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Title:E-commerce apps vs mobile sites: Which is better?

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Every player in the e-commerce space is app-ready. The wallet friendly deals and one-click shopping experience that they offer are delightful, but one day, we were so exhausted with app download requests that we sat down with a few e-commerce pioneers, talked to them about our worries.

Complaint No. 1:

Our phone is not a war zone; so don't bombard it with apps: Web merchants on a daily basis (or should we say half-hourly basis?) prompt us to download an app. You bombard our mailboxes; you eat into the inbox space. Not done! Agreed, you offer good deals but our mobile phones, that are getting better on paper and dumber in reality, will not be able to handle so many shopping, travel, hotel, utility, banking apps simultaneously.

Expert in defence:

"If everything that you just said was right, our app would not have witnessed 1.2 crore app downloads. Apps are certainly working for users. And what you call bombarding is actually personalising shopping according to customers' needs."

Complaint No. 2:

We have 2G, 3G, 4G, but the network is mostly absconding: 33% of mobile phone users own smartphone and 60% of smartphone users use mobile broadband. Still, network connectivity these days is so dependable... so dependable that you wish you could walk around with a fixed line. And then the apps crash so frequently that we wonder if they were built to work or to crash! Then why do you expect us to use them?

Expert in defence:

"They don't crash as frequently as games do because they are easy to download, don't consume a lot of space on the phone, and most importantly, they operate on minimum data usage. So if you are speaking about the dependability of a network connection and its effect on app usage, apps are any day better than the web. Occasional hiccups -- they are just natural."

Complaint No. 3:

No matter how rich, you don't shop every day. What's the use of renting out the space of your phone to apps that you know will not even be used more than twice or thrice a month? Yes, you buy a litre of toned milk, a loaf of wheat bread and a few eggs every day, but do you really call it shopping or need an app for it? Besides, shopping is not a routine thing for us; we derive joy out of it, so why should I rent out my phone memory to something that I will not even use regularly?

Expert in defence:

"Shopping on app is about convenience, not as much about the joy of shopping. If you like walking down to the grocery store every day, you will, but what about people who are short of time and live by the clock? They will always choose an app over physical shopping."

Complaint No. 4:

Can we trust you with our confidential information? The basic worry with apps is that when we download the app, how do service providers make sure confidential data isn't misused?

Expert in defence:

"We take user permission to access their private informartion. Only if we are allowed, we leverage that data to provide them better experience. We have several steps to ensure that the information doesn't leak out."

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