STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

App Only? But what about us?

Flipkart has announced it is going mobile app-only, like Myntra, by the end of the year. Desktop shoppers are feeling a little left out

Published: 17th July 2015 03:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2015 03:58 AM   |  A+A-

In May, e-commerce site Myntra went app-only, a year after it was acquired by Flipkart. Recently, Flipkart announced it would follow suit. While Myntra is a fashion site, Flipkart’s catalogue is more varied, and embraces books and electronics.

On Myntra, shoppers can no longer buy from desktop computers. They must download the app and buy on their phones or tablets. While Myntra’s announcement led to astonishment, Flipkart’s move hasn’t caught people unawares. But mixed feelings continue. Some, like the communications professional Puja, find the mobile app more convenient than the website. “It’s easy to browse and add items to my wishlist. Whatever I want to order is at my fingertips,” she says.

Content manager Anu Krishnan believes that going app-only is unwise. “Why do they assume everyone is app savvy? Or that everyone has the money to use up their Internet packs?” she asks. “They should retain the website for those who still use it because apps are so hard to navigate.”She believes apps can be slow, and especially taxing for regular online shoppers. Myntra, where 90 per cent traffic and 70 per cent sales came through the app even before the complete switch, reportedly lost about 10 per cent of sales after going app-only.

“70 to 75 per cent of Flipkart traffic was through the app. Though this seems an obvious trend, I really hope they have thought this through. Amazon has already overtaken them as the number one e-commerce site,” says Tripti Lochan, CEO of VML, which handles digital marketing for several companies, including Flipkart.

This model might work if the company’s target customers all live in Tier III cities, accessing the Internet only through their phones, she feels.

“And people like to have options; they don’t like anyone dictating to them how to shop,” Tripti explains. Indians are price-conscious and apps don’t lend themselves to comparison. “It might be okay for just buying after all the market research is done,” she adds.

Kunal Shah founder of Freecharge had posted on Facebook that most Indians with smartphones have around 20 apps, 15 of which come with the phone and can’t be deleted. People might have to delete and reinstall apps, depending on phone storage. “So if they don’t have the app, they simply pick another e-commerce portal,” Tripti says.

Anindita, an engineering student, prefers using her desktop for online shopping. “The screen is bigger and I don’t need to scroll,” she said. “But sometimes if I like a dress in Shoppers Stop, I check on the Flipkart app, and if it’s available, I order it right then on my phone.” Shubham, a third year graduate student, has noticed that the deals are better on the app. “The Flipkart app gives you some discounts that are not available on the website,” he said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Hyderabad news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp