It looks like the app-only fever is fading away and the latest startup to have a change of heart is Jugnoo. The autorickshaw aggregator said that users can now book a ride through laptops and desktops through a website at ride.jugnoo.in. With this, auto rides can be booked from the service from mobile devices, Facebook Messenger bot and through Siri for iOS devices.
Junoo’s move follows shortly after cab-hailing service Uber said that it launched a web interface where customers can get a UberGO cab from dial.uber.com from the browser. Users do, however, need to login or create an account by first entering their mobile number and or Facebook/Google credentials. Users can pay in cash and currently, this service is live only in Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati, and Jodhpur.
In contrast, Ola went app-only in July 2015. Previously, Ola had had app, web and phone booking. The company claimed that 99% of its bookings (over 95% in smaller cities) came through the app, as compared to 20% at the time of launch in 2011.
Other companies to take an app-only approach after first launching their desktop sites
– In May 2015, Myntra announced the shutting down of its website to switch to an app only option, because 95% of its traffic and 70% of its transactions were coming via mobile. 6 months after this, Myntra relaunched its mobile website. In May this year, Myntra relaunched its desktop website.
– In March 2015, Flipkart shut down its mobile website and redirected its users to Google’s Play Store and iOS’ App Store to download the apps. In August 2015, Flipkart made some of the products on its platform available app only. In November 2015, it relaunched its mobile website.
– In April 2015, services marketplace LocalOye went app only, but the move backfired 4 months later, and it reinstated some of the services on desktop in July 2015.
It isn’t surprising that Jugnoo is ditching the app-only model and bringing desktop sites to book services. They’ve realized that they’ve been ignoring an important channel to get business. Barring power users, most people keep a limited number of apps on their phone.
But the trick nowadays is to have your service on the existing app.
Last month, Uber tied up with Snapdeal to let Snapdeal users book a cab from the Snapdeal Android app and users needn’t have Uber installed on their phones to get a cab. Snapdeal also piloted flight and bus bookings, personal services in May, and food ordering earlier this month. Like Uber, these services are only available through the Snapdeal Android app from the ‘Services’ tab.
Similarly, Paytm launched bus ticketing in partnership with RedBus back in 2012. It also launched movie ticketing by directly partnering with cinema houses like PVR, INOX and ticketing aggregator BookMyshow in March. As we had pointed out earlier, diversification is playing an increasingly important role in ecommerce as companies look to differentiate and offer more value added services. Additionally it lets ecommerce platforms explore other services as a means of income.