Flipkart Admits App-Only Mistake, Brings back Mobile Browser Website!


Flipkart Web header image

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.

Flipkart Web Screenshot

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!

  1. JJR says

    I used to buy 50% products from Flipkart and 50% products from Amazon.
    After the App-only system, I quit the Flipkart. Now 99% of the buy occur from Amazon.

  2. […] digital wallet could also come to Myntra successively for payments. We hope this does not fail like Flipkart’s app-only strategy, and customers can reap benefits from the […]

  3. […] were out that Flipkart was contemplating a similar move. However, in the final quarter of 2015, Flipkart dropped the idea and launched its mobile site, with Snapdeal following suit. 2016 will see 2 main developments in Indian telecom industry and […]

  4. I wonder whose stupid idea it was in the first place to go app-only. Ever since they did that, I switched to Amazon.in and have never been happier.

  5. Sudhi says

    A late realization…many people have stopped purchasing from flipkart after the ‘app only’ option has started. Mean time competitors were giving all options. I don’t think they have started the mobile browsing till now in all platforms. Today also, when I checked the site on my device, it is asking for downloading the app!!!

  6. Jaswinder Singh says

    I buy alot of poduct online on regular basis, fashion mostly…
    and It was hard for me to recall Myntra, becoz of their silly move.

  7. Sourabh Sagar says

    Just one word. Lott ke buddhu Ghar ko Ayye.

  8. Piyal says

    It was a bad idea from Flipkart to ditch desktop and mobile browsers. Yes mobiles are full throttle in India but desktops also here to stay. You can’t replace desktop experience with mobile. Browsing experience is much better in desktop/laptops than mobiles.

  9. saurabh says

    This is the most bullshit,factless, speculative article I have come across in past few months. Instead of praising the product which is first of its kind in the WORLD author is trying to push what I can comprehend is his personal propaganda. The scale at which this took place can be imagined by the FACT that google has to bring a separate update for chrome to accommodate the level of this product.

  10. Kevin says

    I guess these dumb guys have realized it at least now. Why make someone want to download an app to purchase! You lost it all there. Guess you will enjoy the hard time climbing up the mountain again!

    Expecting more such crazy errors from Flipkart geniuses. One more thing, do any of you use the Ping feature on Flipkart app? Seriously, anyone??

    Stop joking around and get real Flipkart. You exist because of customers and make things simple! You get so complicated these days….

  11. Malick says

    I think web plus mobile is the trend that should be continued by FlipKart. No need to leave any platform unless users leave the platform. Time now that FlipKart should focus on selling cost and margins. No discrimination is called for between web and mobile web.

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