Biggest Ecommerce Gamble Ever: Flipkart To Shut Down Website, Go Full Throttle on Mobile
Although global ecommerce industry is relatively new, with few major players, this is something which no other major portal has ever done: Flipkart is going to shut down their desktop website and sell only via mobile apps.
Is this the biggest ever gamble which an upcoming ecommerce portal is taking a chance at?
Michael Adnani, who is the Vice-President of retail and Head of brand alliances at Flipkart said, “Last year, we had more on the app, but still did our web and desktop. In the next year or so, we’re going to be only mobile,”
Justifying their move, he further shared some traffic data on their portal: “A year ago, 6% of our traffic was coming from mobile. In less than 18 months, that traffic is 10-fold. That shows the significance of what a mobile phone is doing for the consumers and consequently doing for us”
Although he didn’t shared the exact number of transactions which happen on their mobile app, he shared that right now around 80 lakh transactions happen on their platform, out of which around 50 lakh or 2/3rd of all transactions originate from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Considering that almost 90% of this traffic comes from mobile, Adnani has tried hard to justify their decision of going full throttle on mobile app only mode of ecommerce business.
In the last few weeks, some major announcements in this direction has rattled the desktop users of these websites. Last month, Myntra and Flipkart, both ditched their mobile websites and forced the users to install their applications for purchasing any product.
And recently, Myntra decided to shut down their desktop website as well, and adapt to app-only platform from May 1st, 2015.
What Users Say?
Ecommerce users, atleast those who read this blog, are not happy at all. Checkout some of the reactions to this decision of shutting down mobile website and forcing app install:
As you can read, besides terming this decision as ‘disgusting’ and ‘ridiculous’, users and shoppers are also asking whether Flipkart hasn’t enough money to run their desktop and mobile websites now?
Some of the major issues which have been shared by users related with this ‘autocratic’ and ‘dominating’ decision are:
- Mobile apps can’t give that experience which desktop sites do, which includes ease of navigation and product display
- What if the user decides to uninstall the application owning to low memory or slow speed? He or she won’t be able to shop any product?
- Push notifications are irritating and several users uninstall the apps solely due to this reason
- Several long time users of Internet are complaining that this decision seems like they are forcing them to download apps, and this is not going down well with them
Mobile usage is no doubt exploding at a phenomenal rate, which has even surprised the decision makers of telecom industry. But the user experience of a desktop version cannot be compared with that of mobile app. Being into digital marketing industry,
I have observed several instances when a user checks out the product on desktop version and then waits for discount or coupon. In case any such offers comes along, he purchases it via mobile app to save time. But it doesn’t mean that desktop version is now completely out of fashion.
As we had shared earlier, almost every major ecommerce portal in the world such as Alibaba, Amazon, Target, Walmart, Ebay, Overstock, BestBuy among others are maintaining their desktop, as well as mobile websites along with mobile app.
It seems that this decision by Flipkart and Myntra to shut down their websites and convert to app-only model is not going well with their fans and followers. Are they hurrying up with this decision? Shouldn’t they hear what their customers are saying?
Do share your views by commenting right here: Will you shop from Flipkart or Myntra after they shut down their websites?