Another googly thrown by Flipkart! To everyone’s surprise, the ecommerce leader has re-launched its mobile website. The idea is to give a ‘mobile app’ like experience to users who don’t wish to download its app.
Flipkart’s second stint with the mobile site
The online marketplace had shut its mobile site in March this year to push its app. Therefore, reintroducing the m-site is seen as a complete strategic U-turn taken by the company.
While confirming the news, Piyush Ranjan, CTO and Head of Engineering at Flipkart said to TOI, “Websites push users to install the app. But only 4% of the people actually install the app. Flipkart doesn’t have a mobile website. So we wanted to give the experience of a native application on a mobile website.”
He also said, “The web application we are launching today will give you a native experience without having to download the app.”
Google enabled this move
Alphabet Inc, the parent company of Google convinced Flipkart to launch a better version of a mobile site that give buyers an app like shopping experience.
The American multinational is trying ways to keep Google search and Web relevant in today’s mobile & apps world. Its association with Flipkart is one such move.
The online marketplace’s engineering team along with Google developed a mobile site, which is as engaging as an app without the limitations of eating up mobile device’s space and constant update.
Ranjan explained how it all began, “We started by saying how can we give the exact experience as an app in the mobile web. We took a list of things to Chrome and said can you support this behaviour. They went and modified Chrome and we launched a new mobile website on top of it.”
Does this mean the chapter of app-only can be closed?
It seems like that for now Flipkart’s rumoured plans to go app-only is on hold. The company has made it clear that it’ll become more app-centric moving forward. But mobile and desktop site may stay too. It’s also possible that desktop site will be shut down and users will be encouraged to use mobile platform only, whether app or m-site.
Possibilities are many. Let’s see which curve ball Flipkart will throw next.