Himalaya Expedites App Development by 3 Months with Progress
The way people purchase products has changed rapidly in the past two decades. Thanks to wider internet access, consumers are now buying goods online from their desktop computers—and more recently, their mobile devices.
The Himalaya Drug Company, an international leader in herbal health and personal care, is well-versed in adapting to shifts in customer behaviors, no matter how large or how small they may be. The enterprise has been serving customers for nearly 90 years, and a large part of the company’s success can be attributed to its ability to grow and evolve alongside the shifting needs of consumers.
In India, the sudden growth of the mobile market challenged the way many companies approached ecommerce. Unlike in other regions where desktops and laptops are still commonly used, many Indian consumers have turned to mobile devices as their primary gateway to the web. For international businesses such as Himalaya, this means embracing mobile platforms is a necessity to reach the Indian market.
“With a lot of ecommerce transactions going to mobile, we had to look at a mobile-first approach,” said Ganesh Ramaswamy, Senior Manager, Digital Wing, Himalaya. “The first step was making our website responsive so people could use it from their mobile devices. But that wasn’t sufficient for our requirements, we needed an application that consumers could download and use to purchase products.”
Ramaswamy knew that every day without an app meant the company was leaving money on the table, so his team began to explore the various options for building a mobile application.
For Himalaya, the requirements for the app development platform were strict. The company needed a comprehensive platform that could be used for a variety of mobile projects, but also wanted a platform with a small learning curve so Ramaswamy’s team could deploy an app as soon as possible. With that in mind, Himalaya opted to use Telerik® Platform by Progress.
“I have a small team of developers, so I wanted to look at technology that people were comfortable with,” explained Ramaswamy. “We felt Telerik Platform was the right fit, so we did a trial run. Once we built an app with it and saw how easy development was, even without a large team, we went ahead with it.”
One of the biggest advantages of Telerik Platform was the ability to develop cross-platform applications. While most mobile website traffic came from Android devices, conversion rates were strong from both Android and iOS audiences. Developing an application natively for each platform would have been a time-consuming endeavor for Ramaswamy’s team, so the hybrid approach was ideal and accelerated time to market greatly.
Another perk was the support from the Progress technical support team. Whenever Ramaswamy’s team encountered an issue in development, tech support was quick to respond with a solution. Combined with the ease-of-use and robust capabilities of Telerik Platform, Himalaya had a relatively smooth entry to the mobile market.
“We were new to the entire mobile space. We had to look not only at design and development, but also deployment, testing and even analytics,” said Ramaswamy. “Telerik Platform gave us everything bundled as one, so we jumped in and started building the app.”
The installation process was smooth and Himalaya was able to integrate Telerik Platform with its customer database in no time, in part thanks to the integration assistance provided by Progress India.
Developing and deploying the ecommerce app was a seamless process. Himalaya originally set a nine-month timeline to push the ecommerce app to market, but with Telerik Platform, Ramaswamy’s team was able to go to market in just six months. Additionally, Ramaswamy’s team was able to develop and deploy the app with half the resources. Since launch, the app has been downloaded by 40,000 customers.
“For such a lean team and the resources allocated to the project, Telerik Platform gave us great results,” said Ramaswamy. “For the app itself, over the last four months, we’ve seen very good traction. Almost 25% of our transactions are happening on mobile right now.”
While the ecommerce app is currently only available in India, Ramaswamy is looking to extend the app to reach international customers as well. Himalaya serves consumers in nearly 90 different countries across the globe, the only challenge is deciding whether to target the app toward entire continents or specific regions.
The ecommerce app is only the first step for Himalaya—Ramaswamy’s team plans to build apps for other purposes in the future. For example, he is currently looking to develop an internal app for sales teams that are operating out in the field. Workers currently use a web-based interface to log their daily reports, but in the future, they could use a mobile interface to expedite data input. “We have a lot of apps in the pipeline,” he added.
Given the positive experience with Telerik Platform, Himalaya is also exploring the implementation of other Progress products as a way of further improving the customer experience. For example, Ramaswamy is considering Progress® Sitefinity™ for its tight integration with Telerik Platform to help the company better manage its wide portfolio of international websites.
“Getting all of our systems aligned and working together is a part of the digital transformation process,” said Ramaswamy. “We want to engage customers with a better experience. Whether a customer comes to a Himalaya retail store, the website or the mobile app, we want the customer to be treated well. This happens by connecting systems together for a better omni-channel consumer experience. Digital transformation is how we deliver consumer delight.”
About The Himalaya Drug Company
With a history spanning more than eight decades in herbal research, Himalaya has positioned itself as a brand that cares about not only enriching people’s lives but also the environment. With a “head to heel” range of products, Himalaya aims to provide a holistic solution to everyday ailments that affect our health and wellness. Seeped in a legacy of researching nature, Himalaya has successfully harnessed the science of Ayurveda through cutting-edge research to become a brand that is safe, gentle and trustworthy. www.himalayawellness.com