Indian fashion portal Myntra, acquired by ecommerce titan Flipkart last year, went app-only a couple of months ago. It shut down access through both web and mobile browsers, and its parent company Flipkart is widely expected to follow suit soon.
The reasons for going app-only are plenty in India, and the downsides few. Nearly three-quarters of Flipkart’s traffic comes from its mobile apps, because most people in India access the internet through smartphones. More importantly, the app makes it easier for Flipkart and Myntra to track and profile their users and personalize their shopping experience.
Not surprisingly, Flipkart has been on a promotional blitz through ads, offers, and social media to get more people to install its app instead of shopping on its website. This is where a Berlin-based digital marketing and mobile ad startup Glispa has proved handy.
Glispa has a native ad product called gNative, which comes out of beta today. The startup, which picked up US$77 million in investment from UK-based Market Tech Holdings in March, has been testing gNative with leading Asian ecommerce companies, including Alibaba in China, Flipkart in India, and Zalora in Southeast Asia. Unlike obtrusive banner and interstitial ads, native mobile ads blend into the content of the app to engage with users.
Flipkart’s brief to Glispa was two-fold: to increase exposure to its Android app, and to focus on loyal users who generate results. Glispa used two products to achieve these twin objectives – gNative to leverage native ads in getting users to install the Android app, and gPerform to track how many of them became loyal users over time.
Glispa claims that gNative provided a steady delivery of over 15,000 app installs daily and helped Flipkart acquire over 500,000 users in a five-month period. “As opposed to banner ads, gNative publishers take the building blocks of an ad and format it in ways that fit the form and flow of the hosting app, for example, in a content feed,” says Gary Lin, founder and CEO of Glispa. And in combination with gNative, Glispa’s other product called gPerform tracked user loyalty and purchases to see if customer interactions were relevant and result-oriented.
The 500,000 users acquired were considered to have a certain degree of loyalty as determined by gPerform in line with KPIs (key performance indicators) set by Flipkart. “To determine the quality of acquired users, Flipkart tracks post-install events such as account registration, purchase funnel, orders placed, and the overall lifetime value of a user,” says Lin.
Rising up in the app chart
Glispa has been working with Flipkart for over a year since mid 2014. “With Glispa’s contribution, Flipkart has risen from number 20 to Top 3 app in the India overall store chart,” says Lin.
He adds: “Our expertise benefits the largest app developers in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets looking to monetize their inventory.”
Flipkart is an online shopping destination for electronics, books, music and movies.
Binny Bansal, Sachin Bansal
$700,000,000 / Series H / Tiger Global Management, Steadview Capital, Iconiq Capital, DST Global, Greenoaks Capital Management, GIC - Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Baillie Gifford, T. Rowe Price, Qatar Investment Authority
Glispa’s push into Asia and official launch of its gNative product comes on the same day on which India’s InMobi unveiled a new adtech product calledMiip, an animated monkey that engages with app users in a friendlier way than ads.