart.

According to a report in The Times of India, the app has overtaken Flipkart to emerge as the most downloaded app on Google and Apple app stores in the first quarter (January-March) of the current year.

The newspaper cites data from leading app data tracker App Annie, which has put Amazon app ahead of Flipkart in terms of the most downloaded app in the first quarter. Also, another web and app analytics firm, SimilarWeb rated Amazon ahead of homegrown Flipkart in app downloads after getting in data for the past 28 days, the ToI report said.

"While Flipkart has reduced its sale events and advertisements on media, Amazon continues to spend money on media and naturally tends to get more people to download the app. The Amazon app quality is also better since it is a global platform. Indications are that Amazon might be very close to Flipkart or already ahead in sales," ToI quoted Harish H V, partner at audit firm Grant Thornton, as saying.

In fact, Amazon is already closing the gap with Flipkart in India, with its chief executive officer Jeff Bezos last month pledging to invest another $3 billion in his company's India operations.

According to a media report, Amazon displaced another home-grown ecommerce giant, Snapdeal, to become India's second-largest online marketplace by shipments in March.

Amazon India's unit market share surged to an estimated 21-24 percent from 14 percent in March, while Snapdeal's fell to 14-15 per cent from 19 per cent, an Economic Times report said.

Aware of the intensifying competition from the US counterpart, Flipkart has been devising aggressive strategies to enhance customer experience of shopping online from its platform.

The Bengaluru-based company now has plans to build an independent digital payments business with an outlay of Rs670 crore, primarily aimed at reducing its dependence on cash transactions and take a slice of the growing online payments market, the Economic Times report said.

A day before, Flipkart also said that it is on the verge of launching an initiative named F-Assured aimed at youngsters who haven't yet started shopping online. F-Assured also pre-empts the launch of Amazon Prime, which is likely to be launched in India soon, the ET report said.

Local knowledge could give Flipkart an advantage but Bezos has demonstrated a willingness over the years to keep pouring in money and accepting losses until the battle is won, said a Bloomberg report.

''Amazon's consistent performance over the last year and our stellar first quarter indicates that the tide is turning,'' Bloomberg quoted Amazon's India chief Amit Agarwal in an e-mail interview.

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