Flipkart.com to be shut down in September – goes app-only
Well, this may sound strange, but according to a report from Times Of India, Flipkart has plans to completely shut down its web version in the coming September and go app-only.
Just remember, how Flipkart bought the online fashion retailer Myntra.com and shut it’s website down in favor of App. If you are not sure, try visiting www.myntra.com
Flipkart’s planned phase out of its web presence has received mixed reactions, and most of them are negative, there are positives as well.
India is gradually transitioning from a mobile first to a mobile only country . At Flipkart, we have been following a mobile first approach and 70%-75% of our total traffic is already coming from our mobile app …… – Flipkart
The app-only strategy will help create personalized shopping experiences for consumers by understanding their location, preferences and purchase patterns, something that’s not possible to do to the same extent on the web.
Let’s debate. Here are 5 reasons supporting and 5 reasons opposing the app-only strategy. Make sure you voice you opinions in the comments. Now, read on.
5 reasons why Flipkart going “app-only” could be a great decision
1. India will overtake US as the second largest market for smartphone by 2016
This means a lot. In India smartphones are becoming more and more affordable, thereby paving a way for the exponential growth of mobile internet usage. According Flipkart’s report 70% to 75% of its traffic is already coming from mobile, so why drain all the investments into developing, upgrading and maintaining a web environment?
2. Know more about the customer – Get more personal
Unlike, desktops, mobile phone are too personal. With the app-only strategy, it is easier to monitor your preferences, purchase pattern and make more accurate targeted marketing. The app-only version can take advantage of the GPS, based on you location Flipkart may suggest you some products(?), the product recommendations will be more accurate, more personalized and more convincing that you may jump right in and complete the order.
3. Stop sharing your data with the search engines
Search engines and browsers always keep track of what you searching for. If you are searching for some product, they may show you some relative ads. By going app-only, we don’t have to feed our personal data to search engines anymore. This will cut off the analytics feed for search engines.
4. Stop comparing – Start purchasing
Usually, we tend to look out for the best price of any product we purchase. But with the mobile only platform, Flipkart can give you less chance to use search engines and price comparison websites to look for cheap alternatives. In other words, it can keep you trapped.
5. Reduced maintenance and development cost may pave way for more discounts
With the company focusing on one platform, the cost of maintenance and development will dramatically reduce. Human resources can be efficiently deployed to work on a single platform. This savings may pave way for additional discounts and offers.
5 reasons why Flipkart going “app-only” could be a bad decision
1. Browsing on the desktop is much more easier than on mobile app
Shopping on a desktop allows one to scan multiple products at once. It’s easy to read descriptions, view larger images, read reviews and analyze ratings, open products in multiple tabs and have more choices. All these features are not easy to use in the mobile app. The small screen will never overtake the comfort of browsing on a desktop.
2. Sorting and applying filters may be difficult
Sort function and filters are the basic functions of any e-commerce website. Filtering for product based on their specifications or price is a bit difficult and slow in mobile app. You cannot apply filter and see the filtered products side by side.
3. No more choices, you are just trapped
With the app-only strategy, you have less chance to compare prices on a big screen on multiple tabs. Basically you are stuck with what you see. Comparing prices on a search engine or on a price comparison website become a bit difficult.
4. Mobile device and mobile internet limitations
Some phones have very limited internal memory, therefore users don’t install too many apps. What if someone has a feature phone and wants to browse the flipkart.com mobile website? Unless the mobile is supported by wi-fi from a broadband connection, it is unwise to expect one to spend expensive mobile data for online shopping.
5. Competitors are on Multiple platforms, user may switch easily
There are still a considerable number of users who will prefer desktop versions. Since competitors like Snapdeal, Amazon and Ebay still support multiple platforms, Flipkart may lose a good number of customers to its competitors.
Now it’s your turn to voice your opinion. Should Flipkart go App-only?