Startup City Magazine

Flipkart Temporarily Withholds Its App-Only Plans to Analyze its Sales Impact

Bengaluru: Flipkart, India’s leading e-Commerce firm, has put its plans to go app-only on hold for time being as it was yet to analyze the impact the move will have on its big-ticket sales categories like furniture and large appliances. Earlier, in June this year, the company had said that it will go the Myntra-way by operating as an app-only platform from September.
Flipkart had earlier said that about 70-75 percent of their total transactions are happening through smartphones and this was expected to grow further. This made the company to believe that going app-only was a smart move. However, the sellers of high value goods on Flipkart were not happy by its app-only mantra as they firmly believed that the move would cripple the customer’s ability do research and compare various products.

According to Internet & Mobile Association of India and KPMG, India is projected to have 236 million mobile Internet users by 2016. This might make anyone feel that Flipkart’s postponement of going app-only a not-so-wise decision. But on the contrary, one must keep in mind that people prefer to place big-ticket orders through the big screen as they would have a better viewing experience of the product. Also, going app-only will affect people browsing from their office.

Many industry experts also expressed serious concerns over Flipkart going app-only. Founder & CEO of Freecharge – Kunal Shah had openly criticized the app-only strategy on his Facebook status update; without directly targeting Flipkart. “Based on research, most Indians have only 19-20 apps on their Android smartphones, out of which 15-odd apps are the ones that can't be deleted. One hypothesis is users are low on memory and keep deleting apps and install them when needed. With such challenge, is ‘app only’ a good strategy? Maybe this explains high uninstall rates the companies see,” Shah wrote on his Facebook page.

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