Mumbai: Indian women account for 28% of total app consumption in the country, with rural users accounting for 16.4%. Together, they drive more than 70% of buying decisions. Their buying power is reflected in key categories of app usage, including social media apps, which are increasingly converting sales, and e-commerce, according to research by cloud retention platform CleverTap shared on Wednesday.
Analyzing the usage of over 300 different mobile apps with an average monthly user base of over four million, the new study revealed opportunities in India’s mobile app market, driven by women and rural areas.
Women have significant purchasing power, driven by e-commerce
Women in India drive over 70% of purchasing decisions, with their buying power reflected in major app usage categories including social media apps which are increasingly converting sales, and e-commerce.
Based on the findings, the study suggests that ed-tech, social media and fintech app providers, in particular, consider marketing their apps to women. Women currently account for 37%, 32.5% and 31% of usage, respectively, and are the primary consumers of products and services in these sectors.
Indian women surpass men in e-commerce app usage, accounting for 54% of all usage. Global e-commerce brands would do well to create highly personalized and relevant commerce experiences for Indian women to drive revenue growth and customer loyalty.
Indian men account for a significant share of app interactions across several key verticals, including gaming (94%), travel and transportation (84%), on-demand services (78%) and media and entertainment (77%). . Overall, men account for 72% of mobile usage.
Rural India – a huge opportunity
Rural India is an underserved market on the cusp of seismic change. While app usage is currently at 16.4%, split across verticals, CleverTap data shows that consumers in cities and areas outside of metropolitan centers are drawn to apps that can help them improve their education and quality of life.
Edutech (19.2%), media and entertainment (17.7%) and fintech (17%) stand out as verticals that attract a disproportionate number of rural users.
Adoption rates for health and fitness (13.2%) are on the low end, but personalized strategies like goal setting and reminder functionality can boost those numbers.
Among urban users, adoption rates for health and fitness, e-commerce, travel, and transportation are approaching saturation levels (85% and above). This dynamic underscores the importance of focusing on the growth opportunities that emerge in rural areas, where competition is lower and returns higher.
User retention remains a challenge
CleverTap’s analysis also confirms the critical importance of focusing on user retention. Uninstall rates are a challenge across all app categories, undoing costly user acquisition (UA) campaigns and threatening potential business growth. Uninstall rates are highest in gaming (44%) and social engagement (46%).
In contrast, industries where users perceive a high degree of value and convenience have the lowest uninstall rates: on-demand services (21%) and health and fitness (25%). Although these areas are more successful in retaining users, the loss of nearly a quarter of a subscriber base is still alarming. Data-driven offers, loyalty programs, and hyper-personalized marketing and messaging are just some of the ways brands and businesses can stem the attrition of these apps.
“Global events have dramatically changed consumer behavior, especially among women, who now rely on apps as a go-to channel for all aspects of their lives,” said CleverTap Global CEO Sidharth Malik. “Similarly, rural users have come to depend on apps to transact or further their education, and now see apps as a way to improve their lives. Understanding the striking and significant differences between user segments and preferences is the essential first step for businesses to connect, convert, and ultimately increase retention and lifetime value.
A mobile-savvy country where apps drive commerce, communications, education and social interaction, India was the world’s second-largest app download market in 2021, according to a report by Data.ai. The CleverTap study demonstrates that mobile-first brands and companies have the opportunity to reach underserved demographics in the world’s second most populous country and fastest growing large economy.
To understand mobile usage behavior and identify in-app consumption trends in India, CleverTap’s data science team analyzed over 300 mobile apps across different verticals, with an average monthly user base of more than 4 million. Usage behavior was broken down by location (urban/rural); by gender across verticals (fintech, ed-tech, media and entertainment, health and fitness, travel and transportation, e-commerce, social engagement); through responses to engagement campaigns across different channels and verticals; and uninstall rates in verticals. Over 782 billion push notifications, 52 billion emails and 10 billion in-app notifications were analyzed for this study.