When a startup gets billion dollar valuations, great press coverage and huge number of orders, then they somehow begin to feel that they can change basic customer behavior. In this arrogance, they start pushing their own version of sale theories, debunking what customer wants. This leads to crash of preferences, and the startup suffers.
Something similar has happened with Flipkart, as they have finally admitted their mistake of going app-only mode, and have decided to flip back to mobile browsers.
When you open Flipkart.com mobile browsers, they no longer force the customer to download their apps; instead, they offer a new, innovative browser based app experience for shopping.
Mobile Browsers Is The Solution
Peeyush Ranjan, engineering head at Flipkart, has admitted that going app-only was not a wise decision. He said, “However, apps also have their weaknesses. You have to download them and you have to keep updating..” Confirming that they are now back to mobile browsers, he said, “Our mobile web app offers the benefits and superior experience of the app without the limitations.. We will get a bunch of new users through the mobile web who don’t have our app installed..”
This clearly means that Flipkart is losing a lot of customers and orders due to the app-only diktat, as lots of Indians still doesn’t have big strong smartphones which can withstand the load of a heavy app.
After all, there are millions of website where a potential customer can visit, and it doesn’t make any sense to download an app for every one of them!
Flipkart’s App Only Diktat Failed
In March this year, Flipkart and Myntra had created ripples across the industry, when they decided to shut down their mobile websites, and started forcing their users to install their respective apps. In fact, in the month of May, Myntra decided to shut down their desktop website as well, and went app-only mode in full throttle. Speculations were on that Flipkart will ditch their desktop website in 2016, and become app-only shopping portal.
Customers revolted, and demanded mobile web experience back, but Flipkart paid no heed, despite the fact that their rivals were present on all platforms. They launched their Big Billion Sale only on app, and it seems the results weren’t that great.
As evident from the screenshots of their new app based mobile browser experience, Flipkart has introduced the top to down scrolling of their categories and products, unlike the horizontal scrolling in apps, which is another a very big decision.
As per sources, Flipkart has tied up with Chrome and Opera, so that they keep on developing innovative browser based apps, which offer seamless shopping experience, and can be accessed directly from the home screen of the smartphone.
Its also now confirmed that Flipkart will not close down their desktop website now.
Do you think Flipkart has done the right thing by going back to mobile browser based shopping mode; and will not force customers to download their app? Do share your views by commenting right here!