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In order to build a wider customer base, app-based companies are focusing on tier II and III cities in India. They are adding more partners and new features on their platform to attract new users to further increase the overall volume of the business.
Hyderabad-based bus ticketing portal Abhibus had associated with 15 state road transport corporations, apart from 2,000 private bus operators across the country. To gain rural customers, the company is planning to launch bus ticket booking over the phone in a couple of months.
Sudhakar Reddy, Founder and CEO, Abhibus said, "A user can simply call to reserve a bus ticket for six hours. The ticket fare can be paid at the nearest outlet. We have tied up with 1.5 lakh retail outlets all over the country to issue the tickets under this platform. Our three call centres at Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Pune offer customer service in all regional languages."
"This is the first of its kind initiative from a bus ticketing portal in the country. Three months back, we have incorporated six regional languages on our app and portal, which no other bus ticketing app had done so far," he claimed.
Online ticketing firm BookMyShow also realised that language was a critical barrier to the next phase of e-commerce growth in the country. In addition to English, it allowed users to browse and transact in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. This is helping the company to reach out to a wider target base across small town and cities.
"We see immense growth potential in tier 2 and tier 3 cities with the ecosystem evolving due to rapid smartphone and internet penetration. In line with this strategy, we are partnering with increasing number of single screen theatres and have already expanded our presence to over 400 cities in India," said Marzdi Kalianiwala, VP- Business Intelligence and Marketing at BookMyShow.
After acquiring Hyderabad-based MastiTickets last month, the company has bought a majority stake in Pune-based event ticketing platform Townscript. It is evaluating good opportunities to invest in similar companies from tier 2 and 3 cities.
Mobile wallet company MobiKwik has introduced seven regional languages on its app to enable consumers to adopt a digital mode of payments. The lighter version of the app MobiKwik Lite can be downloaded directly by any shopkeeper or retailer by giving a missed call from any feature phone without an email id and Google Play Store account.
According to MobiKwik vice president for growth Daman Soni, the company has seen 3,000 per cent rise in merchant enrolments from smaller cities and towns. These regions are leading the next wave of growth in cashless transactions. The Union government is also supporting to promote digital payments in smaller towns.
The mobile wallet has partnered with major oil marketing companies (OMCs) to enable digital transactions at all fuel stations in India. It has also tied up with GSRTC (Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation), Big Bazaar and Amul (pan India) to expand its presence in more number of cities.
Already e-commercee majors have started operations in tier 2 cities and swiftly spreading their wings in tier 3 cities of the country. Grocery e-tailer BigBasket is available in 27 odd cities across the country. Taxi aggregator Uber has a presence in 29 cities, while its Indian rival Ola is operating in more than 100 cities.