Flipkart shut down mobile website, forcing people to download and use the app

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The Indian, e-commerce website Flipkart, which is one of the largest e-commerce website dealing with all kinds of goods has played another trick to boost their business and revenues. From today onwards, people won’t be able to use the Flipkart mobile website. They will have to download and install the mobile app to vied, order or track their orders, and do everything from within the app.flipkart-mobile-app

Well, this is like a new strategy in the scenario of Indian e-commerce platform as no other websites have done this till now. But, there are some reasons behind this kind of strategy. And I guess, I know why they did this.

  • Browser compatibility: it is literally impossible to test a mobile website and optimize it at the same level for each and every browser, like many people like Firefox or Chrome over Opera or UC Browser, so at this point there are some questions about the compatibility of those browsers and user experience. Moving to the app, this problem will be solved, as everyone will be able to get the same shopping experience on different mobile devices.
  • Revenue: In case of revenue making, the app makes a lot of sense and I think Flipkart is probably doing that for boosting their revenue which they will generate by showing ads via the app

Now, these are the main reasons, why they are so focused at the app, but at the same time, they will surely find some difficulties in the upcoming days. Mobile website had certain features, which makes it a lot better than an app.

Immediacy – Mobile Websites Are Instantly Available
A mobile website is instantly accessible to users via a browser across a range of devices (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc).  Apps on the other hand require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace before the content or application can be viewed. So, there are chances of having a significant barrier between initial engagement and action/conversion. 

Upgradability – Mobile Websites Can Be Updated Instantly
A mobile website is much more dynamic than an app in terms of pure flexibility to update content. If you want to change the design or content of a mobile website you simply publish the edit once and the changes are immediately visible; updating an app on the other hand requires the updates to be pushed to users, now in a country like India, many people are there who rarely update the apps, so chances are there that people won’t be engaged in the app like they used to be in terms of mobile website.

A Mobile Website Can be an App, but the vice versa is not possible
Just like a standard website, mobile websites can be developed as database-driven web applications that act very much like native apps., and it will be a good alternative to native app development. But, app development is a long process and needs a lot of care and time.

Time and Cost

Mobile website is great for time and cost management, where as n app development is costly and time consuming.

So, I think it’s neither a very good idea nor a bad idea of sumping the mobile website, however, Flipkart could prompt users to download and install the app, otherwise could redirect to mobile website for those who don’t have the app pre-installed. And also, if you haven’t installed the Flipkart mobile it, install now from here and enjoy uninterrupted shopping on the go.