In April, Flipkart, the highly valued Indian e-commerce startup, looked ready to kill its mobile website. Visitors were met with a full-screen message directing them to download Flipkart’s app.
Mostly, it is agreed that a business needs to be where consumers are. This seems to have been evident with the app exclusive sales that have happened during the festive season.
While Flipkart decided to go app only, its competitor Amazon, paytm & snapdeal went with a mixed strategy between its website as well as app.
Flipkart began nudging users to its app because that was where it saw much higher engagement, said Peeyush Ranjan, its VP of engineering. Apps have benefits — a clean, contained design and offline capabilities. But they also demand frequent updates to stay current — developers submit them every couple weeks. That’s particularly tricky in countries like India where a bulk of people come online with low-end Android phones that are infrequently updated. To be current on the Web, just hit refresh. ( As per recode )
So Flipkart developed a mobile site for Chrome that replicates several the features of its app. “What if we could do all that and yet retain the benefit of the Web world as well?” Ranjan asked. “Anyone who’s running Chrome will actually get an experience that will really give a native app experience a run for the money.”
Flipkart Lite is pretty different from desktop site and smartphone app. It seems like Flipkart has completely redesigned the UI. It looks pretty slick with some elements from material design. We tried looking for products on the mobile site and both the navigation and interface looked pretty smooth. There is also an option to pin the page as a web app.
Till now, Flipkart was not showing any content on its mobile page, leave aside having just an app install interstitial. Instead, it was forcing users to go to the Play Store and download the app. After Google’s search update, Flipkart probably wouldn’t show up as a top ranking page if someone searched for a product from their smartphone. Flipkart Lite is the e-commerce giants way to ensure it still features in Google’s search results.