This guest column is authored by Ajay Shrivastava, Vice President, Engineering at OYO Rooms
Gone are the days when mobiles were used only by the rich and the influential. With its rural parts progressively taking a giant leap towards a more Internet friendly and exploratory outlook, India has now become the second largest smartphone market worldwide. According to a report published by IAMAI and KPMG, the number of mobile internet users in India is expected to increase up to 314 million by 2017, a figure almost the double of 159 million it had at the end of 2014.
Mobile has become an intrinsic part of our lifestyle now-a-days. From the moment we wake up in the morning till the time we go to sleep, our mobiles are always with us, hence it is no surprise that bookings from the app, are almost 2.5 times that of websites and 40% of total bookings.
The hassle of travelling can be reduced to a great extent if the travelers are not forced to book a stay in advance. This can only happen if they have an app via which they can tap on reaching a city to get the booking done within seconds. Smartphones are location-aware, always-on and offer a much more interactive and personalized experience. Imagine being able to book the nearest hotel in just 3 taps and in less than 5 seconds – with the help of the app, similar is the scenario that online cab companies have created now-a-days; an app gives you a feeling of owning a private cab or hotel. An app runs within its own interface environment, allowing the customers to become more immersed in the experience. Through an app, a brand gets more integrated with users’ mobile behavior.
The ability of an app to offer instant support and information to customers whenever and wherever needed, is perhaps the most significant advantage over its website counterparts. Users can access key information on their mobile devices at the click of a button through an app. They can do everything on mobile apps that they could do on a website, but in lesser time and with better efficiency.
The tremendous popularity of app over websites is also driven by the dawn of extremely low cost smartphones, along with cheap mobile tariffs. This has given the power to people to use data connectivity independently. Most of the business have become app only as they are conscious of the fact how technology is driving more business for them.
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